Deaf Dog Music, a fixture on the Chicago recording scene since 1999, has upgraded its Studio A with a pair of ATC SCM100ASL Pro reference loudspeakers. The three-way active mid-field monitor speakers were selected for the facility's large, main control room as a natural complement to the studio's 64-input Focusrite analog mixing console—one of only eight ever manufactured.
According to Deaf Dog Music owner and chief composer, John Ovnik (pictured), "This is my first set of what I consider bigger mid-field speakers. The imaging is great, and physically they fit in the room real nice."
As Ovnik recounts, he auditioned a number of systems from respected speaker manufacturers before deciding on the ATC monitors, which he experienced firsthand at the Mastering Lab in California. "Doug Sax is a good friend and does almost all my mastering. He took me up to Ojai, and we spent a day listening to his ATCs. I really liked them. They sounded true and natural."
Although originally a commercial music composer, Ovnik says that he has found himself devoting more time to record projects. "I've been doing more work that requires higher sound pressure, and I was thinking that I wanted a three-way speaker, but I never found one that I was comfortable with."
Returning to Chicago, he called U.S. distributor Brad Lunde at ATC's exclusive U.S. distributor, Las Vegas Pro Audio. "Brad sent me a pair of ATCs. It's subjective, of course," he admits, having tried and rejected two competing brands, "but for me, these are the most comfortable. I put them up, and they were what I thought a monitor should be. I mixed a record on these and I loved them."
The ATC SCM100ASLs have performed well since they were installed a few months ago, reports Ovnik. "These speakers have been great, and I've done a lot of mixes on them. I've just completed the soundtrack album [Sita Ram] for a musical for the Lookingglass Theatre with the Chicago Children's Choir. The soundtrack is really interesting. It was the first project that I started and finished with the ATCs. The album came out so they can sell it at the show, and the show's already sold out.
"What I love is recording live musicians in a big room with a real console," he concludes. "I do work in many styles of music, especially while composing for TV. Everything from orchestral works to the most aggressive alternative rock. If I'm composing, I use keyboards to work out ideas. But what I really enjoy is capturing real, organic music while it's being performed."