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Studiophile: November 2012

| October 31, 2012

Longtime studio owner/engineer Michael Kolar has upgraded his Chicago-based SOUNDSCAPE STUDIOS with Carl Tatz Design‘s (CTD) acclaimed PhantomFocus System, a monitor tuning protocol that stands above all other possible control room upgrades.

“When you can mix from instinct and taste as opposed to compensating for playback anomalies, the sky is the limit,” Kolar contends. “At the start of spring I was looking at ways I could invest in myself to take my mixes to the next level. At first, I was thinking about getting a variety of high-end stereo bus compressors and EQ’s to strap across my entire mix to give it a more polished sound. Then I was thinking about getting a small-format Rupert Neve Design or Tonelux console. While all these items undoubtedly would help my mixes, it would not fix the problem of having to make three or four mix revisions to get a sound that translated well from iPod to car to nightclub. That’s when it dawned on me that if I get the best possible playback system, the gear I already have will work way better as I won’t have to second-guess myself.” He continues: “This is when I reached out to Carl. From the jump, I was impressed by all the questions he asked. He approached my control room like I approach a mix, we both wanted no surprises. Not only did Carl determine that the room acoustics need improving, but he also improved the ‘feng shui’ of my control room. I think I have the only mix room with a 55-inch LED monitor on a hydraulic lift! All I can say is that it is a true joy working in my new control room. When it’s right on the PhantomFocus System, it’s right everywhere.”

Additional upgrades to SoundScape include: “Carl’s suggestions for modifying the acoustic treatment of the control room featuring a custom version of his CTD Acoustic Lens Modules, plus added LED wall sconces for no-heat lighting/minimal electrical lighting, French wallpaper, cedar wood trim and red velvet acoustic fabric, and the aforementioned 55-inch LED on a hydraulic lift with 8- and 16-bit Nintendo game consoles. Gear-wise, we installed the new Apple Macintosh Pro Desktop tower with an Avid HDX card running Pro Tools 10 HD. We also upgraded the I/O to a brand new AVID 16 in/out converters feeding a SPL MixDream Class A summing amp. We also added a Dramastic Audio Obsidian bus compressor and an Inward Connections ‘The Brute’ optical limiter.”

Nashville-based Carl Tatz Design is an award-winning studio design firm offering design and consulting services to both homeowners and entertainment industry professionals in the areas of: recording studios, monitor systems, home screening rooms.

AT I.V. LAB STUDIOS in Chicago, the Ike Reilly Assassination, including Dave Cottini and Phil Karnats, spent time with engineer Chris Harden tracking and demoing new ideas for future music and a new album. Harden also tracked several other dynamic  sessions . . . Chicago-based band Murley Shertz also recorded new songs at I.V. Lab.

At UPTOWN RECORDING in Chicago they took the technological plunge and upgraded to Pro Tools HD 10.3 and Apple’s new OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system . . . IE’s May Studiophile-featured artist, Thomas Pace sat down for an interview on WXRT-FM (93.1) with DJ Richard Milne and played tracks from Shaking Faith – his latest album recorded at Uptown Recording with engineer Matthew Denny, and mixed by Rob Ruccia.

Hey Studiophiler: To get your studio or band listed in “Studiophile,” e-mail info on who you’re recording or who’s recording you to, subject Studiophile, or fax (773) 751-5051. We reserve the right to edit submissions for space. Deadline for December 2012 issue is Nov. 15. Early submissions are encouraged.

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