Avid RM2 by gward
I’ve been mixing on Yamaha MSP5s for the last 6 years but was looking to take my mixing/mastering to the next level. I had been eyeing the PMC range of monitors and after hearing some PMCs courtesy of Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering, that kind of sealed the deal for me and I went on the hunt. I had my heart set of TB2 AIIs or AML1s but the $3899 on up price tags seemed out of my reach. While doing more research I ran across a very favourable SOS review of the Digidesign RM2 speakers designed by PMC. I also read an interview with the designer Peter Thomas at PMC where he talked about the collaboration with Digidesign. He said when they were prototyping, the use of Hypex Class D amps and some new design tweaks in the RM2s allowed them to get dangerously close to the performance of the AML1($10000 at that time) for less than half the price. Essentially they are PMCs through and through with a Digidesign logo on the front.
Now, I must admit that for mostly ego reasons, I was pretty dead set against buying monitors that said Digidesign on the front. But after much rationalizing, mental anguish, and a harsh slap of monetary reality, I found a great deal on a mint pair of RM2s on ebay and decided to go for it.
My first reaction comparing the RM2s to my MSP5s was that the RM2s high end sounded relaxed in comparison. That impression only lasted a few moments until I noticed the difference in the RM2s mids. The clarity and depth I found there was startling, and when switched back the the MSP5s I noticed just how forward they really were in the high end. The highs on the RM2s are so well integrated with the mids that they sounded less impressive at first until you realize that they are just beautifully extended naturally all the way up, and all the clarity is there. The MSP5s sounded very harsh in comparison when switching back and forth and I started to realize why some of my mixes had a tendency towards being darker. I had been compensating for the forwardness of the MSP5s highs.
The low end comparison is perhaps not apples to apples, but the RM2s low end was so clear and there was plenty of it, especially compared to what I was used to. Any issues there mix-wise became instantly obvious and it was easy to delineate between mids and low mid problems. More importantly, across the board, I could hear everything in a complex mixes.
After spending a year with these monitors, here is my take. There are three things that I have grown to love most about these monitors. The first is the balance of what I hear. I am much more confident now in what I am hearing and the decisions I make based on that. I feel like I can make these decision faster than I could before with the MSP5s and I can listen longer with less fatigue and my mixes have take a huge leap forward. I kept my MSP5s because I know them, they make a great second monitor set, and I didn’t know how the transition would go at first. I very quickly realized I didn’t have much to worry about after the first couple of mixes. The second thing I love is the depth that I can hear. I have never heard speakers where I could hear so far into the mix. It is almost like I can see the room the musician is in on well recorded music. Because of this, I have become much more conscious of my use of verbs, delays, etc and how I place things sonically front to back. The third thing I love is that when I hit the dim switch to monitor at lower levels while I work, the low end doesn’t disappear(this is a side effect of the transmission line design). With the MSP5s I would have to bump it back up to get any low end going to check any changes I made were correct. With the RM2s, all the clarity is there, and I can easily hear whats happening with the kick and bass even at low volume. This is huge for the way I work.
Overall, I have been very impressed with the Digidesign RM2s, and these are by far the nicest monitors I have ever worked with.