Mastering Engineer Bob Katz Awarded U.S. Patent
Oct 24, 2006 1:30 PM
Bob Katz, inventor, author, mastering engineer, and president of Digital Domain, has been awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office for his circuit design, "Process for Enhancing the Existing Ambience, Imaging, Depth, Clarity, and Spaciousness of Sound Recordings." Better known as K-Stereo and K-Surround, these processes recover lost or amplify hidden ambience, space, and imaging, and generate stereo from mono signals without adding artificial reverberation. So the next time you're viewing your favorite old film on DVD with a re-mastered 5.1 mix, it just may be the patented K-Surround process that brings those sounds to life around you.
Digital Domain manufactures the rack-mountable DD-2 K-Stereo Processor unit with its K-Stereo process plus a two-band EQ and POW-R Dithering. The K-Stereo and K-Surround circuits have been licensed by Digital Domain to Weiss Engineering of Switzerland and Z Systems of Gainesville, Fla. Weiss incorporated the patented K-Stereo process in the Weiss DNA-1, a high-end, multifunctional digital-mastering device. Katz uses the Weiss DNA-1's noise reduction and ambience recovery features in his Digital Domain mastering suite.
Z Systems features the K Surround in the z-K6 Stereo-to-Surround Processor. The K-Surround process takes the ambience in a stereo recording and spreads it across the surround channels. In this manner, the listener is completely enveloped in the recording's natural ambience. Walt Disney Records recently released a limited edition boxed set of music, vocals, park rides and sounds of archived audio as much as 50 years old. Jeff Sheridan, re-mastering engineer for the project said "The K6 was a great help because it didn't squeeze the image, which would've been a problem as we went from track to track. The other thing that was absolutely awesome about the K6 was the ability for the audio to remain mono-compatible. We were very, very happy with the results."
In a career that spans four decades, Katz has recorded and mastered more than a thousand recordings. He has won three Grammy awards and received several more nominations. He's well versed in jazz, classical, folk, bluegrass, progressive rock/fusion, alternative rock, celtic music of Scotland and Ireland, and world music of Spain, North America, and Latin America. Currently he is restoring and re-mastering many classic Fania, Vaya, Tico, and Alegre recordings to CD by artists like Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, and Eddie Palmieri. He's also recorded and mastered over one hundred audiophile jazz, rock, pop, and classical recordings on the Chesky label.
Katz's book, Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science, is widely recognized and respected by educators, producers, A&R executives and engineers in the recording industry. Katz writes a monthly column for "Resolution" magazine, plus has published hundreds of tutorial articles and equipment reviews since 1971. Katz has designed several other digital audio devices, including the VSP Digital Audio Control Center and Jitter Reducer which Stereophile magazine lauded a "Class A listed item."