A personal dream to bring state of the art recording facilities to the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre has led producer/engineer Rafael Hauck to invest in PMC MB2 XBD monitors for his new studio, Audio Porto.
The monitors have been installed in the facility’s main control room, which links to five recording spaces including a large live room with a fibre optic internet connection for live streaming. Audio Porto also has a second, smaller control room and a 250-capacity lounge area with a stage for live gigs, presentations, courses and events.
Rafael Hauck chose PMC monitoring after hearing the MB2 XBD system at Metropolis in London and subsequently visiting PMC’s facility in the UK for further demos.
“I was immediately hooked,” he explains. “It didn’t take long for me to realise that this system was exactly what I wanted for Audio Porto. It is, without doubt, the most revealing system I have ever heard. The speed at which the low end speaker physically reacts to changes in the programme makes the system sound very precise – at any SPL level. The low end transience is phenomenal.”
Audio Porto’s PMC MB2 XBD monitoring system was supplied by Carlos de Andrade’s company Visom, which distributes PMC in Brazil. It is currently set up for stereo in Audio Porto’s main control room, but it can also be mounted in a surround configuration, either in the control room or in the facility’s largest live room where it can be used for cinema mixing.
“As a producer, I have always want to feel the sound as well as hear it, but for that to work well the speaker must not distort at higher output levels, which is often the case with other setups,” Hauck says. “With this system, you get even faster, cleaner mids and highs and it remains non-fatiguing. The mix is maintained perfectly, even at high levels. The same can be said for stereo, being the best I have heard anywhere. The balance is just so consistent with this design. The mid and highs are so well integrated they provide a phase coherence that is the best I have experienced on this type of array.”
Located in a 3,000-square meter building where Hauck’s family used to operate a Christmas decorations factory, Audio Porto is a commercial facility that can tackle recording, mixing and post production. Alongside PMC MB2 XBD monitors, Audio Porto’s main control room houses a Euphonix CS3000 console, Pro Tools and Pyramix. The facility also has an extensive collection of new and vintage microphones, outboard gear and instruments including a 1949 Steinway piano, a 1958 Hammond B3, and an array of analogue synths and electronic drum machines.
Hauck’s interest in recording stems back to 2000 when he was the guitarist in a band and went into a local studio to record the band’s first album.
“I started engineering at the studio and had the opportunity to work with local artists such as Luka, Armandinho, Yamandú Costa, Frank Solari, Ney Lisboa, Renato Borgheti, Da Guedes and Pauliho Fagundes,” he explains. “I also engineered live shows, which eventually led to me working as stage manager and/or translator for visiting international artists such as Jamie Cullum, Lauren Hill, Billy Paul, Easy Stars All Stars and Ziggy Marley.”
In 2005, Hauck opened his own studio but put it on hold in 2008 when he moved to London to study audio engineering and production at SAE. On returning to Brazil in 2011, he started work on Audio Porto – a massive project that still has some way to go before it is deemed finished.
“The studio takes up 900 square meters of the building and, in time, I aim to transform the remaining space into a collective hub and cultural centre for local artists and content creation start ups,” he says. “Porto Alegre is in the south of Brazil, in a state that borders Uruguay. This is Gaucho country and Gauchos are incredibly musical. Italian and German influences make their music very different from anything else you hear in Brazil and as a result they have built a self-contained music industry in this region. Audio Porto aims to service that industry as well by offering the best tools on the market.”
Recent Audio Porto clients include Grammy Award winning engineer Moogie Canazio who was recording a project with composer Vitor Ramil, a local artist from a well know Gaucho family. Other clients have included local Jazz bands Marmota and Delicatessen, Paulinho Fagundes, the band Samba e Amor, a single by Comunidade NinJitsu and a project for electric guitarist Frank Solari and his all-star band featuring bassist André Gomes, drummer Kiko Freitas and guitarist Carlos Maratu.
The construction work on the studio has inevitably impacted on Hauck’s own music projects, but recently he has managed to work on a live DVD by Comunidade Nin Jitsu, featuring the late Chorão from the Brazilian band Charlie Brown Junior and B Negão from Planet Hemp. He has also mastered the four main tracks on Derivacivilização, an album by Ian Ramil that won the Latin Grammy for Best Rock Album Sung in Portuguese.
Giving his final word on Audio Porto’s monitor system, Rafael Hauck says: “I love my PMC speakers. They have made working even more pleasing than it already was and have given meaning to the whole of the investment that we have put into this facility. Congratulations, PMC!”
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.