Up Close: Future Disc Mastering

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35 Years of Pioneering Excellence: Established by veteran audio engineer Steve Hall in Hollywood in 1981, Future Disc Mastering’s combination of experience and state-of-the-art technology has made it one of the world’s most respected mastering facilities. It grew rapidly from one vinyl suite to a 6,000 sq. ft. multi-room complex and became an early pioneer in CD mastering; it was also one of the first facilities to embrace Surround Sound and provide DVD authoring. In 2006, Hall relocated to a 40-acre ranch in McMinnville, OR, the heart of wine country, where he raises alpacas when he’s not raising the sonic precision of projects by legendary artists and up-and-comers alike.

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A Varied Clientele: As a young second engineer
at Glendale’s Whitney Studios in the ‘70s, Hall worked with everyone from Barry White and Rod Stewart to War, Blondie, Pat Benatar and the Knack. After embracing CD technology in 1982, Future Disc kept the high profile clientele coming, working on projects like Madonna’s True Blue, Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel, Green Day’s Nimrod, Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking and Alice In Chain’s Dirt. Sur- round Sound projects have included the Band’s The Last Waltz, Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire Live At The Greek, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty. Since moving to Oregon, Hall works mostly via digital files with clients from throughout the U.S. and around the world, including Canada, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico and the U.K.

On The Technical Side: Mastering projects either with an all digital processing chain, a wide variety of analog options or with a combination of both, Hall explains that Future Disc’s goal is to “enhance the client’s recordings to make what they give me feel even better and more exciting to listen to.” The signal path they use is simple, direct and clean. Whether a project calls for running digital at 24-48 bits and 88.2-96 kHz, or through class A analog consoles, the client’s audio is processed in the most exacting way through hand wired equipment using the finest wire and connectors available.

For more information, visit futurediscsystems.com.

By Jonathan Widran