A unique approach to both Mastering and Mixing

Pic by Michael "Smasha" Pollard

ToKwerX is a unique studio system configured by Anthony Norris over the past 14 years. Indeed 'ToK' refers to this as a "hybrid" system, sharing the audio between both digital and analogue domains in order to obtain the very best results. Once in the analogue domain audio does not re-enter digital until the very final digital capture. This avoids quantization errors applied by the PCM digital conversion process by exiting and re-entering the digital domain repeatedly.

Mix and Master digital conversion is carried out using the incredible DSD (Direct Stream Digital) sampling protocol. Mastering has been the focus of ToKwerX until recently, when the advent of analogue summing brought the benefits of large-format consoles to smaller facilities. This has expanded the sonic possibilities of hybrid systems such as ToKwerX to produce a final mix comparable to that only previously attainable on consoles. Venturing into final mixes for release was not a step lightly taken by Anthony at ToKwerX, having an immense appreciation and acknowledgement for the history of analogue engineers using classic consoles. Until the late 1990's Anthony had only mixed on large-format analogue consoles such as SSL, NEVE & MCI.

Reviews of Stevie Paige's "Welcome to the Bigtime" (2010), the first full album Mixed AND Mastered by Anthony at ToKwerX state this: "Wow! I popped the CD from this Australian singer and guitar player in and was immediately taken aback by the great sound." - Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL USA.

One of the benefits in teaching and researching these aspects of Sound Production at RMIT University here in Melbourne is a constant re-appraisal of one's own approaches and techniques. Audio engineering is an art form and a technical practise, taking years to achieve the heights of historically great mentors in the field. As with musical performance and composition this field has the engineer in a constant state of learning and self-development.

Transient

ToKwerX is excited to embrace the higher definition standards of DSD digital conversion developed by SONY & PHILLIPS for the SA-CD format. "Direct Stream Digital" offers a conversion quality superior to the current PCM method and has been reported "as close to analogue as digital gets" by developers and engineers alike. Final Stereo capture from analogue to digital is carried out by the newly released DSD convertors/recorders by KORG featuring sample rates of 5.6MHz and dynamic range exceeding the current 24bit PCM capabilities of 144 dB Full Scale; DSD delivers approx. 150 dBFS. This not only allows ToKwerX to produce improved digital capture of the analogue signal but offers the client a unique form of archive for each Mix and Master at a sonic fidelity never before made available, far exceeding the CD-DA quality of currently released products. This ensures that current projects can be re-released once future media advancements are embraced by the music industry and the public with no limits or restrictions.

Welcome to ToKwerX, where your precious audio is treated with utmost respect and fidelity.

"Quality is not a random event" - Anthony "ToK" Norris