Located in the small town of Merano, South Tyrol, Italy, Nartan Records is an independent record label and recording studio owned and operated by musician and composer Nartan Savona. Nartan Records’ primary client base is independent musical artists, who are most often released on streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify. Nartan must always ensure his clients’ projects meet the platforms’ latest standards, so he has amassed a collection of NUGEN Audio plug-ins, which aid him with mixing for today’s streaming standards.
Included among Nartan’s NUGEN solutions are SEQ-S, MasterCheck, ISL and LM-Correct, which he uses alongside a variety of equipment. “I like to have a hybrid set up, with hardware and software,” he explains. “I work in the box, then I go into my analog equipment and then back out through the box with digital conversion. So, I start with sound converters and then push through analog gear, like channel strips and valve compressors. After that, I bring it back through my software solutions to ensure a pristine deliverable. The NUGEN plug-ins make it possible for me to not only hear, but also see, where any errors might be and allow me to fine-tune something back to the reference tracks to make sure they work for today’s streaming platforms. NUGEN’s ISL limiter along with its LM-Correct software, for instance, is my go-to method for specifying loudness as recommended by these platforms.”
A longtime user of NUGEN’s SEQ-S software, Nartan was among the many who recently upgraded to the latest version. “The SEQ-S match EQ is the main feature that I like,” he says. “I use it to see the difference between my track and the reference track. The smooth changing of the EQ allows you to just move the wave of the EQ through the frequency, in a non-invasive, soft, linear way. Also, I like that everything is just in phase, so you don’t have to spend time fixing things. Sometimes, when you use plug-ins the phase changes, and then all the work and time you spent perfecting your mix is for nothing. This never happens with NUGEN’s SEQ-S, its linear phase is very good.”
Among the most prominent pieces Nartan has produced are harp and piano compositions. A classically trained harpist himself, Nartan studied at the Milan Conservatory, and he later focused on incorporating technology and digital audio into his stylings.
“When you record acoustic harp or piano, it is very important to get every kind of color and harmonics,” he explains. “It is quite hard to get all of this color and all of these frequencies into the recording. The harp is not a very diffused instrument, so it’s not enough to put a mic or to plug-in a jack. You have to point the microphone into the room, close enough to the instrument to ensure all of these characteristics are well recorded, which is especially difficult in large concert halls. With NUGEN Audio, I can get ‘close’ to it because the software allows me to see where something is missing – which frequency or loudness point.”
Another example of how NUGEN recently helped Nartan was during his work on “Prayer” by Nico Platter. “We decided to test it on a HiFi platform,” he continues. “We went into my friend’s HiFi shop, with all this high-end, expensive HiFi equipment, and ran the master track and found that it didn’t sound quite as impressive as it did in the studio. We brought the track back up in the studio and ran it through the SEQ-S software and changed the areas that we felt needed more work. I was very impressed with the help that this plug-in provided me. It’s very fast and to the point, so I don’t have to spend hours trying to figure out where the problems are and then more time fixing them. SEQ-S just gets you there in no time.”
Following his work on “Prayer,” Nartan also recorded guitarist Manuel Randi’s “Illusion” for his upcoming new album. “Being a small studio here in Italy, you feel like you can’t always compete with the big labels,” he says. “But, NUGEN gives you the edge to really be small and high-end. NUGEN has helped to improve my work. I feel like it is my utility tool, my Swiss Army Knife. It’s amazing.”
Nartan prides himself in his work and his accomplishments. “My joy is to be able to produce and be heard all over the world through digital streaming platforms, from my little hometown of Merano, in South Tyrol,” he says. “This gives me real satisfaction. I like to be here, recording, composing and producing music.”