Mastering Engineer Bob Katz Awarded U.S. Patent
Nov 7, 2006 6:03 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 rackmountable 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. “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,” says Jeff Sheridan, re-mastering engineer for the project. “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.”