Atlanta, GA - March 2009â€¦ As Atlantaâ€™s premier professional recording studio, ICON Studios attracts many of the top music artists on the charts today. With cutting edge facilities, including four studios, four lounges, two writing rooms with booths, and an executive conference room among its numerous offerings, itâ€™s no wonder that top artists and producers such as Akon, Jazze Pha, Shawty Red, and DJ Khaled are among the many music industry notables who choose to craft their sound there. To ensure the best possible sound for their impressive roster of clients, ICON Studios recently invested in a new state-of-the-art monitoring system from Equator Audio Research.
Purchased through Atlanta Pro Audio, ICON Studios recently equipped Studio C with a pair of Equator Audio Research Q12 studio reference monitors as well as a Q18 subwoofer. The Equator Q12 monitors are a 2-way active system employing Equator Audioâ€™s Zero Point Reference coaxial design. The monitorâ€™s no-slope crossover approach reduces the mid-range distortion associated with conventional coaxial designs and the CPU that resides inside each monitor handles a host of formidable tasks including matching the transducers, seamlessly incorporating the systemâ€™s crossover approach as well as allowing for comprehensive system control and room compensation. The Q18 subwoofer is the ideal complement to the Q12 reference monitors. It features an 18-inch down firing low frequency transducer with a heavy duty 4-inch voice coil in a bass reflex enclosure that reproduces frequencies down to 16 Hz while delivering extremely high SPL levels.
Studio C is primarily used for vocal tracking and writing sessions. In this room, the producers frequently monitor at a fairly loud volume, so having a monitor system that remains true to the source at all levels was a critical consideration. Blake Eiseman, Head Engineer at ICON Studios, who just completed mixing Universal Motown artist American Yard as well as three songs on rapper Mimsâ€™ new recording â€œGuilt,â€? explained why the Equator Q Series monitors are so well suited for Studio C.
â€œThe Q12 monitors work well in this environment,â€? said Eiseman, â€œbecause they maintain their accuracy even at high volume levelsâ€”where other monitors frequently sound harsh. The Q12â€™s coaxial design really helps maintain the accuracy of the sound. Further, panning and other aspects of the stereo image are very precise. Everything you hear feels like itâ€™s in the space directly in front of you as opposed to being vaguely defined. They really sound great.â€?
While the control rooms at high-end commercial recording studios have been acoustically optimized, that doesnâ€™t necessarily mean theyâ€™re without flaws. Even the finest-tuned rooms can still exhibit reflection problems in front of the mixing console. To address these challenges, Equator Audio offers the Q Series Automated Room Analysis Calibration Kit, an optional software package that features Secondary Reflection Correctionâ„¢ (SRC) software. Eiseman used the automated software when he configured the new monitors in Studio C and has become very fond of its capabilities.
â€œDifferent producers have varying requirements for how they want the monitor system to sound,â€? notes Eiseman. â€œIâ€™ve already tuned the monitors to the room and, most often, this is the configuration that gets used. I tuned the monitors to two specific locations: one is the mix position and the other is the back of the room where the producers typically sit. I can switch back and forth between those two settings. If a particular producer wants something slightly differentâ€”perhaps a little brighter or with a bit more bassâ€”we can very quickly and easily go into the Equator software and make the necessary adjustments. We can even save that configuration as a preset so we can recall those preferences the next time that producer works the room. The process is a no brainer. I was really impressed by how fast and accurate the system is.â€?
In addition to vocal tracking and writing, Eiseman has also mixed in Studio C. â€œIn one instance,â€? notes Eiseman, â€œmy mix room was unavailable and I had to complete two songs, so I mixed them in Studio C. As I started working, I realized the Q12â€™s were really helpful in terms of imaging and listening at a variety of levels. These monitors also have a very large sweet spot, so you donâ€™t have to be sitting directly in the mix position. You can move back and forth a bit and still have nice highs and full sounding lows. These two songs were for the American Yard project and the Equator monitors made it very easy for me to get the mix exactly where I wanted it to be.â€?
Before turning his attention back to his work, Eiseman offered this assessment of the Equator Audio monitoring system. â€œThe short and sweet of it all is that these monitors sound great,â€? said Eiseman. â€œBy using the SRC software, which is so flexible and easy to use, setting these monitors up and getting great results is a piece of cake.â€?
For more information about Blake Eiseman, visit his website at www.binksound.com. For additional information about ICON Studios, visit them online at www.iconstudiosatl.com. For more information about Atlanta Pro Audio, visit them at www.atlantaproaudio.com
About Equator Audio Research
Equator Audio Research is committed to delivering studio reference monitor solutions that overcome the myriad of challenges faced in todayâ€™s production environment. Audible obstacles such as comb-filtering from computer screens and consoles, standing waves, uneven first reflections, asymmetrical speaker placement, and poor low frequency diffusion can easily degrade the listening experience. Equator Audio Research designs products that overcome these challenges. Our products are used daily in mission-critical applications at many of the worldâ€™s finest recording studios. For additional information on all Equator Audio products, visit the company online at www.equatoraudio.com.