Rafa Sardina Achieves “Magical Balance” with Augspurger® Duo 8 MiniMain System
There are revelations in one’s career that come unexpected. Discovering the magical balance of the Augspurger® Duo 8 monitors has allowed me to work on so many different styles of music with a single speaker reference,
~Rafa Sardina, 13-time Grammy® winner, Afterhours Studio, Los Angeles.
A close look at Rafa Sardina’s “Tiger Maple” Augspurger® Duo 8 Sub 12 System at Afterhours in Los Angeles. The modest-footprint monitors provide Sardina with 2500 watts of pure Augspurger® power and unequalled performance. Duo-8’s width and depth of soundstage is essential for Sardina’s work in a wide...
More Than Sound: Amsterdam’s famous Wisseloord studio chooses Augspurger®
System tuned via trans-Atlantic remote.
Wisseloord Studios, near Amsterdam, is a world-class recording facility originally built by the Phillips/Polygram Company in 1978. The beautiful five-room complex is among Europe’s top recording destinations, and for good reason. From the standpoint of gear, design, range of services, amenities and vibe, Wisseloord is as good as it gets. That’s why artists like U2, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Sinead O’Connor, Foo Fighters and hundreds more have worked at Wisseloord over the years. It’s a truly staggering client list.
Given the top-level quality of Wisseloord and...
Mastering Guru Alex DeYoung of DeYoung Masters chooses Augspurger® Solo 12MF
Alex DeYoung of DeYoung Masters is a mastering engineer’s mastering engineer. Based in LA, his list of credits is more than impressive, with names like Michael Jackson, Macy Gray, Keyshia Cole, and countless others. The man has golden, wait, make that PLATINUM ears. That’s why when DeYoung was looking to step up the monitoring in his mastering suite, he chose Augspurger®. The system is a simple but elegant one; the Solo 12MF* 1500watt two way system.
While the Solo 12MF’s near-flawless performance specs are eye-popping, what really matters to a...
Check out the web-site of Sonic Architect and new Augspurger® user, Tony Anderson. Tony will be creating aural atmospheres for film on his Duo 8 MiniMain system with 1X12 subs. We are super pleased to have Tony in the Augspurger® family!
Using carefully chosen drivers that are highly-sensitive and can handle high wattage and matching them with audiophile quality amplification with over 3500 watts per channel, it’s no wonder Augspurger®’s reputation for impressive output is known the world over.
We build systems. While dynamics are indeed impressive the more complete story is about making every component to be the best possible expression of its function and form while reaching for the most uncompromising result. Augspurger® monitors retain their clarity and presence, depth and precision at all listening levels. All the parts work together in harmony as true systems.
Augspurger® Monitors brings new MX65-Sub12 nearfield speaker & Atmos experience to the NAMM Show
NAMM Show 2023, Anaheim, CA: Premium loudspeaker manufacturer Augspurger® Monitors, announces its new MX65-Sub12 nearfield speaker at The NAMM Show 2023.
This desktop sized speaker can be used as both a nearfield and main monitor when combined with the Augspurger® Monitors Sub12, and is available with a matching stand that sits between the sub and main, when positioned as freestanding.
Augspurger® Monitors announces its new MX65-Sub12 nearfield speaker (shown in Copper)
The system includes a pair of the Augspurger® Monitors SXE-3D 3-way DSPTune-powered amplifiers with on board DSP control and amplifier outputs for Sub, Mid and High – totaling 3500 watts. Each system can be tuned either in person, or remotely by a certified Augspurger® Monitors tuning engineer.
The new MX65-Sub12 will be available from April 15th 2023, and costs $17,500 / £14,500 / EU 16,500 in standard matte black, without stands, and $21,000 / £ 17,500 / EU 20,000 with custom paint and stands included.
At the NAMM Show, Augspurger® Monitors is inviting visitors to experience the clarity and power of its systems in full Atmos. The 9.5.4 system will feature five of its Augspurger Duo8-Sub212 speakers for LCR, and Rears, plus four MX-65s for side and wide surrounds, and four for height L/R front and back.
The set-up will be powered by no less than thirteen amplifiers and will be connected to a full Dolby Atmos system where special VIP guest engineers including Leslie Brathwaite, EarCandy, Echo, Rich Keller and Roc.Am will host exclusive demonstrations, playing a variety of their recent mixes.
Augspurger® Monitors is showcasing in Booth #15308 in the North Hall at The NAMM Show 2023, April 13-16, in Anaheim, California
About Augspurger® Monitors
Launched in the early 2000s, Augspurger® Monitors uses the latest technological advances in acoustic design and software to provide recording facilities with the most sonically accurate speakers possible. With astounding craftsmanship and high-quality components, coupled with incredible power and precision, Augspurger® Monitors have shaped the signature sound of iconic recording facilities worldwide, counting Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Alicia Keys among its fans.
Augspurger® Monitors is part of the PAD Group of companies, which also includes: Professional Audio Design Inc, Malekpour Design Partners, Studio Float, Jocavi USA, TAD Laboratories & Sontronics.
*Augspurger® Monitors of Hanover, MA is not affiliated with George Augspurger or Perception, Inc.
Augspurger® Monitors to unveil Limited Edition 25th Anniversary ‘Powered by TAD’ system at The NAMM Show
NAMM Show 2023, Anaheim, CA: To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, specialist loudspeaker manufacturer Augspurger® Monitors will unveil its Duo15-Sub1801-TAD — an all-new high-performance, four-way large active loudspeaker featuring TAD Laboratories drivers with DSPtune controlled amplification – at The NAMM Show, 2023.
Augspurger® Monitors 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Duo15-Sub1801-TAD system
The 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Duo15-Sub1801-TAD system shares many features of the Augspurger® Monitors’ flagship Duo series monitors, and includes the newly designed Duo15 cabinet fitted and voiced to the TAD TL1601b 15” Driver and new Sub1801, which has been specifically designed and optimized for the TAD DL1801 18” Subwoofer.
This four-way system uses the TAD TD-4001 compression driver with 4” Beryllium diaphragm, employing TAD’s proprietary vapor transfer process which offers a truly exceptional “natural” performance, and also the recently reissued ET-703a Super Tweeter – TAD’s revered high frequency driver, with performance up to 45khz.
“After 25 years and over 1000 installations globally, we’re thrilled to integrate TAD’s incredible sounding components into our highly-refined systems,” remarks Dave Malekpour, President at Augspurger® Monitors.
“We build to very high standards – from hand selecting the solid maple used in the horns, utilizing the finest components, amplification and driver technology, to our bespoke finishes – we focus on the quality and user pride and experience. This new ‘powered by TAD’ 25th anniversary edition performs accurately from 20hz to 45K, which far exceeds our standard system performance. It really is incredible.”
Each system is individually tuned, either remotely or onsite by Augspurger® Monitors’ own certified tuning engineers. The Duo15-Sub1801-TAD will be shipping from April 13th 2023, available worldwide and in a choice of custom colorways, for $64,000 / £55,000 GBP / 60,000 EU per pair.
