With seven mastering, cutting and production suites, Future Disc Systems is one of the largest mastering facilities in the U.S. Founded in 1981, the company has built a reputation based on its staff of mastering, production and editing personnel and their dedication to highly integrated mastering systems based on proven leading-edge technologies. They work regularly in a wide range of media, including vinyl, CD and DVD.
All the suites are networked via a Sonic Solutions server system. “The significance of this to our clients is that the central production studio can offload projects from each of the main mastering studios’ hard drives,” explains Gary Rice, president and operations manager for Future Disc. “This capability ensures that the integrity and purity of each client’s project will be maintained throughout every process step for the entire time it’s in the facility.”
Working with a customized Class-A discrete analog console and a combination of analog and digital signal processing gear, mastering engineer Steve Hall has attracted such clients as Alanis Morissette, Chris Isaak, George Harrison, Goo Goo Dolls, Jane’s Addiction, Madonna, Rod Stewart, The Pretenders and Tom Petty. “The technology and the tools required for mastering today’s music are a challenge to keep up with,” says Hall. “But the music still needs a human touch, and my goal has always been to keep the emotion and the excitement in the music.”
Mastering engineer Kris Solem uses a Weiss digital console in a custom desk with onboard analog and digital processing. His talents have graced recordings for Master P, Motley Crue, Spice Girls, Jennifer Paige, Snoop Dogg, Sneaker Pimps and Silkk the Shocker. “I try to learn a little something new every day,” says Solem. “My work mixes traditional methods with pushing the limits of the technology. That little ‘something extra’ is often found where you’d least expect it. You have to understand the medium and be willing to experiment.”
Cutting engineer Kevin Gray has become known as one of the most highly regarded vinyl mastering engineers in the U.S. Working with a customized Class-A Neumann/Zuma disc cutting system, Gray has mastered key club remixes for Madonna, the B-52’s, BT and Cornershop, as well as a long and growing list of major vinyl reissues, including records for Al Green, The Cars, Deep Purple, the Doobie Brothers, The Doors, The Eagles, Paul Simon and Elvis Presley. “It seems as though the obituary for the phonograph record was written a bit prematurely,” quips Gray. “Rap, dance and the audiophile markets are keeping me really busy cutting lacquers. Who could have predicted that?”