December 12th 2023: The South Korean production team are now using the Prism Sound Dream ADA-128 unit to record albums with some of the biggest names in K-Pop.
Korean composer/production team Mad Soul Child has joined a growing band of discerning professionals who are using Prism Sound’s new Dream ADA-128 modular converter for their audio conversion needs.
The electro-house production team, which consists of Chung Moo Kyung, Lee Sang Yul and Yang Chan Woo, is involved in a multitude of projects spanning albums, films, dramas, advertisements, and documentaries. Established around the year 2000, Mad Soul Child initially scored impressive collaborations with K-Pop superstars such as Jo Sungmo, Lee Hyori and Shinhwa, as well as tackling music for primetime TV commercials for companies such as Etude Cosmetics, Samsung Mobile and SK Telecom. The team have also released their own albums including the 2009 hit LaLaLa, featuring vocalist Jinsil, which led to the group representing Korea at the prestigious CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Nearly every song on the album was eventually used in a TV advertising campaign.
Based in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, Mad Soul Child has a studio equipped with Pro Tools and ATC SCM 45 and KII THREE speakers. Chief sound engineer Jung Moo Kyung says the Prism Sound Dream ADA-128 is now a key part of the team’s recording set up and is proving very useful, especially as the unit’s expansion option card offers ample expandability for analogue outputs.
“That is a significant advantage because it leaves the door open for effortless upgrades in the future, which is gratifying,” he says.
Designed to suit the needs of a wide range of audio professionals, Prism Sound’s Dream ADA-128 is a modular audio conversion system offering up to 128 channels of 32-bit A/D and D/A conversion at sample rates of up to 768kHz. It is both a conversion system and a high-performance, networkable audio distribution and processing system, with a flexible 2RU mainframe that can be fitted with up to 16 analogue and digital IO modules (each of which nominally provides eight input or output ports, or both). Up to four host modules provide bidirectional multi-channel connections to host computers, workstations, networks etc, with the ADA-128 providing free routing between all of these inputs and outputs under detailed user control, as well as a wide range of processing functions.
Jung Moo Kyung first became interested in Prism Sound audio interfaces and converters after demoing the company’s flagship ADA8XR multichannel converter and being profoundly impressed by its sound quality. On hearing that Prism Sound was about to launch the new ADA-128, Jung Moo Kyung decided to wait for the unit to become available and is now delighted with the acquisition.
“Using the ADA-128 alongside the Apogee Symphony Mk2 initially posed some challenges in slot (box) in/out assignment screen interface recognition, which was a bit of a finicky aspect with Pro Tools compatibility,” he explains. “It took me a little time to work it out and get it set up, but once configured it operated with reassuring stability.”
The difference in sound quality between the Dream ADA-128 and the converters Mad Soul Child was previously using have also been noticeable. According to Jung Moo Kyung, the ADA-128 has significantly alleviated issue often associated with Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and plug noise.
“The notable reduction in THD tends to contribute to a more transparent and smooth sound quality,” he explains. “Additionally, during extended processing of plug noise, the equipment appears to substantially diminish the gritty texture typically encountered, by a significant margin. This has been our observation, indicating the superior performance and technical prowess of the equipment in our particular setup.”
Mad Soul Child was one of the first production teams to adopt the Dream ADA-128, sourcing the unit from Prism Sound’s South Korean distributor ANK. Since installing it in their studio at the end of 2022, they have used it on a variety of projects, including new albums for legendary Korean singers BMK and Lee Seung Yeol, as well as music mix and mastering for audition broadcasts.
“The build philosophy of the Dream ADA-128 is captivating, aiming for the zenith of sound quality,” Jung Moo Kyung says. “From the first listen, it evoked a sentiment of ‘this is something different’, especially having experienced a variety of converters interfaced with Pro Tools before. Despite the high price tag of other converters, the digital sound quality characteristic of a slightly dry or rough texture becomes apparent over time. The Prism Sound Dream ADA-128 bestowed an immediate recognition of technical prowess upon the first encounter.”
He adds that the unit also helps to reduce the inevitable ear fatigue that can set in during a long session in the studio listening to high-end digital equipment.
“With this converter you get a fresh sensation as if the demarcation between digital and analogue had dissolved,” he says. “It feels like it has overcome the drawbacks of existing high-end converters and I particularly like the incredibly soft and clear (distortion-free) sound in the mid-range. It’s somewhat exaggerated, but it feels like a revolution in the world of converters. I believe that there may not be a high-end product surpassing this one in the next 10 years.”