Los Angeles-based engineers and producers gathered at media production and publishing house mediaHYPERIUM
Studios (Torrance, Calif.) for an all-day and night celebration of the studio's new API Vision console. mediaHYPERIUM has purchased the first Vision large-format, analog multichannel surround mixing console in the United States, making them a complete Direct Stream Digital/Super Audio CD studio capable of recording, mixing and authoring DVD/SACDs.
Award-winning studio owner Herbert Waltl (pictured at the Vision console), who has produced hundreds of records and DVDs, has a long-standing relationship with Philips Electronics. "We started with DVD-Video authoring and, with the introduction of SACD, mediaHYPERIUM Studios was established to specialize in recording both formats," Waltl said. "Our success hinges
on experience and development of a set of standards for obtaining the optimum quality in these high-resolution formats. We recently started using Philip's new ProTECH software-based format converters [PCM/DSD and DSD/PCM] along with their full set of SACD authoring tools. In addition to our API Vision Console tracking/mixing room, we have two other rooms for DSD/SACD editing and DVD-Video authoring."
When asked about choosing the API Vision, Waltl said, "We were looking for the best-sounding console specifically built to record and mix surround. In a prior studio, we had an API Legacy console [Serial #1] and it had a wonderfully warm sound! We were determined to get that same sound again and we got it with the Vision. The API Vision surround mixing console was conceived and built from the start to
do both surround recording and mixing; of course, terrific stereo mixes, too! With superhigh-resolution DSD music productions, any distortion or coloration added by equipment or software processing is immediately noticeable. Every element in the signal chain and its design must be scrutinized and evaluated in terms of its affect on the product's final sonic quality.
"It became evident that in combination with DSD, SACD
or any hi-res audio, you need an analog console," he continued. "The API Vision's simple, straightforward, fully discrete design transfers all the emotional impact of the music. It doesn't filter it out like PCM processing or as some other consoles would. One of the great things about the new Vision console is that it incorporates all the famed API studio gear—mic pre's, compressors and gates; gear that can be found in the top recording studios worldwide. Our API Vision console has 64 channels and 128 inputs. There are two motorized large faders per channel and each fader has its own discrete surround panning. I love that there is no need to patch any channel to get full 5.1 panning."