Emily Lazar Takes Beauty Pill's Experimental Pop to New Sonic Heights, Using Antelope's Isochrone 10M Master Clock
Recorded as a Public Art Exhibit Four Years Ago, Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are is Scheduled for Release in April, Mastered at The Lodge in 192 kHz
In 2011, indie band Beauty Pill was commissioned by the Arlington, VA-based Artisphere museum to transform the facility’s Black Box performance space into an ‘active recording studio exhibit’ — a project called Immersive Ideal. The two week long recording session saw the band creating music in a ‘sonic fishbowl’, where they completed tracks for their next album — Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are. The album, which is finally set for release this April on Butterscotch Records, was mixed by Beauty Pill’s lead singer, producer and principle songwriter, Chad Clark at Arlington, VA-based Bastille Recording Services, and mastered by Emily Lazar of NYC’s The Lodge — using Antelope Audio’s Isochrone 10M Atomic Clock, a pair of OCX-V Master Clocks and an Eclipse 384 converter.
The band’s new label, Butterscotch Records, was built on an ethos of ‘quality, fidelity and artistic focus to record making.’ It’s founder, Allen Farmelo, has an unwavering commitment to achieving lush and detailed analog sound on all of its releases. For Beauty Pill’s latest effort, which Farmelo refers to as a ‘masterpiece’ and the perfect amalgamation of live instrumentation and electronic sounds, he knew the master had to be ‘ready’ for high-resolution consumer playback devices, such as mobile offerings from manufacturers including PONO and Astell & Kern.
For Beauty Pill, working with Emily Lazar at The Lodge was ‘a no brainer”. “Emily had mastered our last record, and I loved what she did,” recalls Clark. “Allen was heavily into making this record ‘audiophile’ quality, so we all followed through with that. Emily chose the Antelope converters, because she said they would be perfect for the detail we were looking for in this application.”
“When she printed a 192 kHz master using the Antelope clocking, it just sounded incredible,” Clark continues. “There was a richness and a ‘you are there’ quality that I hadn’t heard before. It was pretty exciting.”
Settling in at The Lodge
On first hearing “Afrikaner Barista”, the first song Lazar heard off of Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, she was very excited about the project. “I was blown away by the song, the mix, the balance, and the level of detail, so I was thrilled to be able to create something for this band in high resolution,” she says.
From the outset, her goal was to be completely aligned with Beauty Pill’s goal, which was to have an intense level of detail, while staying ‘true’ to how the sounds were recorded in the first place. “I decided to use the Antelope Isochrone 10M on this project since I knew this set up would retain as much as possible of the original sound,” Lazar explains. “I used the Antelope Eclipse 384 on both sides of the conversion, and it resulted in a very authentic sound image, full of depth and detail.”
“We had given Emily 176 & 192 kHz mix prints to work from, mixed right off of the API 1608 console Chad used at Bastille,” says Allen Farmelo — who is not only label owner but an accomplished engineer/producer in his own right. “We were mastering for several different formats, including hi-res, and Emily’s converters weren’t giving her the results she was looking for. So she said, ‘Let’s use the Antelope converters for both sides of the conversion’ — and I began jumping up and down because I have been huge fan of Antelope’s 10M clocking technology since the moment it came out.”
“When you’ve got a mix that sounds as good as Chad’s did coming out of the console, you want to do everything you can to make sure that all that great dimension, detail and analog vibe stays in tact,” he continues. “That’s where I think the Antelope clock and converter combination makes all the difference.”
For Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, which Farmelo says possesses all the dynamics and frequencies that are prevalent in the world’s best classical recordings, delivering an immersive audio experience for the listener was a paramount concern. “Sound is holographic,” Farmelo observes. “Our ears hear all around us, and when we sit in front of a great sound system, there is this illusion that things are three dimensional. Some equipment, like the Antelope 10M, make this illusion more authentic, enabling your brain to really fall into the music,” he says.
Lazar, who is working with high-resolution audio each day and has refined her listening skills over many years, relies on her intuition when evaluating audio quality. “For me, it’s a visceral response when it comes to making choices about sound. I immediately know and feel which color I like better and I don’t even have to think about it. In this application, the Antelope just felt better.”
For more information about Beauty Pill, please visit http://www.beautypill.com/. For more information on Emily Lazar and The Lodge, please visit http://www.thelodge.com. For more information on Butterscotch Records, please visit http://butterscotchrecords.net/.