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Doug Sax Picks ATC Monitor System for New FacilityUses Acoustic Technology?s ATC SCM150A 5.1-channel monitor system (August 24, 2004)
Revered as one of the world's very best mastering engineers his peers and artists, the 2004 Technical Grammy Award-winner, Doug Sax has opened a new two-room studio facility featuring a customized Acoustic Technology Company's ATC SCM150A 5.1-channel monitor system. The new facility, located in Sax' newly adopted hometown of Ojai, 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles, utilizes unique design concepts in the layout and construction of the main studio.
"What's unique about the room is that there's no console in front of the listener," explains Sax, who still maintains his famed Mastering Lab facility in Los Angeles. "There's no console between you and any of the speakers, including the rears. If you have anything between you and the speaker it's going to cause acoustic problems. You have to listen longer in surround. Psychologically it really helps you concentrate, as you're not looking at knobs and meters and all the stuff that might take you out of just listening."
The surround monitoring system, comprised of five ATC SCM150A loudspeakers and an ATC 15-inch subwoofer for the LFE channel, is installed in a decidedly unique front wall, reports Sax. "The front three speakers are not free-standing, they're soffit-mounted. But the soffit is not the full height of the room. We came up with this half wall. It's a unique design and we're really happy with it. It really works because the room feels large and the speakers are really allowed to do what they do."
During his evaluation of the monitors, he relates, "I liked the fact that they seemed to be very coherent. The work ATC has done on the tri-amping and the crossovers really makes them feel like one system rather than three. They have very ample headroom. They sound very much like the speakers that I've been using for years, which we put together ourselves and my brother built in 1968. But they're larger than the ATCs, and I didn't want to build a surround room with speakers that size."
Sax became familiar with the ATC monitors while working with engineer James Guthrie over the years. "For many years James brought in his own ATCs when he mastered at The Lab in Hollywood and I did my first surround sound project at his studio near Lake Tahoe. So instead of familiarity breeding contempt, it bred respect!"
The company was also very happy to work with Sax to integrate some of his own design requests, as they did with Guthrie. "These speakers have been customized for our use," Sax confirms. "The company could not have been more accommodating. I'm using their sub which has been updated with the electronics package that Guthrie worked out with ATC."
The surround project on which he worked with Guthrie was the critically-acclaimed remastering to SACD of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." It was during that project that Sax first got the idea to remove the traditional console from between the listener and the speakers.
"In working up at Guthrie's I had to bring up my own electronics. It was set-up behind me, because I was using my own transfer path. One of the shortcomings of surround sound is that in order to hear the balance of the six channels you have to be in one spot. You can enjoy it in many places in the room, but if you're working on it and trying to make balance decisions, you have to be pretty much where you're supposed to be," he comments.
As Sax begins to bring the new facility online and invite clients to Ojai, he comments, "I've certainly been happy with the ATC speakers. Only a handful of clients have been up so far, as I'm easing into it, and they've been extremely positive. They all feel that it's the best surround setup that they've heard."
ATC's drivers are manufactured in-house to exacting tolerances and are legendary for their many design innovations, such as the innovative SL magnet system and the company's renowned Soft Dome midrange driver, which achieves exceptionally broad and even dispersion to produce a flat response anywhere in the room. Situated in Aston Down in rural Gloucestershire, England, ATC was established in London in 1974 by acoustics engineer and musician Bill Woodman.
About TransAudio Group
TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor for high-end audio. Success hinges on specialized service to the Recording Industry far beyond the norm. TransAudio Recording's product lines include AEA ribbon microphones (USA), ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Brauner (Germany), Drawmer (UK), Geoffrey Daking & Co. (USA), George Massenburg Labs (GML) (USA), Soundelux (USA), SoundField (UK), and Z-Systems (USA).
Related Keywords:Doug Sax, ATC, Monitor System, ATC SCM150A, Acoustic Technology Company, Mastering Lab, surround monitoring system, James Guthrie, speakers,