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Mixer Bernie Kirsh Switches Coasts, Speakers

Recording/mix engineer Bernie Kirsh recently relocated to Florida, and switched to Amphion speakers in the process.

Bernie Kirsh with his Amphion One18 speakers.
Bernie Kirsh with his Amphion One18 speakers.

Clearwater, FL (December 2, 2022)—When recording and mix engineer Bernie Kirsh relocated to Florida to continue working with long-time collaborator Chick Corea and set up a home workspace, he switched to Amphion speakers.

After starting his career at Electric Lady Studios in New York in the ’70s, Kirsh decamped to the West Coast to be closer to jazz pianist and composer Corea, both in the studio and on the road.  In Los Angeles in 1981, he and Corea opened Mad Hatter Studios, which served as Kirsh’s base of operations for two decades until he followed Corea (who passed away in 2021) to Florida. There, Kirsh put together a minimalist home mixing studio.

“I’ve got my own little setup, which is very simple,” he says. “A converter, a laptop and a couple little speakers from a company called Amphion.”

Though Kirsh had retained a pair of trusted speakers from his West Coast studio after his move, relocating to a new workspace made him realize something was missing. “I began to feel like I didn’t have the certainty I needed,” he says. “I was mixing with what I thought I should be hearing rather than what I was actually hearing. A friend suggested I try out Amphion.” Kirsh finally demoed a pair of One18 speakers with a Amp700 power amplifier in his space.

Amphion Loudspeakers Opens New HQ

Delving into his mixes, he found the results from the Amphions promising. “Right away, they gave me the clarity to do what I needed to do,” he says. “I wasn’t guessing anymore.”

In addition to examining works in progress, Kirsh also revisited favorite recordings from other artists and engineers. “With material that I’d heard many times before, recorded and mixed by engineers that I respect, I found that the Amphions were providing me with a wealth of information,” he says. “It really allowed me to hear what the engineer was doing. The ability to hear things clearly makes me secure in any changes I make. I can quickly discern when something is too bright or too dark in the top end. And there’s also plenty of clarity in the midrange.”

The low-end performance surprised Kirsh the most. “Despite their size they deliver plenty of low end for my needs,” he notes. “It’s amazing that the design of the speaker can produce those frequencies so accurately despite the smaller diaphragm. The bass is well defined without being hyped, so I never end up light on bass in my mixes.”