Belgium-based Galaxy Studio owners Wilfried and Guido Van Baelenhave installed a number of Z-Systems digital routers and processors inits surround-capable production and mastering rooms.
At the heart of the facility’s multichannel Reference Masteringroom, Galaxy has installed a Z-Systems z-64.64.r Detangler Pro router,which ties together all of the digital systems in the room, including aZ-Systems z.Q6 digital 6-channel mastering equalizer and a z.CL6digital 6-channel compressor/limiter. To interconnect the digitalprocessing and playback devices in two of the production studios, theyhave chosen smaller Z-Systems Detangler Pro digital routers.
Staff engineer/producer Ronald Prent said, “The z.64.64 router takescare of all the digital routing for four workstations and all the dCSand Meitner converters, and anything that’s digital. We all use themwith either PC or Macintosh remote-control software, which is prettyhandy, as you can store all the settings. Anything that is EQ’ddigitally or compressed digitally is done with the Z-Sys units. Andwhen PCM material comes in, we go through the Z-Sys to up-sample it. Sothey’re probably in use every day. They are really beautiful boxes,especially because they do 96 kHz.”
The Z-Sys processors join the room’s unique SPL MMC1, an analogmastering console co-developed by Prent that handles the studio’ssteady DVD and SACD output. The 8-channel console features 150dBdynamic range.
Prent continued, “Buying equipment in the digital domain for amastering facility and being able to do surround, which is a key issuehere in the room, is expensive. We decided to choose one system, andeverybody chose the Z-Sys Q6 equalizer because of its superb high-endtreatment. If you use the EQ on high frequencies, it stays very warmand doesn’t ‘digitize’ the sound, as some people say, like some otherEQs. The second reason is that Z-Sys is the only company that makes asensible equalizer and compressor that is controllable over sixchannels. It’s in one unit, so you don’t have problems with latency andclocking. I saw the box about two or three years ago at Bob Ludwig’splace. He said, ‘Listen to the high end. When you turn it up 6 dB, itchanges but nothing goes wrong!’ The compressor is a totally differentconcept than whatever you know in other digital or analog compressors.But if you learn how to work it, it really does its job very well,especially in surround, but also in stereo. I even cascade themsometimes.”