Studio DMI, a private facility that focuses on mixing and mastering electronic music, has incorporated a range of Prism Sound equipment, including a Lyra 2 audio interface that is being used to record mixes and A/B two different sound sources.
Based in Las Vegas, Studio DMI is owned by European Music Market, which also owns two publishing companies and an entry level entertainment service company called Weebang. EUMM also operates The Studio at The Wynn, a high-end recording facility in The Wynn Casino Hotel that is made available to producers and artists performing at The Wynn’s venues.
Ronnie F Lee, CEO of EUMM, says: “Studio DMI is more than a studio – it is a concept based on the engineer lifestyle and creative process. Literally speaking, we have combined the word ‘studio, which means study in Italian, with DMI, which stands for digital music innovation.
“The basic philosophy comes from the heart, soul and mind of Luca Pretolesi, who is the creative side of our business and handles all the engineering and training of our engineering associates. Luca has 25 years’ experience of producing, performing, mixing, mastering and pioneering electronic music. This has given him a very unique grasp on the EDM industry.”
The choice of Prism Sound equipment was taken by Pretolesi after he visited the Winter Music Conference in 2013. He opted for a Prism Sound MEA-2 equalizer, an MLA-2 compressor and a Lyra 2 audio interface, which he installed in Studio DMI along with a new Maselec MTC-1X stereo mastering console.
“The MTC1 serves as the brain for the entire studio. It is like the hub between the mixing and mastering process,” Pretolesi says. “Even before mastering, it acts as a great way to monitor multiple sources with no latency or added colour, check mono compatibility and side information—and it is all done with one finger. During mastering, it is also great to have the ability to flip between inputs, mid/side information and add parallel processing with just your hands. It allows you to make changes very quickly using only your ears rather than a mouse and your eyes.”
Pretolesi adds that, based on his 20-plus years of experience, the Prism Sound MLA-2 is by far the most transparent and musical compressor he has ever heard. “You can really get it pumping but it doesn’t color the sound,” he says. “I usually use a low ratio with a slow attack but it is very versatile and you can do a lot of very versatile compression.”
Pretolesi is also impressed with his Prism Sound MEA-2 equalizer that, like the MLA-2, is mostly used during the final stage of the mastering process. “I usually spilt this into two parts,” he explains, “the top end, which I use for more surgical EQ-ing and the low end, between 40-300 Hz, which gives the sounds a great attitude and weight. The MEA-2 is capable of some very heavy lifting on the low end without losing the transients or the overall sound.”
Studio DMI’s Lyra 2 audio interface plays a bigger role in the recording and mixing process than in mastering. “We included the Lyra 2 because we were looking for a fantastic converter to capture our mixes with the great high end sound that Prism Sound is known for,” Pretolesi says. “However, we also wanted the ability to A/B two sources, which we can do with Lyra 2 because it is a two in/four out interface.”
Studio DMI is now using its Lyra 2 to record a mix while also comparing it to reference tracks. “Non-traditionally, I also use it musically by clipping the input to achieve a certain sound on a lot of my mixes,” he adds.
Studio DMI is primarily Pretolesi’s facility, while the Wynn Studio operated by Studio DMI attracts high profile producers and artists such as Diplo, Lil Jon, Gareth Emery, MakJ and Morgan Page.
“We are currently in the process of creating an educational division to spread Luca’s passion and knowledge about mixing and mastering electronic music,” Lee says. “This will be a unique learning opportunity that targets post graduates from more traditional schools and focuses on application more than theory.
The first 3-day workshop under the Studio DMI.edu brand will run in the first quarter of 2015, in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Courses will be offered in English, with other languages made available later in the year.