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Focal Grande Utopia EM Speakers Key to “Le Lab Mastering” on New Celine Dion Release

‘Le Lab Mastering’ with Focal Speakers

Champlain, NY – May 10, 2010 – Audio Plus Services, the distributor behind Focal Professional and Home Audio products in North America, announced today that Montreal’s “Le Lab Mastering” studio recently mastered Celine Dion‘s new live album “Taking Chances” (SONY) and utilized the full power of Focal’s Grande Utopia EM speakers. Le Lab Mastering is the second studio in the world to install Grande Utopia EM speakers, Focal’s flagship product. The studio opened in July 2009, this is their first mastering project for Celine Dion.

The album was mastered by engineer Marc Theriault, and mixed by Denis Savage, who are also both live mix engineers that have worked with Dion for over 15 years and know her voice and the music in

detail – Theriault is involved in mixing on-stage monitors and Dion’s own in-ear mix, and Savage mixing ‘front of house’ sound.

“I love the Grande Utopia EM speakers,” says mastering engineer Theriault. “They are very transparent. Physically you forget that there are speakers in the room! They are absolutely linear from 20Hz up to 40kHz. When you have vocals, it’s really in front of you: you think there’s a center speaker there. It’s really impressive, you close your eyes and the speakers are gone! Everybody that has listened to them has said the same remark.”

Le Lab features a host of top analog equipment including Dangerous Music, George Massenburg Labs, Shadow Hills, Millenia Media, Manley Labs, D.W. Fearn, Ampex and Studer tape decks, as well as an Oracle Delphi MK VI turntable for the vinyl enthusiast. “We do mostly analog mastering here at Le Lab,” Theriault points out. “We have lots of analog gear, the Celine Dion project was converted to analog from 24/96 digital and then we mastered from that. The mix engineer, Denis Savage, gave me music stems and Celine Dion’s vocal separately, so I had full control on her vocal, that way I could EQ the vocal without affecting the music. We used the Dangerous Music 2-Bus analog-summing amp to combine the all the stems.”

“The Grande Utopia speakers can also deliver a serious amount of dynamics, which is a plus when you do ‘live show’ mastering, because you can have the live show level experience to start with. We come from the live music side of the business, so we like SPL. If a client wants to hear something louder, we can do it without any problem. It can play very loud and very clean, it doesn’t saturate. I have played engineer Bob Katz’s 24/96k recording of the Space Shuttle lift off, and it sounds like you’re there. I can get the same SPL from our system as if you are watching the lift-off,” explains Theriault.

Dion’s new CD “Taking Chances” documents her record-breaking world tour with live versions of her greatest hits performed on stage, 25 songs in all, including an emotional finale of the ballad “My Heart Will Go On.” The tracks on the CD were recorded during Boston and Montreal concerts in August 2008. The live recordings are also available as a DVD of the concert, and both are in either French or English. Besides the filmed event, the DVD also contains the 24-bit / 96kHz stereo versions of the songs, which is the “mastered” quality directly from Le Lab Mastering studios. Visit:

Contact Le Lab Mastering through M1207 in Montreal, Canada (514) 843-9000.

About Focal
Since its foundation, Focal has grown to become one of the world’s leading Hi-Fi and professional loudspeaker companies. Headquartered in Saint- Etienne, France, it is now internationally recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacture of drivers for Hi-Fi and professional loudspeakers. Focal is also a pre-eminent designer and manufacturer of for car-audio and pro-audio. The company’s key strength is its complete integration and quality control of the loudspeaker manufacturing process, from the design of speaker driver units, cabinets and crossovers, to the assembly of the finished product. Focal maintains an intense, continual research program and development in speaker driver technologies. Five patents have been registered to Focal since 2003. Please visit: and

About Audio Plus Services
Established in 1979, Audio Plus Services is a leading North American importer and distributor of premium consumer and professional electronics brands. Based in Montreal with U.S facilities in Champlain, NY, Audio Plus has sales personnel located throughout the United States to professionally service their active roster of more than 300 specialty A/V dealers. Audio Plus specializes in products and services for the professional audio and performing musician markets, and the home theater and custom integration (CI) market – both residential and commercial – for North America. Visit the Audio Plus website at or call (800) 663-9352 for more information.

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