Cups 'N Strings from An Industry Leader
Surround Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Restoration and Archiving all Under One Roof

Pictured in Cups 'N Strings new control room are (L-R) Doug Nolan, DNS owner and Bruce Maddocks, Cups 'N Strings owner.
Photo by David Goggin

Cups 'N Strings Studios, launched in 2002, has expanded its facility designed to accommodate growth and diversification. The studios is now one
of the busiest recording and archiving centers in LA, and recently opened its new Cobaltt Mastering suite. "We have found a tremendous demand for
re-mastering onsite and decided to build this dedicated room," says founder and 30-year mastering veteran, Bruce Maddocks.

Maddocks' studio combines cutting edge digital technology with vintage analog gear, providing a critical listening environment and the tools for today's high resolution production and post-production. The studio relocated to Woodland Hills in Fall 2008 from Santa Monica and continues to offer voiceovers, surround mixing, mastering, post-production, as well as restoration and archiving services in a variety of analog and digital formats.

Recent projects at Cups 'N Strings include audio archiving of several TV series from the 80's and 90's, selections from the Steely Dan, REM, and Nirvana catalogs, various Hawaiian recordings from the 60s - 90s for the Mountain Apple Company, catalog recordings of Ray Parker, Jr. ("Ghostbusters"), Cheryl Lynn ("Got To Be Real"), and Steven Greenberg ("Funkytown").

Bruce Maddocks with (from L-R) an Otari MX-5050 2-track-1/4track recorder; Otari MTR-12 4-track / 2-track recorder; Pro Tools HD-3 rig; Ampex ATR-102 2-track recorder; Otari MTR-90 MK3 8-16-24-track recorder; Otari MTR-90 MK 2 8-16-24-track recorder. Photo by David Goggin.

Adjacent within the new facility is DNS Digital Post, which has formed a strategic alliance with Cups 'N Strings. DNS offers both offline and online TV and film post-production, featuring the Avid Symphony with real-time color correction, plus Sapphire visual effects and Boris motion graphics. Three additional Avid bays are available for rental or with DNS staff editors.

"Basically, we can now offer true one-stop video and audio post," explained Bruce Maddocks, Cups 'N Strings founder and chief engineer. "DNS can prepare all video assets offline, assemble edit lists, pull the shots together and then Cups can add any voiceovers, other sound elements, and prepare the audio mix. Then DNS does the online work, color correction, audio layback, and final output."

"With Cups 'N Strings right down the hallway, we eliminate messengering tapes back and forth across town for audio fixes," remarked Doug Nolan, DNS owner/editor. "This can literally save days on a project with a tight deadline. We are also fully networked here for easy and instantaneous swapping of files."

Maddocks adds, "The client can have an entire project completed here very efficiently and once finished, we can upload everything to our FTP site through our T1 lines, or deliver by traditional overnight services or couriers."

Utilizing his 30-year experience as chief engineer at top studios nationwide, Maddocks' studio combines the best of cutting edge digital technology with vintage analog gear, providing a critical listening environment and the tools for today's high resolution production and post-production.

Recent projects at Cups 'N Strings include audio archiving of several TV series from the 80's and 90's, selections from the Steely Dan, REM, and Nirvana catalogs, numerous Hawaiian recordings from the 60s - 90s for the Mountain Apple Company, catalog recordings of Ray Parker, Jr. ("Ghostbusters"), Cheryl Lynn ("Got To Be Real"), and Steven Greenberg ("Funkytown").

Equipment includes:
* Lindberg Blue M laboratory grade mechanical convection oven for tape baking
* Fostex E-2 2-track recorder with center track time code
* Otari MTR-12 mono NEO Pilot recorder
* Fostex R-8 quarter inch 8-track
* Otari MX 5050 MK3 8-track
* Tascam 424 MK3 Portastudio 4-track cassette deck
* Custom-built headstack assemblies for all reel-to-reel audio formats
* Full Dolby A and SR noise reduction
* Full DBX Type 1 Noise reduction
* Mass Ingestion cassette rig for simultaneous loading of multiple cassette tapes
* NTSC and PAL sync generators
* Lynx Timeline synchronizers

Assets are recorded to the Pro Tools HD-3 or Nuendo digital formats for storage and future uses.

Combining the best of cutting edge digital technology with vintage analog gear, Cups 'N Strings offers a critical listening environment and the tools for today's high performance audio delivery. The studio is available with Maddocks at the board, or as technical guarantor of projects booked.

The Studio
The control suite houses Sony's DMX-R100 automated digital console, Maddock's custom built monitor system, Hafler Trans NOVA power amplification, and calibrated Bass Management system. The console has been configured to create 8 channels of digital and analog outputs simultaneously. Mixes can be made to the studio's 2-inch 8-track analog multitrack system or any type of digital multitrack, MO drive, or hard drive recording system. Utilizing the TC electronics Model 6000 "unwrap" software, surround mixes can be easily created from 2-track masters. Mixes can be encoded into Dolby digital (AC-3), DTS, or DVD-A bitstreams.

Cups 'N Strings provides real time audio access to production and post-production companies, recording studios, producers, directors, and talent through a network of over 400 North American sites, and 200 sites internationally. Three-way ISDN sessions can be set up in remote locations for the review of recording or final mix approvals. Video playback is also available with sync locked via SMPTE time code for picture scoring dates. An overdub suite allows voice talent to record live in sessions worldwide. Cups 'N Strings offers a variety of systems using Dolby Fax and MPEG Layer II and Layer III algorithms. The studio use codecs by Dolby, APT and Musicam CCS, ensuring compatibility with virtually any ISDN-equipped studio in the world.