The system will be unveiled on Booth #15308 in the North Hall at The NAMM Show 2023, on Thursday April 13, at 12pm local time. For more information and to enquire, please visit https://augspurger.com/
About Augspurger® Monitors
Launched in the early 2000s, Augspurger® Monitors uses the latest technological advances in acoustic design and software to provide recording facilities with the most sonically accurate speakers possible. With astounding craftsmanship and high-quality components, coupled with incredible power and precision, Augspurger® Monitors have shaped the signature sound of iconic recording facilities worldwide, counting Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Alicia Keys among its fans.
Augspurger® Monitors is part of the PAD Group of companies, which also includes: Professional Audio Design Inc, Malekpour Design Partners, Studio Float, Jocavi USA, TAD Laboratories & Sontronics. *Augspurger® Monitors of Hanover, MA is not affiliated with George Augspurger or Perception, Inc.
Pro Audio Design’s David Malekpour Looks to Translate Pro Studio Success into the Hi-Fi Market
As a 36 year veteran of the professional music industry, founder and president of Professional Audio Design, Inc. David Malekpour has come a long way.
“I started working in pro audio for an acoustic designer and studio tech in 1986, then started my original venture, Anything Special, in 1989,” he texts. “I renamed and focused in on pro in January 1993 as Professional Audio Design.”
Since then, he’s produced a plethora of custom studio recording studios for clients that include Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Wu Tang and other recording megastars. Based out of Hanover, Massachusetts, he runs a portfolio of five interrelated companies to service a gamut of the pro and home hi-fi markets with great fidelity.
I met David this past April at AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), which was held in the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL. Reporting for Positive Feedback, I made the following observations of his room:
The Augspurger® SXE 3D 3-way DSP Networked amplifier ($4995) is driving the Augspurger® MX65 Monitors ($10,995) and the Augspurger® Sub 212 ($4250): 2000 watts feed into the sub channel, 600 to 800 watts in the mid channel, and 400 watts into the high horns.
As such, they are rich, full bodied and image surprisingly large. You can hear the grain in Leonard Kohen’s sonorous bass vocals singing “Thousand Kisses,” for example, which envelop the entire hotel room.
A Candid Observation and Uncut Interview
It’s nearly four months later after that original listening session, and during our respective work commutes, I call Dave to advise him that I finally got around to transcribing our lengthy AXPONA interview and its release is eminent, but I need clarification on a few points and photos from his customized studio projects. During our conversation, he observes that in pro audio, people employ the least components necessary to get the job done while audiophiles have a tendency to go way over the top. “In pro audio, you use the minimum tools necessary to achieve a recording with great fidelity,” he says, adding that a carpenter uses a saw to cut wood, but with audiophiles, there’s a tendency to introduce way more into the chain than necessary to achieve accuracy as they seek to sweeten it to their tastes.
“They may use cables or tubes to sweeten the sound, whereas we may employ graphic equalizers in the studio,” he says.
He recalls that one display room at AXPONA showcased a million dollars of equipment and amplification supplying signal to massive speakers with nine drivers each that filled the room with sound, but for all the flourish and bling, wasn’t all that impressive.
What follows is a rare and uncut glimpse into the Pro Audio Design world of Dave Malepour.
DAVID MALEKPOUR I started out originally as a musician, and became a recording engineer in my 20s. And working in a studio, I met a guy who came to fix the studio, and it turned out that he had designed it, and he was an acoustician, and by the end of the night, he’d offered me a job selling the services of his company. It was a real turn on for me because I got to start seeing how studios were created from the inside out, as opposed from a planning, architectural and acoustical viewpoint. That was about 1985.
I worked for him for a few years and decided to start my own business in March of 1989. And combining what I learned from him in design, but also integrating the equipment because, for me, a holistic picture was equipment and the room—not just the room, not just the equipment, but a combination of those two things. So we started off by helping people design their studios, equip them, and it really led me down this great path.
And in 1993, I found this speaker called Dynaudio. They had a pro version called Dynaudio Acoustics, and I was at Happy Roads New Years in London, and I was like, “wow, this thing sounds really incredible,” and it led me on this journey. I ended up being their first distributor in the world in 1993. I brought it to the U.S. and we brought it to studios, and started learning how to tune speakers because they had some really big speakers that used adjustable crossovers. EQ them and we could tune the room, and it was like, “Oh,” now we could make it a reference point that we could repeat room to room, to room.
An Augsp-icious Start
Along the way, a customer asked me to build him a pair of Augspurger® monitors, which was something you could get a design for that you have to build it yourself like a DIY thing. And he said, “Dave, with your ears and the way you tune speakers, if you had this, this might be a great business for you. But I want to get a pair of them, but there’s no companies; you’ll have to make them yourself.”
So, I went out and I built that first pair of Augspurgers®. I guess it was 97 or 98, and that led suddenly to the next studio wanted them, and the next studio wanted them. And Jay-Z put them in 98 or so, and things started to really blow up with that monitor, and next thing you know, I had 35 pairs of big Augspurger® monitors in the top studios of New York. And I realized then that it was no longer a side project and this had to become something more important to me.
We still were making them one here, one there, and by 2010, the Augspurger® brand became something really important to our business, and we launched it as its own company. We created our own amplifier and we had our own drivers made for us.
A TAD Special
When I first started making them, I had TAD components, which is a tie-in to our client life because we became the number one user of TAD drivers in America for our speakers, and flash forward to last year, TAD came to us and said, “Hey, would you take over the distribution of our pro products?” And that was a no-brainer.
On top of it, they said, “Well, we really want hi-fi to live with pro. Could you take on the hi-fi line?” And so that’s sort of how we made the decision to delve into hi-fi with this great legacy brand, TAD, that is incredible.
And then after a couple hi-fi shows, I realized Augspurger®, the speakers that we’re making, were also an interesting product that would also do well. It’s a different flavor. You know, you walk around a hotel with 150 rooms, 150 different speakers, you realize that there’s a place for everybody. So, we felt like a horn loaded, DSP controlled speaker could be interesting.
From the starting point back in the late 80s to 90s, I’ve had this philosophy of looking at the whole thing, like what makes a great sounding room. The acoustics make a great sounding room, the speaker choices, the positioning—every little thing that goes into it. And because I’m a very passionate person, I think that appealed to artists, and producers, and people who are equally passionate about their music. And so that gave us a really special in in the studio world. And today we have over a thousand studios with Augspurger® monitors worldwide, and it seems to be growing because right now in the first quarter of the year, we had more than half of last year in orders in just the first quarter, so that’s like a lot of rhythmic growth for us.
Strength in Diversity
So we have a number of different business units. We have professional audio design. That’s our main core of fundamental business—and that’s equipment, installation, and we take a design approach to the systems. From there, we ended up starting Malekpour Design Partners. That’s my acoustics and architectural acoustics design company.
