Last month we had an introduction to the concept of MID/SIDE processing using the MASTERIT EQ.  The BRICKMASTER is a PEAK LIMITER so is a logical addition to place after MASTERIT in the processing chain.  BRICKMASTER is based on the excellent algorithms that drive other DAS compressor/limiter class devices such as the DAS1610, DAS2A, DAS660 and COMP AI.  So the first question I asked myself on hearing about the BRICKMASTER is 'what value can this device add to the mastering process' ? 

  • Similar to MASTERIT Equalizer the BRICKMASTER is a MID/SIDE processor, so it works on the ability to process the center of your mix independently of the sides (left and right ).

  • BRICKMASTER can be placed after MASTERIT in the mastering chain and can boost the MID or SIDE without the digital clipping that may occur if MASTERIT alone was used.

  • In response to Scope users' needs DAS took particular care with the fidelity of BRICKMASTER including thorough testing to ensure accurate phase alignment and specially controlled harmonic distortion whilst maintaining efficiency.

  • One good application for the BRICKMASTER would be to boost the level of a mix that contains fast transients, where a compressor would not have a fast enough response time to cut the peaks without distortion.

  • Another application would be to boost the SIDE signal more than the MID signal to achieve a wider stereo mix.


For comparison and convenience, BRICKMASTER allows you to set up to four 'Scenes' for instant recall
  • Set up your initial values with the 'A' scene selected.
  • Select the 'B' scene and experiment with different values. 
  • If you don't like the 'B' scene settings you can instantly revert back to the 'A' scene settings and so on using the 'C' and 'D' scenes likewise.

This allows you to listen to the same or different sections within your mix, experiment and perform quick listening comparisons to find the best of up to four scenes.


  • PRESETS.  Select this button to open presets.

  • BYPASS.  Select this button to bypass BRICKMASTER.

  • TOP.  Select this button to set the BRICKMASTER above all other windows except the Live Bar.

  • CLOSE.  Select this button to minimize BRICKMASTER.

  • PHASE CORRELATION METER.  From 0 to 1 indicates that the signal is in phase.  From -1 to 0 indicates that the signal is out of phase.

  • INPUT LEVEL METER.  See picture to the left.  The input meter shows the level of the input signal coming into the BRICKMASTER device.  Ensure that a good level is present.

  • OUTPUT LEVEL METER.  Features floating decibel level indicators that show the current output level.

  • MID LEVEL.  Adjusts the level of the MID band (center of the mix).  Set the MID level higher that the SIDE level if you want your mix to contain more mono material.

  • MASTER GAIN.  Adjusts the level of the total pre-limiter input.

  • SIDE LEVEL.  Adjusts the level of the SIDE band (center of the mix).  Set the SIDE level higher that the MID level if you want your mix to contain more stereo material.

  • LIMITER.  Set the ATTACK to HARD and the RELEASE to FAST for achieving a higher level without too much distortion.

And remember to set the dither.  If your target media is a CD, you need to set the dither to 16 bits.  To hear the sound of the dither, choose the lowest resolution, and playback the end of your track where the level falls below -60 dBFs.  The sound of a dither is a kind of white noise.


DAS1610 ( to normalize to -0.2 dBFs ) ==> MASTERIT EQ ==> DAS BRICKMASTER

  • Maximum Peak = -0.2 dFBs
  • Dithering Section
    16 /24 bits
    RPDF Dither
    HPDF Dither
    HP2 Shaper
    FIR9 Shaper
  • ABCD Scene Compare Mode
  • Correlation meter

As a test I decided to push BRICKMASTER to its limits.  Here, I mastered a verse/chorus section of the song 'ALIVE' twice.  Once with OPTIMASTER and once with BRICKMASTER.  The OPTIMASTER one is set at levels I might typically set in mastering (and is presented here just to show how the track should sound with minimal 'maximization' treatment).  But the BRICKMASTER one was pushed as far as I could without noticeable distortion, during which it's meter sat at its peak of -0.2 dFBs.
  Alive  (Mastered with Optimaster)  
  Alive  (Mastered with BrickMaster)  

Below is an image of the waveforms in CUBASE 5



Dante September 2010