Mix engineer Mike Roskelley (pictured), noted for his work with DJ and house music artist Kaskade, recently opened his own studio in Salt Lake City. It features a 5.1 monitoring system with ATC (Acoustic Technology Company) SCM 110A active three-way studio monitors and dual ATC Sub1/15 15-inch subwoofers for the LFE channel.
"I wanted a room and monitors that would eliminate all of the guesswork in what I was hearing," Roskelley says. He has no mixing console, preferring instead to work with Digidesign’s Pro Tools and eliminate surfaces that give off unpredictable acoustic reflections.
Roskelley was concerned about the bass modes that are inherent in even the best rooms, as well as the high-mid and low-mid frequency ranges, and finds that they are often the first victims of smearing characteristics produced by improper acoustic design and poor loudspeaker reproduction.
Using three acoustical software packages to assist in the math for the design of his room, and drawing on his own extensive experience, Roskelley worked to avoid surfaces like glass that add and magnify reflections. The room was designed specifically around the ATC loudspeakers in a standard 5.1 configuration, with three mains equidistant at the front, two mains equidistant at the back, and the dual subwoofers (for added bass presence when desired) on the floor to the left and right.
"I attribute the quality of this listening environment to the monitors working with the room design," Roskelley says.
Roskelley has been collaborating with fellow Salt Lake City resident Donny Osmond on remixing the audio tracks of the popular 1970s television variety show Donny & Marie in 5.1 surround for an upcoming DVD release of highlights from the series. Working between their two studios, Osmond and Roskelley found that the quality of the original recordings—most of them 16-track and 24-track—varied dramatically.
"Another challenge is that many of the original multitracks could not be found, leaving us with only a mono source for a good portion of the cues," Roskelley adds. "Our concern was that seamlessly combining the new surround mixes with these mono cues would be very tough to do without possibly inducing 'whiplash' on the listeners."
To resolve this concern, Roskelley and Osmond chose the Z Systems z-K6 multichannel processor. "After about ten minutes of clear instruction from Bob [Katz], I had a pretty good understanding of how to get around in the box and started experimenting on the mono tracks,” Roskelley says. “It was quickly obvious that this box was going to work for us, and in some cases, the fold-outs from mono to surround were quite remarkable."
Roskelley has been mixing the music tracks, with Osmond doing the rest, including the overall final mix. The first of the planned three DVDs has been finished and sent to mastering, with the other two following shortly.
For more information, visit Las Vegas Pro Audio (the U.S. distributor for ATC) at www.lasvegasproaudio.com.