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Evergroove Believes in Atmos: Focal in 7.1.4

Evergroove Studio in Evergreen, CO has redesigned its mix room to accommodate Dolby Atmos mixes, using 11 Focal monitors in a 7.1.4 setup.

Brad Smalling, head mix engineer at Evergroove Studio in Evergreen, CO.
Brad Smalling, head mix engineer at Evergroove Studio in Evergreen, CO.

Evergreen, CO (March 29, 2022)—In the past, artists including J Balvin, Soulive and itchy-O have visited Evergroove Studio in Evergreen, CO, about 45 minutes from Denver, but a total redesign of the mix room to handle Dolby Atmos projects is reportedly attracting new interest in the studio, drawing many new visitors to experience the immersive format for the first time.

According to Brad Smalling, Evergroove’s head mix engineer, “The redesigned room sounds absolutely incredible, and so far, every artist who has heard the system has immediately asked me how we can incorporate Atmos into their projects.”

A 20-year pro audio veteran, Smalling has worked in almost every music genre, from hardcore punk to acoustic folk. He first heard an Atmos system at the 2020 NAMM show and was “blown away at how immersive music became.” It immediately sparked a desire to research the feasibility of incorporating it at Evergroove. Two years later, that goal has been realized.

A number of circumstances collided to spur Smalling to launch the Atmos-based redesign of the studio after 15 years of working in stereo, not least of which was reading J Balvin’s testimony for the new format not long after the Colombian superstar’s visit to Evergroove studio.

Focal Augments Alpha Evo Studio Monitor Line

The control room redesign features 11 Focal monitors in a 7.1.4 setup. A pair of soffit-mounted Trio11 Be speakers are at left and right, five Trio6 Be models handle the center, sides and rear surrounds, four Solo 6 Be monitors support the height channels and two Rythmik F18 subwoofers provide low-frequency extension. Lewis Ticknor at Denver’s PMT Audio helped Evergroove demo the speakers, and subsequently got Josh Estock, director of pro sales at Focal, involved.

Smalling says that when he heard a stereo pair of Focal Trio11 Be in his room for the first time, he “fell in love with them immediately. Everyone at Evergroove loves the Trio11.”

Founded in 2003 by Smalling and his business manager and wife, Jenny, Evergroove was originally designed by Wes Lachot. The studio’s clients for mixing, recording and mastering services have included The New Mastersounds, The Barlow, Green Druid, Izcalli, church fire, DJ Bridwell, The Runaway Grooms, Joe Marcinek, and Nobide, among many others.

According to Smalling, “With the announcement of Apple and Dolby’s partnership, combined with our own research, it quickly became clear that Atmos was the future of music—a future we wanted to be a part of. Already, having Atmos isn’t just opening doors—it’s kicking down walls.”