Los Angeles, CA (February 21, 2023)—Ali Shaheed Muhammad, founding DJ and producer of legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, adopted Amphion monitors as his recording and mixing chops improved from working with The Weeknd and D’Angelo and composing for TV.
Before choosing Amphion, Muhammad auditioned monitors with the thoroughness of a crate-digging DJ looking for just the right sample. “It’s really important to audition speakers before you buy them,” he says. “I tried speakers from several major manufacturers, but when I heard the Amphion Two18s, all I could think was: ‘I’ve been looking for these babies for a long time.’”
Muhammad took the Two18s back to his studio–along with an Amphion bass extension system–for a two-week trial period and quickly confirmed his initial impressions. “I could hear what was right or wrong in the mix instantly,” he explains. “There was no guesswork anymore. I knew exactly which tweaks to make to get where I wanted to go. It was an instant overnight homerun for my mixes from the day I got them.”
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Muhammad works in a hybrid analog and digital studio with a separate live and control room. His monitors have become the functional center of his studio life. “My Amphions are the workhorse of my studio for sure,” he says. “There’s an expediency to my workflow that comes about because the speakers are so clear. They’ve helped me move the work along the assembly line a lot faster, even when I’m jumping back and forth between genres like jazz and hip-hop that have very different sonic signatures. And working quickly means that the mix never gets in the way of the process of creativity.”
For Muhammad, the gains in workflow efficiency since working with Amphion monitors have become critical as he and his collaborator Adrian Younge — the composer and producer with whom he co-founded jazz record label and concert series Jazz Is Dead — have become further entrenched in the world of film and TV scoring. “When you’re working on TV shows, the speed of return that’s expected is very quick,” he explains. “They might give you a picture that’s 55 minutes long with 42 minutes of music and say, ‘We need this music in four days.’ So you don’t have a lot of time to spend on the mix. It’s vital that you know what you’re hearing when you’re working at this speed; with the Amphions, I know exactly what’s going on and can decide quickly what adjustments I need to make, so I’m able to get the music done and off to the producers.”