When mastering engineer Glenn Schick found himself missing out on projects in his Atlanta-based studio because he had to attend a high profile awards show in Los Angeles, he realized he needed a new workflow that would allow him to continue his mastering work on the go. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Man, if I only had a portable setup it would be great to knock out a job in my hotel room’,” he recalls. He soon began assembling a travel-ready system based on the industry leading clocking technology of Antelope Audio’s Isochrone 10M and the high-quality output and input of Antelope’s Pure2 Mastering AD/DA Converter and Clock.
Since then, Schick has completely abandoned his old mastering rooms in Atlanta and masters all of his records on the go, including top hits such as Future’s DS2, which recently charted #1 in the United States.
Schick had already been a fan of Antelope Audio clocking from his old brick-and-mortar studio back in Atlanta. “Back then, I was using the Isochrone Trinity and Isochrone 10M in my studio but knew I wanted to incorporate Antelope clocking into my portable rig somehow,” he recalls. When he heard about the new Pure2, it appeared to be the missing piece he had been waiting for. “It’s the perfect combo of a USB interface with a great headphone amp and an interface for the 10M.”
Listening on custom in-ear monitors through the Pure2, Schick has “completely taken the room out of the equation.” The Pure2’s high-end headphone amplifier with dedicated D/A convertor guarantees that Schick is hearing the full breadth of his pristine 10M-clocked audio. Schick also cites the Pure2’s easy-to-use audio engine as another feature that makes it superior to other interfaces. According to Schick, the Isochrone 10M and Pure2 meet his needs so well that they are the only pieces of outboard gear he travels with. “It’s got everything I need and it all fits in a rack bag that I can stuff in an overhead bin and take with me wherever I go.”
Jet-Setting with Pure2
The flexibility of a portable studio allows Schick a unique opportunity to work closely with international artists he might otherwise not engage with. “I’m happy to go see clients; I get to experience new cultures, see new places and sometimes get invited to go hang out with the bands after their shows,” Schick says.
He recounts a recent whirlwind travel experience with Pure2: “I was just in Iceland working with 25 different artists, I’m currently in Thailand, and later this year I’ll be in South Korea working with a bunch of K-Pop producers.” His existing client base is completely onboard with his new approach, and he says the most common response to outcomes on his new portable rig is “This sounds better than the last thing you did for me.” The success of his new approach bears out in his company’s bottom line, too. “This past June was our busiest month in 21 years,” Schick notes, “and as you can imagine our overhead has gone down so our margins are better and our clients get faster service. Everybody wins.”
Older Mastering Rules Need Not Apply
As the music from his new setup is sounding better than anything he has done before, Schick has optimistic feelings about where his career is headed: “I’m doing the best work of my life,” he says. “I’ve mastered thousands of records on this new setup now and the feedback from artists has been positive across the board.” Meanwhile, Schick is not feeling nostalgic about his old studio. “With the clocking and conversion of Antelope Audio I can do everything I need to do as a mastering engineer in the box.” he says. “The new Future record that I mastered is now the #1 record in the country, and it was all done without a studio or a room full of gear.”
Schick might be one of the few mastering engineers on a completely portable rig, but he thinks others will come around to the notion. “I’ve had a few other mastering friends look at me at first like I’m out of my mind,” Schick says. “But what I’m showing them is that with Antelope Audio hardware and the latest plugin technology the old rules simply don’t apply anymore.”