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Ian Cross Picks Barefoot Sound for New Janet Jackson Album

Leading producer/engineer Ian Cross, known for his work with Usher, Gwen Stefani, and Jessica Simpson, has embraced the Barefoot Sound MM27 monitors for his latest project with Janet Jackson. When the Barefoots are not traveling around the world to accommodate Jackson’s touring and recording schedule, they rest atop his vintage API console in Los Angeles.

“When I first heard the Barefoots,” says Cross, “I noticed how controlled the low end frequencies were, and how connected the low end was to the rest of the spectrum. It’s a speaker that does everything a near field monitor should do, but it has that extended low end and it’s not coming from a corner of the room, it’s not bouncing off everything, it’s focused and coming right at you.”

Ian Cross was born in Nepal while his parents were working for the U.S. foreign service and the international school system. His father pioneered the introduction of radio to the remote locale, and while there Cross learned about music not through records and radio, but from local musicians. After the family moved back to Philadelphia when he was eight, Cross pursued a music career and as a teenager his band, Briklin, was signed to A&M Records.

The producer/engineer who worked with Cross and his band was Grammy-winner Neil Dorfsman, known for his work with such artists as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. “Neil taught me a lot and he inspired me to want to make records. He was so good at what he did, that I started to think about music in a different way.”

Fast forward to Cross’ move to Los Angeles in 2003 and his introduction to superproducers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who immediately recognized his talent with Pro Tools for vocal sessions. “I got to sit next to Jimmy for a number of years and he was like the Ph.D. in learning how to get what you needed vocally from a singer,” Cross recalls.

Before settling in with Barefoot Sound, Cross had tried out virtually every brand of monitor in some of the best recording studios in the world. “The music I do, modern R&B music, has a lot of extended low end,” he explains. “That can really wreak havoc on what you’re doing if the studio isn’t properly tuned with the low end and the full range of frequencies. Most subwoofers are just an afterthought in a recording studio. They absolutely just stick them in there to make somebody happy. It drives me crazy.”

Cross is presently working exclusively with Janet Jackson on her forthcoming much anticipated album, her first since Discipline (2008). He describes Jackson’s reaction to Barefoot Sound: “I started playing a song called ‘I Get So Lonely’ and she stopped me and said, ‘Where is the low end coming from?’ I said, ‘The speakers, that’s what you’re listening to.’ She said, ‘Those speakers are the only thing we’re listening to right now?’ I said, ‘That’s just the speakers.’ She was instantly sold.”

In addition to working with Barefoot monitors at his own studio in L.A., Cross travels the world with Janet Jackson, his Barefoot monitors, and a mobile studio comprising Pro Tools HD Omni, API Neve, API compressor, a vintage 1962 Telefunken Ela M 251, and a Tube Tech CL1B compressor.

“I feel the Barefoots give us the most accurate representation of what we’re doing at any time. It doesn’t leave me or Janet with any second guessing. There is something special when the artist you’re working with is really, really comfortable with the way their voice sounds. I can tell you Janet’s voice sounds completely marvelous on these speakers. I feel like before Barefoot there was no speaker that really presented her voice correctly, because she has so much detail, even when you’re around the 11 or 12K range that makes her voice really special. Yes, I think it’s the happiest she’s ever been. It’s certainly the happiest we’ve ever been with monitoring and listening to the music we’ve been working on.”

Read the entire Ian Cross interview and learn more at the new Barefoot Sound website:

Learn more about the Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27 monitors at :

Barefoot Sound was founded by Thomas Barefoot with the goal of creating a new breed of studio monitor. While project studios were sprouting up all over the world, filled with outstanding gear, yet with limited space, Thomas Barefoot recognized the need for a speaker that could transcend the traditional distinctions between nearfield, main and mastering monitors. Translating effortlessly and never requiring second guessing , Barefoot Sound monitors are recognized throughout the music industry as multifunctional masterpieces. By creating one studio monitor that fits into a small physical space with leading edge technology and astounding clarity, Barefoot has set a new standard. Handcrafted in the USA.

For more info visit: tel: 503. 894. 8602