From left: Legendary Audio’s Billy Stull, Rhapsody Street’s Ken Branca, Rupert Neve and Rhapsody Street’s Mack Damon
Rhapsody Street Studios, a recording and mastering studio in San Antonio, Texas, co-owned by producer/engineers Mack Damon and Ken Branca, recently converted its Studio B into a new mastering room that now revolves around a Rupert Neve–designed Legendary Audio Masterpiece Two-Bus analog processing system.
During the years, Damon has called on Legendary Audio founder Billy Stull to master projects recorded at Rhapsody Street. Consequently, when Damon had the chance to sit down with Stull and use the prototype Masterpiece a year-and-a-half ago, he was impressed. “From the first time we passed audio through it, I thought the Masterpiece was just fantastic,” says Damon. “Its phase-coherent independent processing of bands is nothing short of completely amazing. When Billy previously explained it to me, I didn’t believe that it could be done. I know a little bit about electrical signal theory, and I was thinking, ‘There’s no way you can do that; it’s not going to work!’ And so when I actually heard it—and we put things back and forth in mono and made sure that nothing was canceling out—I was ecstatic.
“One of the biggest complaints, especially when you do a lot of rock music, is that the kick drum is sucking the whole mix up in the mastering process,” he continues. “So if you can bypass and then choose the frequency of that bottom octave from hitting the program compressor and just let the limiter deal with it, the difference is amazing. It affords a much better and more transparent mix.”