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Stardelta Audio Mastering Upgrades With Active PMC Speakers

Housed in a former church that has been completely renovated, Stardelta now boasts a fully active PMC MB2S XBD-A speaker system

By PSW Staff April 9, 2015

After a year of building and redevelopment, mastering engineer Lewis Hopkin has moved Stardelta Audio Mastering into a new home even deeper into the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon in Biggleswade, UK.

Housed in a former Victorian Baptist church that has been completely renovated, Stardelta now boasts a fully active PMC MB2S XBD-A loudspeaker system.

“I had PMC monitors in my previous studio but as I was moving into a much larger room it made sense to invest in a larger system,” he explains. “On the recommendation of John Goldstraw, of Hathor Audio, I bought the MB2 XBD-A System because it is more suited to the space I am now working in. Due to the larger number of LF drivers in this system, the speakers have to work less hard to produce the SPL and this results in lower distortion and a more effortless presentation of low frequencies. The detail and response of this system is exceptional and fills the room with a very wide sweet spot.”

With more than 20 years’ experience as an engineer, Hopkin set up Stardelta with one primary goal – to provide artists with an a service that gave them the best masters possible in terms of processing quality with a firm belief in analogue methodology and practice. Its was highlighted at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this year where all but one of the tracks nominated in the Dance Recording category was mastered by Hopkin, including the winner, Rather Be, by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. Lewis has also mastered 18 UK national chart number one singles, several number one albums and top 40 hits. All on his beloved PMC speakers.

“We attract projects from right across the musical spectrum, and from both major and independent record labels,” Lewis Hopkin says. “We are always busy, so it was difficult having to shut down while we moved into the new facility. Since re-opening at the end of January, I’ve been working flat out trying to catch up. It was a pretty major undertaking making sure that everything was up and running to my exacting standards from the word go.”

The new facility was designed by Thomas Jouanjean, head of Belgian-based Northward Acoustics. Hopkin was particularly keen to use Northward Acoustics due to their design policy and attention to detail at all stages. The room is designed using the Northward ‘Front to Back’ Design philosophy. This, says Hopkin, gives a controlled and accurate acoustic space but with a natural feel. 

Alongside its PMCs, Stardelta Audio Mastering is also equipped with SADiE workstations, Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel converters, a Neumann cutting lathe, a Maselec mastering console and a wide range of other processors chosen for their sound quality. The building has been extended to incorporate a reception area, an anteroom, a separate central machine room and a new second floor, which houses the Stardelta/Deltadisc offices and another similar size studio based around a 24 track Studer A800 for Hopkin’s own use.

“There is scope for live vinyl cuts and all sorts of other delights with this configuration; let’s see what the future holds,” Hopkin says.

While it would have been easy for Hopkin to stay in his old facility, the opportunity to build something special in an old church that needed saving was just too good for him to resist.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he says. “Starting a studio build from the foundations up is really the only way to cut out any possible compromise. The results speak for themselves.”



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