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Optimizing the Work Surface in Digital Mastering Studios

This paper describes the conception and design of a new user interface for digital signal processing systems. First, the basic ergonomics of the sound engineer's work surface are analyzed. Then a control interface is developed utilizing computer graphics and a high resolution color display. The main features of the final system are: dynamic SMPTE timecode automation of all parameters including EQ, dynamics and mixing; database management of all user activities, bar code labeling of master tapes for fast retrieval; overflow logging; graphic editing facilities for EQ curves; audio dump to hard disc; and measurement capabilities (FFT and level metering).

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