Acclaimed audio mastering engineer Bob Ludwig last week was honored by Data Conversion Systems (dCS) as the first recipient of its Legends Award presented in conjunction with the 147th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York City.

Ludwig, who was dubbed “a mastering engineer’s engineer” was recognized for “his outstanding talents and his passionate pursuit of the latest recording technologies,” dCS announced.

This is important to lovers of evolving high quality music presentation, as the award program was established “to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of an elite group of recording, mixing and mastering engineers who strive throughout their careers to deliver the finest music experience possible,” according to a statement announcing the program.

Importantly, the award also underscores the growing trend towards ‘studio quality’ high resolution download and streaming services for music enthusiasts.

“As a pioneer in high resolution audio and a leading manufacturer of digital converters for more than three decades, dCS is proud to provide both consumers and professionals alike with state-of-the-art audio components” stated David Steven, Managing Director of dCS. “Our mission is to continually develop products that bring listeners closer to the music that the artist, producer and engineer intended”.

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In his career, Ludwig has achieved nearly a dozen Grammy Awards for productions that span virtually every musical genre for artists including Babel, Beyonce (surround mix), Brothers In Arms, The Layla Sessions, Morning Phase and Random Access Memories.

In addition to Ludwig, during the coming year the dCS Legends Award is scheduled to celebrate other recording industry icons including: Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Tony Faulkner, Frank Filipetti, James Guthrie, Leslie Ann Jones, George Massenburg, John Newton, Elliot Scheiner, Al Schmitt and Mark Wilder.

To illustrate the growing evolution and support for high-resolution audio and advanced surround sound music experiences being elevated by these individuals, the award ceremony came one day after Sony officially introduced its new 360 Reality Audio (360RA) format that is designed to present expansive surround sound experiences using customized ear-mapping apps that enable delivering music in object-based audio mixes that surround listeners from all directions.

The experience is designed for use with any higher-quality earphones or headphones, and will soon be supported with specially mixed 360RA music selections offered by leading streaming music services including, Deezer, Tidal,, Amazon HD Music, and Live Nation with others to be added going forward.

All of the award recipients receive a limited edition, commemorative version of dCS’ Bartók Headphone DAC (Digital Audio Converter).

Each engineer’s story will be told as part of a year-long global campaign that encompasses a number of potential elements, including both consumer and trade advertising, as well as dealer materials and event signage that highlights album artwork from their Grammy winning titles.

By Greg Tarr

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