(above photo: by David Goggin)
Maddocks recently appointed Marie O'Connell as Chief Audio Archivist. "With Marie heading the department we now have one of the very best analog restoration and preservation facilities available today." O'Connell has been a pioneer in audio restoration and archiving since 1994, when she supervised preservation of the 20,000 Open Reel Tape (ORT) collection housed at Sound Archives/Nga Taongu Korero in her native New Zealand. More recently, she designed and built the University of Southern Mississippi's McCain Library Studios and was responsible for the preservation of the entire Civil Rights Era in Mississipi Audio Collection. She invented the Isopropyl Drip Machine, an automatic system for treating, cleaning, and lubricating analog recording tape affected with "sticky shed" of the binders used to glue magnetic tape particles to the plastic base material. The sticky shed syndrome goes back to the 1970's when most tape manufacturers made an imprudent decision to change the formulation of the binder. Unknowingly, the new formulation attracted moisture, and eventually enough accumulated to make the tape go "sticky."


L-R: Joshua Case, Peter Case, Mike Meltzer, and Cups 'N Strings owner/chief engineer Bruce Maddocks.
Photo by David Goggin

Cups 'N Strings has won a reputation for superior work in both the analog and digital domains, with a high profile among top engineer/producers like Elliot Scheiner, who called on studio owner/engineer Bruce Maddocks to make the conversions for the upcoming 6-album Steely Dan reissue in 5.1 Surround. When quizzed about his conversion experience at Cups 'N Strings, Peter Case replied, "We recorded on 2-inch 16-track tape for that big, fat, analog sound and Bruce has done a wonderful job of retaining that quality in the conversion to digital for the mixing in ProTools -- the proof is in the sound." Transfers of the analog tape were done from an Otari MTR-90 MkIII to a ProTools HD3 rig and then burned to DVD-R.

Producer Charles Fisher recently completed the debut album by Thibault Durand at the new Cups 'N Strings studios in Los Angeles.
The album will be released on Epic/Sony Music France.
(L-R) Durand, studio onwer/chief engineer Bruce Maddocks, and Fisher. Photo: David Goggin

Asset Digitization
Cups 'n Strings creates digital storage archives for entire catalogues or single masters. During the archival process, Maddocks' staff evaluates the condition of the tape, and make repairs or restoration as needed. Virtually any analog tape track configuration is available: mono, stereo, 3-track, 4-track, all analog tape widths, quarter inch (1/4 track or half-track), half-inch, 1-inch, and different EQ settings: NAB, AES, CCIR, and AME. Analog tapes are played back on a refurbished Ampex ATR-104 recorder/reproducer. Analog to digital conversion is done through an Apogee PSX-100 Special Edition Converter. The digitized asset can be recorded in any format (AIFF, WAV, SD-2), at any bit depth, and on most digital storage media.

Clients have full use of the Media Ventures rooftop patio and stylish Art Deco indoor lounge and kitchen facilities.

Bruce Maddocks
Maddocks began his career in New York at A&R Recording, studying the art of multitrack recording and mixing under such luminaries as Phil Ramone and Elliot Scheiner. His next stop was The Hit Factory, working with a top roster of rock and roll artists and engineers, where he shifted his focus to the technical side of the music industry. It was there that Bruce had his first exposure to the new "surround sound" while doing the technical setups for the music mixes on Paul Simon's "One Trick Pony" motion picture.

In 1980, Maddocks moved to LA and took on technical responsibilities at LA's Record Plant. In addition to his studio responsibilities, Maddocks recorded tours across America in Record Plant's recording trucks and supervised the complete rebuilding of the Scoring Stage M at Paramount Pictures. It was there that Maddocks ventured into audio for film, television, and motion picture scoring, ADR and Foley technology, incorporating both control room and loudspeaker design. Stage M gave sound to many award winning features such as "Star Trek," "Out of Africa," and "Back to the Future," to name a few. During this period, he developed a line of monitor systems for which he received a TEC Award nomination. His speakers have been featured in installations by Dolby Labs and Solid State Logic, as well as the respected Sony Pictures Scoring Stage.

Moving from recording studios to the sound stage, Maddocks joined Sony/Culver Studios where he designed and developed several innovative modular sound and video recording packages for use in both sitcom and motion picture location work. In the mid-90s, Maddocks joined Capitol Recording Studios as chief engineer, where he redesigned and rebuilt the Mastering Suites, the vintage Studio "B" control room, updated the audio paths of all 12 studios, and refurbished the legendary underground live echo chambers.

During his tenure at the nation's top recording studios and post-production centers, Maddocks has participated in numerous Oscar and Emmy Award-winning projects. By integrating his extensive knowledge of sound and music, motion picture/television scoring, and studio design, he has utilized his diverse engineering background to its entirety in the creation of the innovative Cups 'n Strings.

Multichannel Transfers
Cups 'n Strings offers direct machine-to-machine transfers for analog safeties, or format conversion transfers between digital machines, such as DA-88 TDIF to AES or ProTools. Any combination of analog machine format (8-, 16-, 24-track), noise reduction (Dolby A, SR, DBX, K9, Telefunken) or digital recorder (ProTools, Nuendo, Logic Audio, etc.) can be configured. Digital recordings can be made at bit depths of 16 to 24, and sample rates of 44.1K to 96K.

FTP and Internet Transfers
For full bandwidth mastering quality audio, Cups 'N Strings offers FTP transfers via the Internet. Through a secure FTP site, users can download or upload audio files of any type from anywhere in the world, including gigabytes of ProTools files and other DAW proprietary formats. If a mix is needed for instantaneous review, audio data can be converted to the MP3 format and sent to an email address

Contact: Bruce Maddocks

Cups 'N Strings
23281 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills, 91364
Tel: (818) 222 4600
web site: Cups N Strings