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Andres Mayo: Set Up for All Things Immersive

Former AES president Andres Mayo recently upgraded his Buenos Aires, Argentina facility for immersive mastering and mixing.

Andres Mayo, left, and Martin Muscatello in their new dual-purpose stereo mastering and 7.1.4 immersive mixing studio.
Andres Mayo, left, and Martin Muscatello in their new dual-purpose stereo mastering and 7.1.4 immersive mixing studio.

“I thought that virtual reality was going to be very big,” says Andres Mayo, past-president of the AES and co-chair of the society’s first Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality (AVAR) conference in Los Angeles in 2016. Six years on, VR hasn’t lived up to those expectations. “But 360 audio is still growing,” says Mayo, who recently upgraded a room at his facility in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for immersive mastering and mixing.

Mayo founded Andres Mayo Mastering in 1992 and in 2017 set up Andres Mayo Immersive Audio. In the five years since, he and colleague Martin Muscatello have worked on Grammy-nominated music albums, product presentations, commercial ads, games and podcasts for a slew of major clients.

“I wasn’t thinking of building an Atmos room yet, so we were working in binaural for a long time,” Mayo reports. At the same time, he and Muscatello were also beta-testing Sennheiser AMBEO, Dear VR/Dear Reality, Facebook 360 and Dolby Atmos products. “It was a natural thing to move into Atmos.”

The upgraded room incorporates Mayo’s big in-wall stereo ATC speakers, which he has been using for many years, with a new 7.1.4 set of Neumann KH Series monitors. “Since I didn’t know how much work I was going to have in Atmos, I wanted to keep the stereo monitor system for mastering. I’m able to switch from one system to the other on the fly,” he says.

Mayo had been using a surround setup of smaller ATC speakers, but after Sennheiser made him a product ambassador at the start of 2021, it was an easy decision to switch to the company’s Neumann monitors for immersive work. “They’re so warm and so natural, with great mids,” he says. “I’m so happy with the way they sound.”

Mayo recently finished a centenary tribute project that he recorded at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires of music by Argentinian nuevo tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

“I’m very happy with it,” Mayo says. “Not just because of our work, but because of what they played and how they played. The recording venue was incredible, so the quality of the recordings is amazing.”