archive mastering 10 WEB SIZE.jpg

We have the great pleasure of working in Canada's first and only FTB mastering suite, designed by the brilliant Thomas Jouanjean of Brussels-based Northward Acoustics. The innovative ground up engineering of the FTB design principle achieves the highest standards in room response and translation, providing a highly accurate yet completely natural listening environment(more)  

The room is populated with a mix of our absolute favourite analog and digital equipment, a selection that's been refined, modified and custom built over many years to allow us to do our best work on the widest variety of material. 

Our primary signal chain is built around hands-on analog mastering tools, and it starts and ends with our completely custom analog mastering console.  Designed and built in-house, the console features a completely passive design, with the audio passing through only mil-spec rotary switches and ultra-low capacitance wiring for absolute sonic neutrality. The console enables source and processing path switching, and a passive stepped monitoring section feeds our ATC speaker system.

Vacuum tube equalizers and compressors are patched point-to-point with custom cabling for the shortest possible signal path (no patchbays or unnecessary connections).

Weiss digital hardware units can be inserted as needed or completely bypassed, and conversion is handled by a Merging Technologies HAPI running 8 channels of AD and DA with DSD.  

We place great emphasis on maintaining immaculate analog tape playback capabilities, with a custom Mike Spitz / ATR Services ATR-102 transport feeding both stock and modified transformerless repro amplifiers.

We also embrace DSD as a mixdown format, and are one of only a handful of mastering studios anywhere equipped to handle an end-to-end pure DSD workflow with analog processing options for DSD album release.

Analog and Digital Playback

ATR Service/Mike Spitz custom Ampex ATR-102 with:

- 1/2 inch Flux Magnetics Mastering Series headstack
- 1/4 inch Flux Magnetics Mastering Series headstack
- choice of stock output, or custom transformerless output  
- Dolby 363 SR/A

Virtually any digital audio file format (including DSD) via Merging HAPI DACs

Project Debut III turntable w/ custom phono preamp

Analog and Digital Processing

Gyraf G14 Passive Tube Mastering EQ
Archive Custom "Grand Poutine" Passive EQ
Manley Variable Mu compressor (mastering version)
Weiss EQ1 MK2 DYN-LP equalizer
Weiss DS1 MK3 compressor / de-esser
Waves L2 limiter (hardware)

Digital Conversion

Merging HAPI (8 ch AD/DA + DSD)

Editing and Production

Merging Pyramix
Algorithmix reNOVAtor
Sonoris DDP
Apple MFiT tools


Northward Acoustics FTB mastering suite

ATC SCM150ASL Pro loudspeakers


Dedicated transformer isolated electrical service

Isolated star ground audio electrical distribution

AES, analog, and network patch points in multiple locations for easy client connections