Brian Moritz (L) and Bryan Mitchell (R) with their new Legendary Audio Masterpiece.
Producer/engineer Bryan Mitchell and fellow native Chicago producer/engineer/musician Brian Moritz have teamed up to form BNB Productions Inc., a new company dedicated to artist development, jingle and soundtrack creation, and audio/video recording services. As part of the partnership, the duo is currently in the process of converting a 4,200-square-foot building 60 miles southwest of Chicago into a three-studio facility that will open in mid-July.
The recording and mastering gear comprises a mixture of their own equipment arsenals–including a 60-channel Audient ASP8024 console, Digidesign Pro Tools|HD system, Sony APR24 and Ampex ATR-102 tape machines and copious quantities of classic outboard mic preamps, compressors and processing—as well as a new Legendary Audio Masterpiece with all-Rupert Neve circuit design.
Mitchell recalls, “I had read about the Masterpiece’s AES launch in one of the industry magazines, was intrigued, and called up Billy Stull at the company to see if I could try one out. At the time, I was working with a local rock band called Monkey Paw that had previously done an album with Steve Albini. The band wanted to salvage a few tunes off of the half-inch reels from those sessions and add them to some new recordings that I had done for them. My initial task for the Masterpiece was to create an overall sheen that would both preserve the characteristics that are unique to Steve’s work and ensure that our two recordings were complimentary. The Masterpiece did a magnificent job, becoming that critical audio link.”
Although Mitchell’s first use of the Legendary Audio product was, indeed, for mastering, he believes that the product is too versatile to be strictly dubbed a ‘mastering system’. “There are so many things that can be done with this box; you can really get lost in it,” he says. “Aside from mastering with it, I’ve both tracked and mixed through it and found that whatever I use it on–even simply running signals through its transformers with barely any tweaking–sounds incredible.”
Mitchell continues, saying that, “The level of control on this box is pretty staggering, too. EQ adjustments can be made in super-precise quarter-decibel increments. Sometimes it’s just that tiny little edge that makes all the difference. I really take my hat off to Billy and Rupert. The Masterpiece continues to blow away anybody that’s thinking solely in the digital realm.”