So we’re designing whole, complete studios, and then broad design equips them with either Augspurger® monitors or whatever the client wants. We’re dealers for hundreds of brands, but our approach is still the same, which is, it’s a systematic approach. So sometimes people still pause and just buy a piece of equipment off a website or whatever, and in our highest position, we do that sometimes in our projects, and that’s what we’re focused on. (You can view a portfolio page of their studios HERE)
And I’ve also branched out into distribution of certain projects—JOKAVI acoustic panels, the TAD brand and Sontronics Microphones—you know, we just found really cool stuff that we love and wanted to be associated with and we wanted to bring to market. We have our hands in a lot of different areas. In fact, we have five separate business units total, but they work together. I like to think of us as modular companies, so someone might find us because of Malekpour Design Partners, or they may find us because of Pro Active Design, now today they may find us because of Pad HiFi Design, and with Pad Hi-Fi, our goal is to bring a lot of our knowledge from pro into the hi-fi world (view their site HERE).
You know, for example, today I just gave a panel for acoustics for a listening room either from the ground up, or correcting–there are so many people that need that help. And so Pad Hifi is going to focus on the distribution of TAD products, Auspurger Hi-Fi products, and the JOCAVI acoustic products focused at the hi-fi user.
JA Joe Cobbie?
DM JOCAVI is a Portuguese company. They make acoustic panels but they also have a predictive acoustics model basis, so let’s say you have your room, and it’s 12 feet by 16 feet with an eight foot ceiling, we could take those dimensions and with a predictive model and know what the room’s going to do—the acoustic signature of the room—and we can then with all the products that they make, we have all those coefficients and can then place them into the room in the right way.
Making Beautiful Music with Aesthetics
And of course, there’s an aesthetic component to that as well. We can pick woods, and colors and fabrics. Aesthetics are really important. It’s how you get your vibe, feeling cool and relaxed—you know, for most people a listening room is a place where most people want to spend a lot of time. Not all of us have enough time. Maybe we work all day, we get an hour or two to listen to something and cool out, so you really want to be comfortable. And so, yeah, we’re focused on that whole picture. Like what’s the room going to sound like, and then choosing the right components is really important, as well.
It’s kind of where I come from and it all started from a passion for music and you know I’ve been a musician since I was five years old
DM I’m a guitar player and a songwriter. I play a lot of other instruments to some degree—and usually just enough to write songs but the only thing I would perform on is guitar—and sing. In fact, I spent years of my life performing three to four nights a week even up to eight years ago.
I was on the road a lot and my wife said to me, “Hey! You’ve got a complicated business, you’ve got your family, and you’ve got this band. You might want to narrow that down to two.”
So I kept my family and I kept my business. I had to move on from playing professionally, but it’s still a passion. I play for the kids in the kitchen, you know when I get a few minutes. That’s how I unwind. So if you can play golf, I’ll play my guitar for the rest of my life.
I still wake up with songs in my mind and, unfortunately, they go to waste now because I can’t turn them into recordings because I don’t have the time.
Who You Know
I think you mentioned my history doing a studio for Snoop Dogg or Jay-Z. Today, we’re finishing a project for Will I Am. And Puff Daddy—we have three rooms we’re working on for him. All these really big mega stars, what happens is once one of them finds you—they’re all friends (and)… .
“Well, Dave did my room.”
“Oh, I need him to do my room!”
So Puff calls and says, “My friend so and so, London on the Track needs a room.” And so we’ve just sort of gotten into this echelon of current Urban bliss and partly because the Augspurger® sound is so powerful and can produce low frequencies down to 20Hz very accurately, so they can get that really visceral, club kind of feeling but have it be very accurate to mix records.
The Right Sounding Stuff
The last thing in a recording studio you want is that the sound is in the speaker and not in the track, right? So what we’re focused on is getting the most accuracy in a recording in line, and that translates now to the living room, so we can take that sound that we’re having in the studio and that accuracy, and give the listener in a home environment that same experience that they have in the studio.
And sometimes in a home environment, we want it to be sweetening as opposed to revealing, but in a studio, we want to hear all the warts so we can get them out, right?
Home versus Studio Sound
In a home environment, we’re not there to evaluate the recording, we’re there to enjoy it. So then we can take that starting point of reference and decide if we want a little more bass, a little more highs, or cut out the mids to really make the room sparkle and shine for every type of music that they’re listening to.
A lot of our work today is on predictive modeling of the room, putting the right equipment in there, and getting the experience to be something that can make your hair stand up. It’s what we’re after, right? We want to feel the music, hear it, have it touch us, and experience it the way the artist intended.
And that’s one of the things with TAD that I love is they have this slogan—”The artistic intent intact”—and I think that says a lot because I think their speakers are also the most truth telling hi-fi speaker I’ve heard. They really translate from my experience in the studio to being what you can hear in your own room. It’s an amazing product.
And the difference of Augspurger® and a lot of other products is that it’s an active system, so the Augspurger® system has a DSP engine in there. So you don’t just buy the speaker, you buy the speaker and it comes with an amplifier that allows us to tune the room using the DSP to share each side with the speakers.
Getting Consistent Curves
And when we’re tuning a room, you set up the speakers with measurement equipment, and I’ll run those measurements, and then I can adjust the system and really get it into shape in almost any way, so I can get the same exact curve in each room, which is really powerful. And especially because a lot of the people I work for are mix engineers that are mixing some of the greatest records of our time (you can view a video on this process HERE)
A lot of our clients are like, ‘This guy has 50 number ones,’ ‘This guy’s got 70 number ones! ‘Ah, this guy’s got 35 Grammys!’ So, you know a guy like Rafa Sardina, who’s got thirty-something Grammys, coming from World Music to jazz, to symphonic to hip-hop—you know, you look at his catalog and these are records we all know—he’s mixing on our system in a room that we tuned. We have that empirical data.
So when I first started, I put up those measurements that I know are the measurements that are relating to those mix engineers, and that’s the starting point that I try to get for our clients in their rooms. Whether they’re a studio or a home, I think that’s really valuable.
I think we have a bunch of complicated bunch of different elements and really what we do now is make sure that we remain focused on the target: making great sounding rooms, bringing companies like TAD and Augspurger® to the market, so people can appreciate them. And just continuing our work to develop really great sounding spaces.
I’m plagued with a million ideas. It’s my blessing and it’s my curse. And fortunately having some success, I’m able to dabble and experiment and find different things that really work for us. And we’re just refining; we’re trying to become the best version of who we are.
It’s an old adage: surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than yourself. I have an incredible team of people—we have 22 people to complete stuff in our different companies, and then a whole range of outside subcontractors and vendor providers that we partner with to provide our customers with a really high level of service.
I think my biggest thing is always just trying to put myself in my client’s shoes, like ‘what would I want?’ because I’m a music lover and I’m an engineer, and I want them to have the experience that I would want to have.
To me, we’re in a time right now where there’s the internet, you click the button and you buy, and people buy stuff and they don’t even know what it’s going to do in their environment. Where we’re helping guide people on the right products for what they want to do, helping them create the room that they want to have, and that’s my mission; just make things sound better.
When I was young, I told my mom that I wanted to have an impact on music with my guitar and my songs, and I didn’t realize the impact that I was going to have on a much greater level to producers, to the listeners, to music appreciators and so forth. That’s the mark I’m looking to make. Is really making the listening experience great whether home hi-fi, studio, or nightclub.
