Decatur, AL (July 20, 2021)—Engineer and producer Jeremy Stephens has outfitted his Clearwave Recording Studio in northern Alabama, in operation since 2001, with a pair of passive ATC SCM12 Pro monitors.
Stephens, who spent 23 years as an assistant engineer with legendary Southern Rock producer Johnny Sandlin until his death in 2017, has hosted clients including Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell, Lamont Landers, Heartland, Drop Diver and others at the facility.
“On forums, people always talk about how different monitors ‘sound,’ but I learned not to care about what they sound like,” he said. “What matters is how well they translate. I remember my first experience listening to a mix I did on the radio. I was so excited! I was waiting for it in my car, but when it came on, it sounded terrible! So disappointing!”
Now Stephens has been working with ATC monitors. “I heard they sound great and translate well, and I took the plunge,” he said. Because he already had a beloved ’90s-era Crown audiophile reference amplifier and a relatively small control room, Stephens opted for the passive ATC SCM12 Pro monitors, the smallest boxes in the ATC monitoring lineup.
“Of course, the ATCs sounded fantastic out of the box, but I tried to ignore that,” he said, having been burned too many times by “great sounding” monitors that didn’t actually do their job. “I initially listened to work I had already completed. Some things popped out immediately — the kinds of things I could have fixed had I known about them. The sound stage was huge, and it was easy to discern what was working and what wasn’t working with the panning.”
But the real test came in the months afterward. Stephens enjoyed recording and mixing on the ATC SCM12 Pros, and he was pleased to discover that his work translated beautifully to everything.
TransAudio Group • www.transaudiogroup.com