Scott Hull Mastering/Classic Sound
211 West 61st Street
New York, NY 10023
Scott Hull learned long ago the power of creating a brand. By thetime he had struck out on his own, establishing Scott Hull Mastering atClassic Sound in 1999, the high number and status of the recordingartists, producers and engineers who had sought out his expert audiotouch over the course of two decades at other facilities assured thesuccess of his own studio.
“I like the fact that people know me and associate the name withquality sound,” says Hull, who mastered the 2000 Grammy-winning Albumof the Year, Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature. “But what Ibelieve is just as important–and what has had every bit as much todo with success as technical talent–is the fact that throughout mycareer in mastering, I’ve wanted to get to know my clients asindividuals and their music as the artistic extension of theirpersonalities. That’s how you can give a mastering client the best workpossible. It’s also why I purposely designed a facility that people canfeel comfortable and intimate in.”
Scott Hull Mastering’s two studios–a mastering suite and aproduction/edit room–were designed by the renowned Walters-StorykDesign Group and were later modified to accommodate Hull’s choice ofDuntech Sovereign 2001 monitors, which are powered by Cello Performanceamplifiers. It’s a combination that Hull describes as”beautiful-sounding and wonderfully accurate.” Hull was also one of thefirst engineers in New York, in 1990, to acquire and master the SonicSolutions digital audio workstation, which is used heavily for digitalediting work. However, Hull says, the heart of the mastering process isthe custom-built Manley analog mastering console in his main masteringsuite; it’s supported by a wide array of vintage analog andleading-edge digital signal processing equipment.
In addition, Scott Hull Mastering shares facility space with ClassicSound’s other division, Lazarus Engineering, Tom Lazarus’ leading NewYork remote recording and post-production company. The relationshipoffers additional technical and creative synergies to Hull’sclientele.
“One of the things to know about New York is, there is a great dealof specialization here,” Hull explains. “Talented people choose tofocus on something and become true experts at it. That’s the way I liketo look at the media business in New York–as a pool of resourceswith a depth of knowledge and expertise that cannot be found anywhereelse to this degree.”
That perspective is what governs Hull’s outlook on new mediatechnologies and formats. The facility is increasing its complement of96/24-capable equipment (while keeping the best of the analog, ofcourse), yet Hull clearly sees his specific niche in the evolvingframework of new media. “With formats like DVD and SACD coming to themarket, I keep very up to date on them,” he says. “But I believe thekey is that I see myself as the expert resource for the audio componentof new media. There are others who can provide great video and computersolutions. I don’t want to diffuse the core specialty of this facility.We are about audio–the best audio–and that’s it.”
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