A lot of people don’t realize when they walk into a room that everything around them is affecting what they hear, so we’re really focused on trying to work on that stuff. You know it’s an adventure, and every day is a learning experience and I think that’s what I love the most is that everyday I get to learn something, I get to think of something, apply it to a project, see how it comes out and, because we have this great 30 some odd year experience and a great team, we’re able to kind of know what the results are going to look like; we use predictive modeling for the acoustics, we do rendering for the visual.
Roc’in the Nation with Studio Level Listening Rooms
Like right now, we’re working on ROC Nation Headquarters in New York; we’re building three studios for them. We did five listening rooms for the record label. You know, and if you’re an artist and you just recorded in their studio and you bring your record to the conference room, and it doesn’t sound like it sounded in the studio, they may say, “Hey, keep going back to work!”
So, what we’ve done is we’ve provided those listening rooms with studio level acoustics and sound systems, and they have the same exact curve as the mix engineers and the artists have in their studio, so it translates for the listener. And now we’re going to build new studios for them.
It’s a really exciting project being able to help shape the environment where music is made and then also help shape where it’s being listened to on the hi-fi side. So, that’s my mission.
Arch Audio Records: The Premier Recording Studio & Production House in the Southeast
It’s no accident that when Sony Global was looking for a professional recording studio to record one of their artist, Arch Audio Records (“Arch Audio”) was their top choice. Arch Audio is not just known for the quality of their gear. They are also known for being able to produce and record commercially viable projects of all genres in a relaxing and creative environment.
From helping aspiring artists to create the perfect demo, to working on full projects with more established music industry icons such as Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame Member Willie Kitchens, Arch Audio is no longer the best kept secret in a city that has been aptly nicknamed “Scenic City.”
Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Arch Audio has established itself as one of the premiere recording studios in the Southeast. While cities like Chattanooga rarely have a professional recording facility of this caliber, the vision for Arch Audio was to provide artists with an opportunity to produce and record their records in a world-class recording studio without having to pay over-the-top prices.
At the center of the facility sits the Neve Genesys Black which is one of the most coveted consoles for professional recording studios worldwide. The quest to provide their clients with superior sound quality has catapulted Arch Audio into the same league as Capital Records and other premiere recording studios around the globe.
Apart from having a state-of-the-art recording console, Arch Audio has also assembled one of the most extensive pro-mic collections in the United States that can only usually be found in the larger high-profile studios in Nashville, Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. With their arsenal of top-line gear and an acoustically designed/tuned recording environment, Arch Audio checks all of the boxes for the discretionary recording artist looking to produce and record the highest quality of music possible.
At the helm of Arch Audio is owner/producer/engineer Mark Hutchinson. With over 33 years of audio engineering experience he operates a highly organized and polished operation that consistently provides Arch Audio clients with the most creative, soothing, and quality atmosphere to fully express themselves musically while capturing the highest commercially viable work product possible. Mark has expressed that the studio wouldn’t have achieved a high level of success if it wasn’t for the Arch Audio dream team, which is comprised of five of the most experienced audio engineers and producers that he could find in the region.
In addition to having best-in-class recording gear and staff, Arch Audio is equipped with the following rooms within their recording facility:
Tracking Room A – spacious tracking room featuring a Yamaha C7 Concert Grand piano and multiple acoustic, electrical, and bass guitars for client use
Tracking Room B – large room featuring a Hammond B3 Organ
Tracking Room C – large live room used for practicing vocals and drums
ISO Booth – specifically designed for recording vocals and amp isolations
Control Room – spacious centralized control room which houses the Neve Genesys Black console
Lounge/Green Room – a private, creative and inviting atmosphere for clients to write and relax
By incorporating world-class equipment and pushing beyond industry standards for commercially viable recordings, Arch Audio has consistently served its customers by providing them with the best sound and experience available in a professional recording studio. It’s no wonder that Arch Audio has quickly become a prominent name in the music industry. In fact, the the Arch Audio “experience” is so compelling, that the studio is being featured in an upcoming documentary.
You can learn more about Arch Audio by visiting their website or social media by clicking on the links below:
Top Dawg Entertainment builds new studio complex with the help of Pro Audio Design Inc & You’re Safe Here designer, Summer Walker
Boston, MA: Pro Audio Design Inc., the pro audio and acoustic treatment specialist, has recently completed an impressive new installation at Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in a unique collaboration with interior design specialist Summer Walker of design agency, You’re Safe Here.
Independent record label TDE, was founded in 2004 by CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith – legendary executive and producer of Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and many other TDE artists who have collectively amassed a Pulitzer Prize, 16 GRAMMYs, an Oscar nomination and almost 30 platinum plaques, to name but a few.
Based in Carson, California, the original TDE studio, a one-room recording space at the back of Top Dawg’s house, provided a central hub for (at the time) developing artists Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q and engineer MixedByAli, who spent innumerable hours listening to each other’s work, inspiring new creative ideas, and pushing their limits and abilities.
As the label grew, and success came in the form of hit records and a growing artist roster, the label outgrew the facility and many recording sessions had to be outsourced to various studios around LA, which spurred the decision to build the TDE studio complex.
“When going into this project, our goal was to re-establish the core essence of the original Carson studio by creating a communal space free from the pressures associated with traditional studio rentals,” recalls Keaton Smith, General Manager at TDE. “As we continue to expand the project, our aim is to create more opportunities for artists to come together and flourish.”
The core team working on the project included Pro Audio Design Inc, Summer Walker of You’re Safe Here interior design, Yuriy Sogomonov of TE Builders, Michael Bashkhangy, architectural designer for Malekpour Design Partners, and Luis Valdez of Jocavi Acoustics, overseen by Project Manager, David Anthony of Malekpour Design Partners.
“Being born & raised in Los Angeles, this project hit home for me in many ways,” remarks David Anthony. “TDE has been super inspirational to all Angelenos for over a decade, by keeping West Coast Hip-Hop on the map and giving artists hope that the Music Industry still has room for them.”
He continues, “Top (Anthony Tiffith) and his TDE team have made numerous positive contributions to the community and have always kept their ear to the streets to find the artists that reach the hearts of the listeners.”
Summer Walker, who was the creative lead on the project, also had a personal connection to the project, having previously worked on Top Dawg’s Beverley Hills home.
“TDE has been a staple in my passion for music, providing me some of my greatest moments in time through music and visual content. Being able to feed off that while working on this studio compound has really been a dream.”
For Walker, the project was more than just fulfilling a brief, “For me, as a black woman, to have a team of men who I highly respect give me that respect right back tenfold through this project, shows that the talent is not only there, but worth everyone’s time and mental focus. You know you’re in the right place and time when you feel creatively charged and trust implicitly in your team.”
Dave Malekpour, founder and president at Pro Audio Design Inc, praises the hard work of the design & build team, sharing his thoughts on the finished project.
“The facility has both incredible sounding rooms and is visually captivating and comfortable. The massive Augspurger®® Duo15-Sub218s also provide limitless power when creating beats, and accuracy when mixing. We used Studio Float IsoRafts and were able to achieve very high-level isolation in rooms that are in close proximity. They are capable of producing 127db and keeping that inside a studio presented challenges we were able to overcome. Working closely with Jocavi Acoustics, we also used predictive acoustic modeling and tuned treatments specifically designed to ensure the rooms sound amazing!”
