Swineshead Productions, California, buys DAD AX32 for classical recording and mastering
GRAMMY-nominated recording engineer/producer David Bowles has purchased the recently introduced NTP Technology DAD AX32 AD/DA converter from US distributor plus24. Bowles' company, Swineshead Productions, LLC, specialises in classical music recording but also includes jazz and crossover genres.
The AX32 was used for a recent Swineshead Productions project: Christmas music performed by the Cappella SF choir, conducted by Ragnar Bohlin. This was recorded at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco.
An ultra-high-quality AD and DA converter with versatile connectivity including Audinate Dante IP Audio, the AX32 follows the success of the DAD AX24. The AX32 features enhanced sonic conversion performance, up to 48 analogue audio channels, plus a flexible digital signal interface, routing and distribution structure.
"I used the AX24 two years ago," comments David Bowles. "While I felt it was an excellent unit, it only had eight channels. Since that time, not only has NTP expanded the channel count but, also very importantly, they have introduced an IP interface, which is primarily what I'll be using in my workflow.
"Using the Dante technology for audio over IP means that, with a simple network switch, a whole raft of signals can be routed to two or more different devices simultaneously. As it is, right out of the box, the AX32 has a number of interfaces: not only the IP but also MADI, AES and ProTools. This allows me, without any sort of splitter, to make two completely independent recordings of the same audio signal.
"Now with both the optical MADI and the IP interfaces, I can place the units right next to the microphones so only very short cables are needed. As everyone knows, analog signal degrades with increasing lengths of cable.
"When I tried out the DAD AX32 in June, I was working on two live recordings. I set them up as stereo, with only two microphones. My outboard mic preamp has split outputs so I was able to route two outputs through my current setup, then two outputs through the DAD. I recorded these at 192 kHz and then compared them at home. I then brought one of my clients in and just gave him an A/B comparison. We both picked the AX32. It was simply clearer. The imaging was a lot better. The previous A to D converter I used was very good but now sounded coarse in comparison.
"I've been listening to a lot of my projects, simply using the D to A conversion of the AX32. Again, there are many improvements. I am able to apply some very subtle changes in mixing and processing, and hear the results immediately. Because the AX32 is something I can take on the road, I can have the same setup at home as on location, both for recording and for monitoring."
The optional Dante IP interface allows third party Dante-enabled equipment from more than 140 manufacturers to be connected to the AX32 via Ethernet. Audinate's Dante Controller is a free application that enables users to route audio and configure devices on a Dante network. With automatic device discovery, one-click signal routing and user-editable device and channel labels, setting up a Dante network is simple and straightforward.
"Combining the Dante IP interface in the AX32 with Audinate’s Dante Virtual Soundcard means that the unit has a wide variety of applications for recording, and also for editing and mastering," David Bowles adds. "I have tried the Virtual Soundcard on three different editing workstations, where it worked flawlessly. After I get back from my next location recording trip, I'm going to try it on a fourth one."
Housed in a compact 2U chassis, the AX32 is designed for use in no-compromise audio recording and mixing as well as post-production. It allows large multi-microphone arrays to be accommodated without the need to transport a second processor. Up to 48 microphone feeds can be connected back to the control room along a single Cat 5 cable via fully transparent and uncompressed IP Ethernet. The optional microphone preamplifier provides up to 72 dB of analog gain, 123 dB dynamic range and an equivalent noise floor of -133 dB. The AX32 comes as standard with interface for Avid Pro Tools and eight AES/EBU and MADI inputs and outputs. It can optionally be fitted with a Dante IP audio interface and two optical MADI interfaces.
Major users of DAD audio converters include Abbey Road Studios, Acoustic Recordings, Alchemy Mastering, Bauer Studios, Benny Andersson's RMV Studio, Classic Sound, CMC Studios, Collegium Records, Danish Radio, Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, DEX Mastering, DPA Microphones, Echopark Studios, Galaxy Studios, Hana Music Montreux, Helsinki Music Centre, Lindberg lyd, Magne Furuholmen, Master Touch, McGill University, Moscow Music Conservatory, NDR Hamburg, NHK, NRK, Opéra de Dijon, QVC shopping channel, Real Sound, Royal Danish Opera House, Royal Opera House London, Sidney Opera House, SK Works, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, SoundWorks/Jeff Sheridan, Spanish Radio, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Stock Fish Records, Swedish Radio, Telarc International, Timbre Music, Ultimo Productions and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra.
DAD and NTP products are distributed in America exclusively by Hollywood-based plus24, www.plus24.net
About Swineshead Productions
David Bowles formed Swineshead Productions, LLC (www.swineshead.com) as a classical recording production company in 1995. Bowles-produced and engineered releases have been named Record of the Month - Editor's Choice by Gramophone Magazine, MusicWeb International and Opera News; and Record of the Year by the New York Times (three times), the New Yorker, American Record Guide, Miami Clásica and Classical Candour.
As an educator, Bowles is a guest lecturer at New York University’s Tonmeister Seminar (Steinhardt School of Music) and at Peabody Recording Arts & Sciences (John Hopkins University). He was Visiting Professor of Recording Arts at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Bowles is on the AES board of governors and member of NARAS P&E Wing and SPARS.
About NTP Technology
NTP Technology (www.ntp.dk) produces high-reliability audio routing and signal processing systems for major international broadcasters, audio mastering and editing studios. NTP products are integrated into television and radio stations as well as production centres, post production facilities and outside broadcast vehicles. Based in Copenhagen, NTP is part of Dan Technologies Group, one of Europe's leading suppliers of audio, video, transmission products and digital media solutions.
Contacts for further information
Newsmedia support: David Kirk, Stylus Media Consultants
NTP Technology A/S: Mikael Vest
NTP Technology A/S, Nybrovej 99, DK-2820 Gentofte, Denmark