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MTSU Adopts Additional Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus Systems

Middle Tennessee State University's Department of Recording Industry Becomes First All-PhantomFocus-Equipped University Program

PhantomFocus System LaserQuad alignment of MTSU Department of Recording Industry Studio A’s Dual 5.1 PhantomFocus Systems

Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) Department of Recording Industry has added five PhantomFocus Systems to support the department’s Bachelor of Science in Audio Production and Master of Fine Arts in Recording Arts and Technologies programs. The department added the systems following the success of PhantomFocus Systems that were installed in the university’s award-winning Studios and E CTD MixRooms in 2013, bringing the total to seven systems campus-wide.

The installations include a Dual PFS 5.1 main and 5.1 near-field in Studio A, a Dual PFS of mains and near-field in Studio B, a PFS and the new Carl Tatz Edition Dual 15-DR800 Workstation by Argosy in the new Mix Lab and the existing PFSs in Studios D and E CTD MixRooms. Monitors enhanced with the PFS are Boxer T4 mains, Genelec 1037C and Event Opal near-field monitors.

Pictured in Studio A, from left: John Merchant, Carl Tatz and Bill Crabtree, in front of the Dual PFS 5.1 mains and near-field monitors and API console

“When it comes to facilities and technology, high-quality studio monitoring is probably the most important thing we can do for our students,” says Bill Crabtree, MTSU Recording Industry Professor and Director of the M.F.A. program in Recording Arts and Technologies. “Installing the PhantomFocus System in all of our studios has been a fundamentally transformative experience for our students and has improved all of our studio courses. Our masters degree students are especially impacted by the precise imaging and spectral balance of the systems. This is a real game-changer for us.”

Carl Tatz, TEC Award-winning studio designer and creator of the PhantomFocus System, says, ““This was our most ambitious PFS implementation to date and required a great deal of customization due to the necessity of having to traverse the existing wire trough locations relative to PFS speaker stand mounting protocols and the need to make the system ‘student-proof,’ so-to-speak, so that the systems could never be bumped out of their LaserQuad positioning.”

Studio E’s award-winning CTD MixRoom with PhantomFocus System. Studio D is a mirror image of Studio E with the same MixRoom technology.

“Monitoring is the window to your work, and that window must be clear, open and true to make the best choices professionally,” says MTSU associate professor and multi-award-winning engineer John Merchant, who also uses a a Dual PFS in his personal home mix room, RedDoor. “With all of our primary studios equipped with PhantomFocus Systems, MTSU now offers students the ability to truly hear what they are doing in high resolution. Even in a short time, the results have been striking: students’ mixes sound significantly better, and they translate beautifully to the outside world. This is a major upgrade for our studios, and we are the only collegiate recording program to offer this to students.”

Find information about Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus Systems.

For information about MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, go to