THE STS RECORDING PHILOSOPHY
We receive many e-mails from audio fans all over the world always asking the same question: what motivates us to make such beautiful recordings and mastering’s. Here are our answers.
To begin with, we love music. It is a wonderful way to express our feelings and enables us to communicate with everyone equally. We also love the sound of musical instruments, played in superb acoustic surroundings, where they sound pure and warm. Unfortunately most CD’s, LP’s and Reel to Reel tapes are poorly recorded. Often the microphones are placed too closely to the instruments, causing a harsh sound and a lack of ambience.
To address these issues we started STS Digital twenty years ago. We wanted to do something totally different. The result is our fine selection of recordings from series like: Extended Dynamic Experience, Celebrate the Art & Spirit of Music, Siltech Test Demo CD, The Absolute Sound Reference and many LP’s and Reel to Reel Tapes.
Across all these series and products we give every musical instrument the space it needs, allowing us to hear the original sound in a wonderful ambience. A saxophone will sound like a saxophone and not like a clarinet and a piano will sound like a piano and not a like keyboard.
This is why we choose to record music in the acoustic space of a concert hall or church, instead of in a dead sounding studio with the microphones too close to the instruments.
We use the very best Schoeps microphones and to preserve their fine signals we use gold or silver cables from Siltech and copper cables from Van den Hul. To ensure pristine mains power we have developed our own 6 pack AC Power Block which cleans up the AC current. We patiently judge the sound of the artist’s performance in the concert room using our own hearing and then return to our recording room to ensure that you will hear the same natural sound in your home.
Often this means avoiding close microphone placement. Great care is taken in the mixing and mastering of our recordings. We guard every step in the recording process with our ears, like a wolf in the night.
We even check the results during every step in the production process and compare the playback to the original recordings. We acknowledge that most manufacturers of CD’s, LP’s and Reel to Reel Tapes are reluctant to finance such high grade quality control. That’s where we differ because we enjoy the financial assistance of manufactureres of the best audio equipment. Thanks to their help we can go as far as possible to reach that High End standard.
We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors such as Grandinote, C.E.C., Quintafila, Thorens, Siltech, Sonnet-Morpheus, Trafomatic, HiFi Racks Ltd., Audioquest, Nessie and Meze headphones.
When you enjoy listening to our productions, please remember that we did our very best to bring you the best possible sound. Our goal is nothing less than being the best of the best!
Fritz de With
Please let me introduce myself. I am Fritz de With, founder, technical director and CEO of STS Digital. I’m both an audiophile and a recording engineer, with the knowledge and experience gained from my time as a recording engineer from way back in the 1970’s to the present day. I’m responsible for the A&R and every step of the quality control …. I also produce all the recordings using my own unique MW Coding Process. On the final mastering I collaborate with my colleague Arjan Rietvink from Arjan Rietvink Online Mastering.
In an STS Recording, you will find:
1. The warm sound that each acoustic instrument possesses, and which other engineers often fail to capture.
2. Acoustic placement and identification of the musicians in the recording space.
3. Phase purity of a recording. Both the electric phase (correct cable and fibre connections), and the acoustic phase must be achieved through proper placement of the microphones.
4. Symmetry in the recording; always placing the microphones to achieve an equal division of signals in the left and right channels and avoiding the use of mono support microphones on the extreme left and right.
5. Transparency and clarity in a recording. We avoid producing overly sharp recordings, but instead aim for softness in tone and clarity, in which the 3-dimensional recording-space can be heard.
Hello. I am Netty de With, Marketing and Export Sales Director of STS Digital. I’m responsible for customer-relations and sales to our highly regarded distributors worldwide. I also undertake all Public Relations for STS Digital. You will find me at every major Audio Show we attend. I welcome all visitors to our stand, be they customers, Hi-Fi Dealers or our Distributors.