Champlain, NY – March 1, 2010 – Originally arriving in New York City to study at Julliard as a composer and pianist, Adrian Carr has had a transformative musical life that led to recording and mixing in various studios in New York, and then to his own studio for acoustic music recording and mixing in 1990. Over the next 15 years Carr developed his skills and contacts that has ultimately led to a passion for mastering. Now located in Montreal, Quebec his company “AC Mastering” recently acquired a pair of Focal Twin6 Be monitors. The move from New York to Quebec was a clear path, having met his ‘wife to be’ who lived there, Carr made the leap and moved his mastering business there as well.
Mastering Engineer Adrian Carr & Focal Twin6 Be
“In 2008 I set my studio up in Montreal. I had sold just about everything in my New York studio and it was
a good thing too, because so much has changed in the music world in terms of software and technology, but there are some things that don’t change, one of them is great speakers,” says Carr. “When I was setting up my new studio in Montreal I had tried a couple different kinds speakers that I wasn’t happy with. Doug from Sound Pure suggested I demo a pair of Focals in my studio to see if I liked them. He said ‘ If you like them keep them, if not, just return them.'”
After so many years of mastering Carr has high expectations for monitoring, “Speakers are critical for mastering because you have to get an accurate picture of what you are listening to, and it has to be very much the same across all types of music, because you have to listen for certain things, what’s there, what’s not there. And a real world image of the sound too.”
The Focal Twin6 Be monitors fit the bill for Carr’s needs, “I don’t want a speaker that’s going to accentuate the high-end, I want a speaker that’s going to be very flat, and really represent what’s there. What’s interesting about the Twin 6 is that they are flat and they are very detailed throughout the range. I find many speakers are good for certain areas of the frequency spectrum, but they are not detailed in all areas of the frequency spectrum. Like they might have a great high-end, so you can really hear if there are any funny things in the mix, clicks or pops or things like that. But in the low mids they are not as detailed. The thing about the Twin 6s is that they are very accurate across the entire frequency range, even by themselves [without a sub-woofer they go down] to around 40 hertz. There’s no other monitor that I know like that, and they work super-great with the Focal subs too. I have the subs set up right next to each Twin6 Be, so they are like a full-range speaker.”
Comparing his past experiences with speakers Carr adds, “In New York I was using Dunlavy speakers, they were about 6-feet high, they were huge, but I had a big room to support them. They were an awesome speaker, but they are not made any more. Each room is different. You really have to find the right speaker for the room. The Twin 6s, for a medium sized room, are just an ideal speaker. You can monitor at different levels without any difficulty. If you want to push them it’s not a problem either, they can handle the level. The speakers are so accurate that I kind of built the room around the speakers!”
“In doing my frequency testing in the room, I set up the speakers and I knew that if there was some anomaly of plus or minus some frequency in the room, I knew it wasn’t the speaker, so consequently I tuned the room around the speakers,” Carr says about the process of refining his mastering listening environment.
“I had auditioned many two-speaker monitors, where you have a woofer and a tweeter, and they were always losing something,” Carr explains. “The Twin 6s are very unusual in design because of the dual 6″ speakers along with the beryllium tweeter. One of the 6-inch speakers is a dedicated woofer, and the other being a mid-bass speaker and then there’s that signature tweeter – so you never lose the detail across the spectrum. That’s one thing that I find about the Twin 6s that really sold me.”
Discussing the translation of the music mastered in his studio to the ‘real world’ listening and systems and feedback he’s getting from customers, Carr says, “I never get something back from the customer because they say it sounds strange. The Twin 6 Be speakers translate very well. What I get from the Twin 6s I know it’s going to be the same, it’s going to work in the car, it’s going to work on my iPod, it’s going to give me a accurate picture. That’s why I say it’s a real-world monitor, because it doesn’t give me something that’s not there.”
Describing some of the recent projects Carr has been mastering he says, “I’ve been discovering Canadian Indie rock music, it’s been really fantastic. Toronto is a very vibrant city, I’ve been getting a lot of business from there. One of my clients is the ‘Blocks Recording Club’ they’ve got new releases coming out all the time. The label is a stable for great Indie music coming out of Toronto. I just did a reggae album for the artist ‘Mr. Dematos.’ Also I’m doing a classical project for a client in New York, duo pianists, sisters Rosie and Toni Grunschlag. We’re restoring tapes of performances that they had done in the 70s and 80s on reel-to-reel tape. We finished the first and second of ‘Remarkable Performances’ – they are historical performances.”
“As a mastering engineer, so many different kinds of music come through the studio, there’s Indie Rock, then there’s the Classical I’m doing for my New York clients, Reggae, and I just did a Thrash Metal band, ‘AAZED’ with producer Mike White out of Wakefield, Quebec. He was just blown away by what I did. As you can see, I use these speakers for a lot of different types of music, and in that way I find the speakers are remarkably flexible. They don’t give me colored sound and work well with just about anything I throw at them!” concludes Carr.
Visit Adrian Carr’s “AC Mastering” website for more information at: www.acmastering.com
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