Galaxy Studios Installs Z-Systems Digital Routers, Processors

Nov 13, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Belgium-based Galaxy Studio owners Wilfried and Guido Van Baelen have installed a number of Z-Systems digital routers and processors in its surround-capable production and mastering rooms.

At the heart of the facility's multichannel Reference Mastering room, Galaxy has installed a Z-Systems z-64.64.r Detangler Pro router, which ties together all of the digital systems in the room, including a Z-Systems z.Q6 digital 6-channel mastering equalizer and a z.CL6 digital 6-channel compressor/limiter. To interconnect the digital processing and playback devices in two of the production studios, they have chosen smaller Z-Systems Detangler Pro digital routers.

Staff engineer/producer Ronald Prent said, "The z.64.64 router takes care of all the digital routing for four workstations and all the dCS and Meitner converters, and anything that's digital. We all use them with either PC or Macintosh remote-control software, which is pretty handy, as you can store all the settings. Anything that is EQ'd digitally or compressed digitally is done with the Z-Sys units. And when PCM material comes in, we go through the Z-Sys to up-sample it. So they're probably in use every day. They are really beautiful boxes, especially because they do 96 kHz."

The Z-Sys processors join the room's unique SPL MMC1, an analog mastering console co-developed by Prent that handles the studio's steady DVD and SACD output. The 8-channel console features 150dB dynamic range.

Prent continued, "Buying equipment in the digital domain for a mastering facility and being able to do surround, which is a key issue here in the room, is expensive. We decided to choose one system, and everybody chose the Z-Sys Q6 equalizer because of its superb high-end treatment. If you use the EQ on high frequencies, it stays very warm and doesn't 'digitize' the sound, as some people say, like some other EQs. The second reason is that Z-Sys is the only company that makes a sensible equalizer and compressor that is controllable over six channels. It's in one unit, so you don't have problems with latency and clocking. I saw the box about two or three years ago at Bob Ludwig's place. He said, 'Listen to the high end. When you turn it up 6 dB, it changes but nothing goes wrong!' The compressor is a totally different concept than whatever you know in other digital or analog compressors. But if you learn how to work it, it really does its job very well, especially in surround, but also in stereo. I even cascade them sometimes."

For more information about the gear, visit For more on the studio, visit

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