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Deaf Dog “Hears” With ATC

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.”

For more information on the monitors, visit ATC’s U.S. distributor, LasVegasProAudio, at For more information on Deaf Dog Music, visit