Rafa Sardina is one of the most in-demand producer/mixer/engineers in the country and over the course of his storied career he has scooped up no less than eleven Grammy Awards for his work with the most successful artists in the world. Several years ago, Sardina opened his own commercial studio, ‘After Hours,’ to provide his elite clientele with a creatively inspiring environment where they could access the best equipment in the world, with Sardina himself at the helm. Antelope Audio‘s clocks were among the core ‘building blocks’ of “After Hours’ technical infrastructure.
“I have been experimenting with many clocks over the years and now use Antelope Audio exclusively,” says Sardina. He recalls the first time he was introduced to the company’s studio clocking devices: “I was doing some movie scoring sessions and needed to use different sampling rates on the same clock because some of the composers had started the project using different sampling rates. The Antelope OCX-V was the only box I could find that could simultaneously lock into different sampling rates.” Sardina liked what he heard. “I was blown away and purchased it right away.”
After his initial ‘honeymoon period’ with Antelope, Sardina then began experimenting with Antelope’s atomic clocking technology and soon purchased the Trinity / 10M combination. Since then, he has never looked back and says difference it has made in his studio is ‘absolutely audible.'”You really have to compare clocks side by side to hear the difference. And after you first hear it, you realize that the Antelope clocking technology is superior.”
Sardina currently has an Antelope Audio Trinity / 10M combination in his main studio, in addition to two OCX-Vs that he uses in his Pro Tools rig and a separate B-room upstairs. For Sardina, the Trinity/10M combination adds another dimension to the audio. “People tend to concentrate too much on preamps and EQs when upgrading their studios, but for me, great clocking makes all the difference,” Sardina observes. “Acoustics, speakers and clocking are the three most important ingredients in getting a great sound. Make these the number one investment in a studio, and it will completely change your world.”
As for the sonics of the Trinity/10M combo, he says this “opens up the soundstage for everything. You can always feel the wideness of the track with Antelope. You can’t hear this width when using inferior word clocks.” He says his Trinity/10M also makes the sonic image more defined across the frequency range: “I feel a more defined low end with less distortion, and a greater openness in the high end,” he says. “Antelope’s clocks opened up my eyes in many ways.”
Oftentimes, investing in clocking technology may not be the most popular choice when upgrading a studio – but not for Sardina. “When artists ask me for advice when setting up their home studios, they are always surprised when I am not hyping the latest preamps or converters. Instead, I am talking about speakers and clocks. This is because it is most important to know what you are listening to.”