TDE was founded on a belief in community and that collaboration helps bring out the best in everybody. Malekpour wanted to ensure that those core values of TDE were honored within the new design.
“Top Dawg has created a powerful independent label and company that has forged some of the best artists in music today,” he said. “Our team wanted to create studios that would inspire their new and existing artists and producers and capture that feeling in their music.”
During the NAMM Show, Dave Malekpour will be hosting an AES Academy session on Saturday, June 4th, between 4.15pm – 5.30pm, in Room 202B, providing an in-depth look at the design, construction and completion of Top Dawg Entertainment’s new studios. Panelists include Keaton Smith, General Manager of Top Dawg Entertainment, Summer Walker of You’re Safe Here interior design, Yuriy Sogomonov of TE Builders, Michael Bashkhangy, the architectural designer for Malekpour Design Partners, and Luis Valdez of Jocavi Acoustics.
The session will see the panelists review the project from concept to completion, in what is set to be an insightful and educational discussion. Full details about AES Academy sessions here.
Carl Cox: “As far as I’m concerned, my studio has the best speaker system in the world”
The name Carl Cox needs little introduction to dance music aficionados. A veteran of acid house and techno, he’s become one of the most celebrated DJs on the planet, nurturing the club scene with relentless enthusiasm.
A founding father of the emerging British rave scene, Cox’s F.A.C.T. mix CDs were hugely influential in the mid-’90s, followed by releases on his own Intec and Intec Digital labels, which seeded success for dozens more artists. However, his pioneering career has not been all plain sailing. Disillusioned by the process leading to the release of his 2011 album All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor, Cox swore it would be his last.
That all changed when he acquired a Pioneer DJM-V10 6-channel mixer, which allowed Cox to record and remodel stems culled from his hybrid live performances. Captivated by his improvised jams, his passion for music making was instantly renewed, leading to the swift release of his latest studio album Electronic Generations.
It’s been 11 years since your last album All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor. What were the reasons for such a lengthy recording break?
“When I made that album I was using other people’s studios, but I was never comfortable doing that because the sound, the environment or my head never seemed to be in the right place. I’d write a track and then I’d think to myself, what do I do next, breakbeat, acid, folk? I was fighting to make every single track and an album in its entirety.
“I stand behind everything I’ve done, but when I was sitting in a studio that wasn’t mine with two producers who I love dearly but had different ideas about how the music should come out, it was quite an arduous task because I wasn’t getting hands on with the gear. With All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor, I wore my heart on my sleeve and used a lot of vocalists, percussionist and guitarists from Melbourne.
“My only regret was that it was put out independently, so the time, money, ideas, concepts and marketing fell down to myself and Jon [Rundell] who was running Intec Records for me at the time. We had this clever idea to put the album out on a USB stick too, but it took a year to make and cost me a fortune.”
You took the album out live too. Did that go to plan?
“I said to myself that the only way to really sell the album was to go out live, so I did two live shows in Australia, which were really good, but gathering everybody together was like herding cats [laughs]. Going out as a DJ was a foregone conclusion, but going out as a live artist is another story completely – it was difficult to roll it out and sell it as a live album.
“When I signed to BMG 30 years ago, I went out as a live artist and had a really great time doing those shows, but it took a lot of time to put them together and DJ at the same time. It’s much easier to play live now, especially in terms of all the equipment you have to take out with you, but I got to the end of that album and said to myself, that’s it – I’m not doing any more. In the end, I built a studio just to do club tracks and remixes.”
What brought you back to recording music again?
“During the pandemic I turned the studio into a live streaming room. All the machines that you see here were in separates and I thought, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands so why don’t I just chuck all this stuff together and see what happens. I started experimenting – what if I buy that module or what will it sound like if I plug this into that drum machine? Instantly I was making music with no pressure whatsoever.
“After putting all the machines together, I was asked to do live streams for certain festivals that I couldn’t physically be at. Movement Detroit was the first one but I told them that I didn’t want to DJ; I wanted to play my machines and go live with music that nobody’s ever heard before. They said, sounds like a good idea and you’re Carl Cox, so why not? So I put all the gear together and did a few rehearsals behind closed doors.”
How did that process turn into what we hear on your new album, Electronic Generations?
“One of the reasons why this album came about is because I was using a Pioneer mixer called a DJM-V10. It came out just before the pandemic and after I’d used the beta version I told everyone that this mixer was going to be a game changer. People laughed at me because there are millions of mixers on the planet and I’d obviously got paid to say that, but I’d been working with Richie Hawtin’s Model 1 mixer, which is great, and there are a few things that it can’t do. One of those is recording live stems for each channel via MIDI.
“I thought to myself, if I’m running all of my machines through the V10’s 6-channel mixer and can record everything that I’m doing as stems, that’s a game changer because I’m jamming and rocking the hell out of these machines and adding certain elements to my music that I never would have thought of sitting in front of a computer. Once I’d done a mix, I could go back, remove the top and the tail of it and turn it into a track. That’s something I’d never done before.”
Did you have any technical problems recording the live sets?
“Sometimes the MIDI drops out, which makes things interesting. To be honest, you have to expect the unexpected. If it does fall over, great – it’s live, we’ll be back in a minute – does anyone know any songs? My fall back is that I have a second computer and a DJ setup if need be, so I can still provide a show. But there’s no pressure on the computer’s CPU whatsoever, so unless someone spills a beer on it I can more or less guarantee that we’ll get through a two or three-hour show.”
How inspiring was it to stumble on a new way to make tracks?
“Sitting in front of a computer with nothing going on and creating a bassline or a drum pattern is nice, but it’s just nice. When you’re playing live, there’s nothing nice about it – it’s coming out raw and you’re not thinking about anything other than what you’re creating at that particular moment. For me, jamming out my wildest techno fantasies and finding out what I could get out of these machines was really exciting.
“Even if it’s not making sense, you just stem everything out, take out what you don’t need and put in what’s missing. When you start working with these machines, after a while they start working for you. There’s a synergy and then the machines give you what you’re looking for and then some. I’d never have been able to sit there and programme any of it because I wouldn’t get any happy accidents. Thanks to the V10, this is the only way that I was able to come back and make an album, and now the whole studio makes more sense to me.”
Can you tell us about some of the machines used in your live setup?
“Equipment-wise, the Moog Subharmonicon is an amazing machine to have – although trying to control it is another story. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s such an amazing, powerful piece of kit that you have to try and capture those moments where its weird sharp keys end up. The sound moves around a lot, so you have to try and catch those oscillations because it’s hard to make sense of that while the pattern is being driven. On the one hand you’re fighting against the Subharmonicon, but it allows you to be more creative than you’ve ever been – it’s like a wild bull, but it’s responsible for a lot of the weird, spacey stuff on the album.
