Originally Posted by mac black
It’s an honour to have you here; I have so much respect for your work which greatly inspired me to take on this crazy business...
I wanted to know which speakers and amps are/have you been using. And also if you ever visited the digital domain which converters have you been using and your thoughts on 44.1, 96 kHz or 192 kHz recordings.
Also how 'high' do you push your mixes if you use a digital master (dat, PT)?
It’s an amazing experience to here your advice and stories.
Speakers and amps first...
Audio Speakers & Amplifiers and volume levels in the control room
Over the years I have been very fussy about the volume levels that I use in the control room. I have always tried to observe the American OSHA sound exposure standards.
I like to test my mixes at a variety of volume levels, and on a variety of different speaker systems. This will make sure that the mix will sound good anywhere. If a mix sounds good at a low SPL, it will sound great at higher levels..... Save your ears, we only get two!!!
For both recording and mixing I currently use Westlake Audios Lc3W-12 speaker systems. Glenn Phoenix of Westlake Audio called me one day and said that he had just finished a new speaker design. He suggested that I give it a serious listen. I was a bit skeptical at first about trying any new music-mixing speaker, but I should have known better than to underestimate Glenn when it comes to an audio-design issue.
Glenn brought a pair of his new speakers to the studio, so I could check them out. When I sat down at the console to listen, I was absolutely amazed! I have never heard speakers with more points of sound-source definition in the left-to-right panorama. In addition, the low end is spectacular! The scale of the soundfield is flawless.
To me, the mixing phase of my music projects is very personal and can get a bit intense. Mixing is the last phase of a project where I can make an artistic contribution to the sonics of the music, so the speakers are extremely critical to the success of the project.
Of course, any discussion of hyper-fidelity loudspeakers would be incomplete without an in-depth look at the amplifiers that drive those loudspeakers, and the wire or cable, that connect the amplifiers to the speakers, and the wire, or cable that connects those amplifiers to their source. In most cases that source would be the monitor output of an extremely high quality mixing desk.
Here’s an interesting little story that explains how I found the monitor amplifiers that I have used for music mixing for the past few years.
Early one morning, my good friend Trond Braaten called me from Fredrickstad, Norway and said that in a week he would be coming to the USA and he was going to hand carry on the plane, a very heavy Norwegian made power amplifier that was going to change my life! I thought to myself, “Yeah, sure.” Up to that point in time, all I knew about Norway could be summed up in four words! “Beautiful Boats, and SALMON!”
I Iearned something. Don’t ever underestimate the Norwegians!
A few days later Trond arrived on my doorstep, huffing and puffing, carrying an obviously extremely heavy box.(They don’t call Trond Braaten the “Norwegian Sherpa” for nothing! - “Sherpa” - Means mountain-climber from northern India, able to carry very heavy objects great disances”)
That heavy box contained a power amplifier that did change my life! I stared at the lettering on the box, and thought. “Electrocompaniet, Holy Cow! What a name! Almost impossible to pronounce.”
We hooked up the amplifier to my speakers. Great sound! Trond was right, my studio life has not been the same since! Wonderfully musical sounding amplifiers! Those amplifiers go with me to every recording project.