Boulder Studio

Above: The Sam Berkow-designed control room is equipped for stereo and surround mastering, including lock-to-picture. (Tim Murphy/FotoImagery)

The Airshow Boulder mastering studio, opened in 2016, is the result of over 30 years’ experience building, equipping, and working in our mastering rooms. Friend and acoustician Sam Berkow (SIA Acoustics) brought his current favorite ideas and solutions, to build the best sounding room we could. We filled it with the tools for stereo and surround mastering using modern and vintage analog, high-resolution PCM, and DSD tools. The studio is a Plangent Processes authorized transfer facility, using custom heads and replay electronics on our Ampex ATR and Studio A820 recorders. Our latest offering is mastering for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), an end-to-end process that assures that consumers have the listening experience the artist approved in mastering. The studio is on a secluded mountain property overlooking Left Hand Canyon and the Roosevelt National Forest, a short 15-minute drive from downtown Boulder, CO.

David Glasser and Anna Frick value the room for its no-compromise stereo and surround capabilities for SACD, film, or stereo recordings. The room’s design, by Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics, was nominated for Creative Achievement in Studio Design in the NAMM Tec Awards 2017 round.

Recorders
Studer A820
Ampex ATR 104
Headstacks for 1/4” full track, quarter track, NAB & DIN 2 track; 1/2” 2, 3, and 4 track playback. 1” 2 Track on request. Choice of replay electronics, including Plangent Processes
Tascam & Nakamichi cassette decks
Sony PCM-7030 and Tascam DA-45 DAT recorders
Tascam DA-98 DSD recorder, DA-88 compatible
Sony PCM-1630 system
Sony PCM-601 F1 format system
Pro-Ject Xtension 10 Evolution turntable

Equalizers
Sontec MES-432C/6
Prismsound Maselec MEA-2
API 5500 and 550m
Pultec EQM-1A3
Weiss EQ-1 MkIII
Z-Sys ZQ-6 surround
Z-Sys ZQ-2 stereo

Dynamics
SSL Multichannel compressor
API 2500 compressor
Maselec MPL-2 peak/high frequency limiter/de-esser
Maselec MLA-4 multiband compressor/expander
Fairman TMC compressor
Weiss DS-1 MKII
Waves L2 limiter

Maselec MTC-6 analog transfer & mastering console
Z-Systems 32×32 AES Routing Switcher

Miscellaneous
TC 6000 w/ Surround Mastering, GML EQ, Unwrap, & Backdrop plug-ins
Lexicon 300 reverb & effects processor
Sony DRE-777 convolution reverb
Weiss SFC-2 sample rate converter
Z-Sys SRC3 sample rate converter
RME-DD192 digital format converter
Z-Sys Z-K6 surround processor
Dolby, DTS & Circle Sound surround processors

Workstations & Converters
Workstations
Sonic Studio soundBlade w/ all options
Sony Sonoma w/ SBM-direct DSD>PCM converter, SACD authoring
ProTools 10 & 11
Wavelab
Plugins include
iZotope RX6 audio restoration suite
iZotope Ozone 8
Sonnox Oxford Limiter & Inflator
Wholegrain Systems Quartet & Trio
Weiss Saracon DSD/PCM sample rate conversion

Plugins include
iZotope RX6 audio restoration suite
iZotope Ozone 8
Sonnox Oxford Limiter & Inflator
Wholegrain Systems Quartet & Trio
Weiss Saracon DSD/PCM sample rate conversion

Converters
Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 2
Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 1
Prismsound ADA-8XR 8 channel PCM & DSD converter
Ayre AD9 PCM & DSD A/D converter
Meitner 8 channel DSD D/A converter
Mytek 8×192 8 channel PCM & DSD converter

Monitoring
Dunlavy SC-V loudspeakers (FL and FR)
Dunlavy SC-IV (C, LS, RS)
Dual Paradigm Servo-15 subwoofers
Ayre Acoustics amplification
Grace 920 headphone amplifier
Grace 905 monitor controller
Mytek and Sony AES metering

Playback Recorders
Studer A820
Ampex ATR 104
(Headstacks for 1/4” full track, quarter track, NAB & DIN 2 track; 1/2” 2, 3, and 4 track playback. 1” 2 Track on request. Choice of replay electronics, including Plangent Processes)
Tascam & Nakamichi cassette decks
Sony PCM-7030 and Tascam DA-45 DAT recorders
Tascam DA-98 DSD recorder, DA-88 compatible
Sony PCM-1630 system
Sony PCM-601 F1 format system
Pro-Ject Xtension 10 Evolution turntable

Monitoring
NHT M-20 monitors and Grado headphones

Restoration Tools
Sonic Studio soundBlade w/ NoNoise and Spectral Repair
iZotope RX6 audio restoration suite
iZotope Ozone 8

Converters
Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 2
Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model 1
Prismsound ADA-8XR 8 channel PCM & DSD converter
Ayre AD9 PCM & DSD A/D converter
Meitner 8 channel PCM/DSD converter
Mytek Brooklyn MQA D/A
Mytek 8×192 8 channel PCM/DSD converter
Lavry dB-4496

Studio Rear

Above: Four types of diffusers were employed. (Tim Murphy/FotoImagery)

Boulder Studio Tape
Above: Airshow’s tape arsenal includes a Mike Spitz-modified ATR100 and Plangent Processes technology. (Tim Murphy/FotoImagery)