“The Moog DFAM (Drummer from Another Mother) is my go-to shuffle drum machine and is just brilliant, and I used a Korg Monologue on most of the tracks. A friend of mine told me that I needed to get one of them in the studio because it’s got some really good presets, you can write basslines on the fly and it’s small, so I bought the machine and thought, wow, it’s pretty powerful.
“The presets have a lot of really good analogue LFO movement and you can obviously manipulate those and do variances on the LFOs live. A lot of the top lines on the album are from that machine and it sits right at the front of my live set.”
Is it true that you dusted some old gear down from your garage too?
“I had boxes of stuff that people had sent me – a TR-8 here and a Pioneer DJS-1000 there, so I was just pulling stuff out and hooking it up to see what it did. If I didn’t understand something I’d go online and look at tutorials. Most of the first part of the album comes from the DJS-1000 sampler. All I did was sit down and work on it for a week; then once I had a bunch of tracks I used it as a master controller and daisy-chained everything from there.
“I love hardware because software doesn’t translate live. For me, it’s not a live show until you can move, play and physically hit something – it’s the only way I can show that I‘ve gone from DJing to being a live recording artist that can perform live.”
How did the demo process take shape?
“I did another show for Mystery Man, one for our own label and certain shows for charity and I just found myself making all of this music – about four albums’ worth of mad tracks. Out of those live recordings I just sat down and, within a day, had about 18 tracks to work on. I demoed all the tracks and a couple of friends of mine told me send them to labels, but I didn’t think they’d be interested in someone who’s been around for eons making music out of all these machines because it’s not studio-based-sounding music and it’s not for the dancefloor, festival or clubs, it’s just raw electronic music coming out of these machines based on what I’d created.
“Thankfully, BMG’s Matt King decided to get back to me as soon as he heard it and said that’s exactly what we want to hear Mr Cox and we want you to sign a three album deal. I thought, if someone had told me that 30 years ago I’d be rich [laughs]. It’s unbelievable really because I’d always made music to suit the industry, but this album was the complete opposite; I was jamming my arse off for no other reason than having fun. They asked when I could finish the album off and I said, sometime next week – it’s done.”
Were the tracks really completed that quickly?
“The process of making the music was really quick, but the clever bit was getting the tracks to make sense. When you’re playing live, things come in on the threes, the ones and the twos – and some of the sounds were so improvised that a lot of the music is around the beats but not on it, so there was no real structure. When you work on a computer, everything’s so structured, but this music didn’t comply – sounds just came in when they felt right, but thanks to the process they at least had energy, soul, groove and power.”
The process sounds not so dissimilar to making house and techno tracks back in the day…
“Most of the acid house and techno music I was buying at the beginning was made on that basis. There was no Ableton Live or any of the amazing software we have now – there was no computer powerful enough to run those things. Back then it was like, woo, I’ve got a 4MB computer, this is great! You’d use a plugin and it would fall over.
“Most of what was recorded went onto a two-track tape and was spliced together and some of those records became seminal. Nobody could follow or copy those tracks because of how they were laid down. If you think of a track like Derrick May’s Strings Of Life, it was simple really, but genius at the same time.”
Once you’d sourced enough material for demos, how much more work did you need to do to turn them into fully-formed tracks?
“Not much at all. Each track that I jammed had its own element to it. When I moved away from the last track that I‘d jammed, I’d use a different module, drum machine or sample, so each track had its own flavour, whether that’s electro, hard techno, house, deep house or just electronica.
“The ebb and flow of the music was purely based on where I was going next. One track would be two minutes long and the next might be seven. I didn’t take any elements from one track and add it to another – that wouldn’t work because of the variation in key changes. Within each jam, there were obviously elements that might not have worked as well, but I’d either fix them or leave them as they were.”
Were you surprised at how gritty the record turned out?
“It did kind of surprise me in a way. If you listen to my F.A.C.T. albums, there are a lot of beautifully crafted trance records on there, like Cygnus X’s The Orange Theme, which is one of the most emotional records I’ve ever stood behind. I love that emotion and musicality because it’s not just attached to hard beats and the industrial sound.”
There’s 303 all over the record and that sound’s probably not as prevalent in dance music as it used to be. Do you feel it’s coming back into fashion?
“You’re right, but it’s one of those machines that’s always been associated with hard techno. I put it to the forefront because of my early days of acid house when you couldn’t play an acid record without it. We probably moved away from it because modern DJs never went to raves and haven’t heard the sound. Now when they hear it, they’re buzzing and sales of TB-303s are going through the roof.
“It doesn’t have to be a predominant sound, but it’s great as an embodiment of a low-end sound that can be put in-between basslines and percussion. For me, it harks back to the old-school days; it’s what got you off your feet. I’ve got the obligatory TR-8 drum machine, a TB-3 and it’s all running through MIDI, which is lovely. There’s no delay at all, it’s all running smack on time.”
How do you manipulate the 303?
“I manipulate the sound by putting patterns through a Moogerfooger then moving the frequencies around to make the 303 sound even bigger. By bolstering the sound and giving it a punk edge, I like to think that I’ve created a go-to Carl Cox 303 sound on two or three tracks on the album.”
You’ve also switched to Ableton as your main DAW…
“I only use Ableton Live. I’ve used Logic in the past, but found that I became quite rigid using that and the amount of parameters you have to go through becomes overbearing. Some people are geniuses on Logic, but I don’t have time for all that. Ableton wasn’t that great at the beginning from a sound processing point of view, so I’d just import all the files into Pro Tools, but I found that Pro Tools was going a bit too corporate so I switched back to Ableton and just got better and better at using it.”
Obviously, the process behind the making of this album was unintentional. Does knowing that your live shows are going to be committed to a recording suddenly introduce an element of pressure?
“I’ve got to think punk about all of this. They went in with an ‘I don’t give a shit, fuck you, bollocks’ kind of attitude. None of it was in key, they didn’t give a shit and didn’t even want to do it, but people loved it and they sold a million albums. How does that work [laughs]?
“For many years my music’s been accommodated: ‘Oh, that’s nice Carl, it’s a lovely track – I’m sure it’ll do well for you’, but with this album I really didn’t care. The rave scene was built on that energy – the whole jungle movement and breakbeat, The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up wasn’t radio but boom, bang, and it’s a No 1 global tune. We need some of that to come back and it’s based on people’s attitude to making music.
“My music’s never really sat well with others. Even in the rave days I took it up to gabba, which is 180bpm. It wasn’t that I was angry or anything, but it was going somewhere until it wasn’t anymore. But my attitude was always punk – if I’m playing house, it’s the edge of house music, and the same with techno.”
There is a second version of the album on the way…
“The original album is literally Carl Cox’s Electronic Generations with 17 tracks and no guests, but I’m going to let them put out a reimagined version of those original tracks that allows certain artists to do something conceptual with the music. Fatboy Slim was the first and there are other tracks featuring Franky Wah, Nicole Moudaber, Juan Atkins, and Wilkinson. We’re nearly there with that, but it won’t come out until the original album’s been released.”
You have two studios, in Brighton and Australia?
“I built a fully-fledged professional recording studio in my old house in Horsham, which allowed me to do everything including mastering, but I never used it as much as I would have liked and felt uncomfortable recording at other people’s studios because it’s too stressful working against the clock. Eventually, I built a professional studio in Melbourne and when I walk in there now it feels like the best recording studio on the planet. Christopher Coe’s my right-hand man, an artist in his own right and a partner in my ASW label too.”
What speaker system are you using?
“As far as I’m concerned, my studio has the best speaker system in the world. I’m using Augspurgers® speakers, which have incredible power and energy, and ADAM Audio S3X-H monitors that give a rich, low-end feel to the sound. What you can’t see is the Funktion-One sound system.
“We have these fucking great big mid-height TM monitors and on the floor is a big 24” sub bass cabinet. I’ll take my remote monitoring system, go to the back of the room and switch between the ADAMs and the Augspurgers®, but when I want real world I’ll go to the Funktion-Ones, which sound unbelievable. It’s overkill, but if we hear any problems, I’ll rebalance the mix and boom – we’ve got it in the pocket!”
You sound totally enthused now…
“I’ve found myself in a very productive and creative place. For me, it’s necessary to go out there and show the people why I do what I do and if I didn’t love it we wouldn’t be having this conversation. This is my answer to entertaining the troops and the people who love electronic dance music. I’m excited to get back out there to my happy place – here’s a kick drum, we’re going to go somewhere from here and there’s no holding back!
“My DJ career is one great story but I think people know who I am as a DJ now and what I can do to any dancefloor. The live shows are unknown territory for me, but they’re also the tip of the iceberg because there’s a lot more to come. I could rest on my laurels as a DJ, but I still want to work for it and for people to understand that there’s no point companies making these machines and nobody using them. We’ve got plenty of DJs now; what we don’t have is a lot of electronic live artists that want to go out and perform, so hopefully I can be part of that new movement.”
Carl Cox’s choice gear…
CCX Bus Compressor
“Made by the genius Arjan Hebly, it’s the hardest working piece of kit I own.”
Manley Massive Passive EQ
“A classic unit with such characterful EQ and power. It was this or two Pultecs…”
Zähl EQ 1
“Used on everything. For a master buss chain it gives us more air and better bass extension and clarity across the mix.”
“Ah, the joy of this synth. Moog was so kind to give me this as a gift.”
“I use it all the time for my live shows.”
Make Noise Shared System
“I’ve had many sleepless nights trying to figure out the magic behind these amazing, weird boxes.”
“Joseph Capriati gave it to me for my birthday. I’ve never seen or heard a drum machine like it.”
Erica Synths LXR-02
“Proper techno comes out of this box as soon as you switch it on.”
Pioneer V10 Mixer
“My go-to mixer now; I can record the stems of my live show straight into Ableton.”
“Master chain unit that I use on the final output of my live kit. An EQ, compressor and saturation box. It lifts everything.”
Wiz Khalifa is riding on a high right now, but not the kind that those who’ve followed his journey as an artist may think. While a number of his blog era contemporaries-turned-bonafide-superstars have opted to temper the number of projects they release at this juncture in their careers, Wiz has leaned in, giving the people what they want through a succession of musical releases, albeit collaboratively.
Nearly four years removed from the release of his last solo album, Rolling Papers 2, the Pittsburg native and Cali resident has spent the past few calendars dropping musical projects with his band of friends within the business. After teaming up with Curren$y for their long-awaited reunion project, 2009, and locking in with frequent collaborators Sledgren and Cardo on Wiz Got Wings, Khalifa kicked off 2022 with a pair of joint projects: Stoner’s Night with Juicy J and Full Court Press. The latter finds him joining forces with Smoke DZA, Big K.R.I.T., and producer Girl Talk. He’s also made it a top priority to thrust his Taylor Gang roster to the forefront with various compilations and mixtapes showcasing their talents, proof he’s still all about spreading the love and finding strength in numbers.
For a guy churning out music at such a rapid clip, it’d be safe to assume that Wiz Khalifa lives in the studio—which is exactly the case. He’s become a studio rat in large part by having one in close proximity to his living quarters. Spending his early years recording and developing his sound in studios like Pittsburgh’s ID Labs, the rap veteran decided to build one of his own, creating a recording space at his home in Encino, CA. With the help of Augspurger®, which specializes in studio monitors and speakers, Wiz now has one of the most powerful sound systems at his disposal, which is also used by the likes of Dr. Dre, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, and more.
And with his forthcoming album, Multiverse, the long-awaited follow-up to Rolling Papers 2, slated to drop this summer, and another album with Curren$y in the works, he’s certainly going to need extra reinforcement for the booming sonics he and his musical coconspirators are creating.
VIBE spoke with Wiz Khalifa about taking his recording process in-house with Augspurger®, finding joy in collaboration, creating Multiverse, and the rap icon he wants to trade verses with for an entire album before it’s all said and done.
VIBE: After spending a large portion of your career recording in other peoples’ studios, you’ve recently begun creating the majority of your albums from the comfort of your home. What spurred that decision and when did that transition begin?
Wiz Khalifa: I wanted to have the option to go in and record at any moment of inspiration. I started building my home studio last year.
How has recording in your own studio impacted your artistry or approach to creating music?
I’m the most comfortable at home, so my brain and creativity can really open up in an organic way. Also, the homies get to come in and collaborate while we’re all hanging out, and some of the best nights at the crib have turned into great songs.
You spent your early years recording music at ID Labs back in Pittsburgh. What are some of the lessons and tools of the trade you learned there that you’re using today?
I learned almost everything about recording at ID Labs with E. Dan. He has been with me from the beginning. And setting the vibe in the room is super important. Being respectful but having fun is the environment at ID Labs and what I create.
Aside from yourself, who are some of the artists you’ve had grace your vocal booth thus far?
We always gotta have the Taylor Gang guys in the booth like Fedd the God, Juicy J, Chevy Woods, and Young Deji, to name a few. We’ve also had Tyla Yaweh come through, and we’re excited to get more of the homies to pull up on the new music I’m working on.
Do you handle any of the engineering during sessions that take place at the studio? If so, what’s it like being on the opposite side of the board for a change?
Shout out to my engineers Aaron Dahl and E. Dan of ID Labs. I post up right next to them and we work together on all my songs. I’m super involved in the process and have learned a lot about it over the years.
You recently worked with Augspurger® to install a huge speaker system at the studio. Their equipment has also been used by the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Alicia Keys, just to name a few. How did that relationship develop?
The Augspurger® guys have been the homies for a few years—I met them through E. Dan of ID Labs. They always make sure I’ve got the best setup.
How has Augspurger® helped enhance the overall quality of your studio?
The quality of my home studio has been majorly enhanced by Augspurger® overall. The sound and placement of the speakers is on point, and it’s the most important feature of the studio.
You kicked off this year by releasing Stoner’s Night, your collaborative album with Juicy J. Being that you’ve worked together for more than a decade, how has the creative chemistry between the two of you evolved?
Juicy J and I have a really close friendship and amazing chemistry when recording. He knows exactly what he wants and how he wants a song to sound and I’m always right in there helping bring the vision to life. We respect and trust each other to do what we do best and we always have a good time.
You also teamed up with Smoke DZA, Big K.R.I.T., and Girl Talk for the Full Court Press album, which dropped earlier this year as well. Who spearheaded that project and how did all of the moving parts come together?
Girl Talk got us all together a while back and we were mostly just partying, smoking, kicking it, having fun, and each of us would go in and do our thing and it turned into a really great body of work. We finally got everything together to release it and we’re excited to share it with the world.
Being that you, DZA, and K.R.I.T. all made your bones during the same era, what was it like working with those guys as a unit, given the history y’all have with one another?
They’re all amazing people. We all came up in different ways but around the same time so it was fun to exchange stories and things we have learned in our careers. We all get along really well and have great chemistry when it comes to making music.
One artist fans are always eager to hear you alongside is Curren$y, with whom you released the album 2009 a few years back. What are the prospects of the two of you linking back up again for another project?
Curren$y and I are definitely linking up soon to put another project out for the fans. I love that dude and I’m excited to get back into the studio with him. I’ll go out to him in New Orleans and have him pull up to my spot in LA.
Being that you’re open to working in tandems and groups, if there was one collaborative project you could have on your resume with an artist you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?
I would really like to work with Jay-Z.
Your forthcoming solo album, Multiverse, is slated to drop later this year. What inspired that title and what can the fans expect?
The title comes from the unique world that I live in and experience. It’s one of my favorite projects to date and I’m so excited for the fans to come into my world and go crazy with it.
Is there a timetable for its release?
We’re dropping it in the summer and you will definitely see me perform the album on my summer tour.
Who are some of the artists and producers you’ve worked with for this project?
We’ve got Ty Dolla $ign on there and a few more homies are going to be pulling up on it. Some of the producers are Hitmaka, Sledgren, ID Labs, RMB Justize, Big Jerm, IamSu!, and more.
What’s next for Wiz Khalifa, creatively, in business, or otherwise?
I’m super excited to release my next album Multiverse and go on the Vinyl Verse Summer Tour with Logic, 24KGoldn, DJ Drama, Fedd the God, and C Dot Castro. I’ve got my Khalifa Kush business expanding in several states across the country, my gin brand McQueen and the Violet Fog going crazy in sales, and I’m creative directing for the PFL. We’ve got a new season with my voiceover character on the animated series Duncanville, and a couple more TV and movie appearances on the way.
Dave Malekpour interview: “Working with top artists is inspiring!” PAD founder on the creative process
Dave Malekpour hasn’t just helped define the sound of hip hop, he’s had a profound impact on the design of modern recording studios. His approach to workflow and loudspeaker technology has been a seminal influence on recording engineers and producers alike, and his speaker brand Augspurger® counts Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Coldplay and Alicia Keys amongst its users.
Based out of Massachusetts, Malekpour runs both Pro Audio Design (PAD), purveyors of studio equipment and design support, and loudspeaker specialist Augspurger® Monitors. Calling on his experience as a musician and engineer, his ability to fine tune his systems is legendary, and so is his work ethic. He starts the day with an hour of Crossfit. “Then it seems work is easier and it benefits my health and stress!” he tell us.
Malekpour founded Pro Audio Design in 1993, with the aim of fully integrating studio design and equipment retail. In 2000, he launched Augspurger® Monitors, after demand surged for his own custom made enclosures.
More recently he’s added Studio Float to his portfolio. Studio Float sells Iso Raft, a dedicated construction isolator for use in recording studios, music venues, theatres and nightclubs. Iso Raft blocks utilises a novel sandwich construction joined by a silicon de-coupler, and prevent noise escape.
Audio Media International caught up with Dave Malekpour in Los Angeles, as he completed a few days reviewing a site for a project PAD are designing for Top Dawg Entertainment’s new HQ.
“I’ve also been looking at a new Dolby Atmos mixing suite for a client in a nice Downtown location, and tuned a couple of studios,” he confides, “Studio City Sound’s Augspurger® Duo15-Sub18s in their classic SSL 4K room, and (film and TV) composer Tony Anderson’s private studio which is quite a nice spot in an outbuilding behind his residence…”
Malekpour clearly likes to make a difference: “I think one of the things that brings me satisfaction is helping our clients achieve their goals, and being part of their successes using the rooms we create and speakers we build.”
Making a deeper connection
Dave Malekpour says motivation comes from being able to create a product that inspires artists, while giving producers and engineers the information they need to make sure their work sounds as good out of the studio as it does in the room.
Dave Malekpour: “When we got to build Jay-Z’s first home base in NYC Baseline studios, that gave him and his team a place that they could really create and push the envelope. When Young Guru first heard the Augspurger®’s we put in, he said it changed everything for him as an engineer, but also for the artists and producers working there.
“The early days of hip hop were a formative time and bringing in huge power amps and 18-inch subs wasn’t the norm. Today we have full range systems in every installation.”
“I think when you can hear the music like a performance in a sound stage around you in your own studio, this allows a deeper connection to the creative process. Today we can record down below 20 hertz with today’s DAW if your converters are up to it.
“We need to hear the entire range of low end to get the balance right, to get the vibe right, to get the top end and mid-range to highlight to vocals, and we aim to make that limitless, where you can create any sound and the systems and rooms do not prevent you from reaching new heights in music.”
“Teddy Riley, Rodney Jerkins, The Weekend, Coldplay, and mix engineers like Jaycen Joshua, Jean Marie Horvat, Rich Keller, Dave Pensado, Rafa Sardina, Jose ‘Hyde’ Cotto, Bob Horn, and many others all use their systems in different ways, make different music and craft their sound on our systems.
The business of inspiration
While PAD and Augspurger® Monitors are in the business of inspiring artists and recording engineers, Malekpour himself was famously inspired when he first heard Dynaudio Acoustics M1 monitors on a visit to Abbey Road back in the 1990s. Have any brands, or equipment, made him catch his breath since?
“Well, that was a magic moment for many reasons, just being in Abbey Road at that time was something special,” he recalls. “Geoff Emerick gave me a tour and we went to the mic locker, and had lunch with the engineers in the cafeteria. Wow! But yes, hearing the Dynaudio M1 that Andy Munro created was really eye opening at the time when there weren’t too many high-end nearfield or mains at the time.”
There are only so many Eureka moments in this business, says Malekpour. “But there are some standout moments. Listening to the Augspurger® Duo8’s with Sub12’s we designed and created in a shootout Vintage King arranged in Malibu at Woodshed studios against all the top brands in our business was one of them. We wowed a room full of top engineers and were chosen by Woodshed on the spot. I knew we had created something special.
“We had been working on it for about 2 years and the goal was to create a smaller speaker with a new horn that would couple with an 8-inch driver and get the speaker closer to the listener and to fit smaller rooms. But we had never had the chance to AB against the other top brands. When we got that chance the night before the shootout when setting up, it was a clear winner, and that was without the sub woofers which when added really changed the game for us.”
Working for top artists is inspiring, he adds. “We have to push ourselves to make the best products, design the best rooms and that technology is making things easier, more fun and incredible sounding.
“For Snoop’s studio, he wanted to have his equivalent of the Starship Enterprise, complete with wraparound console system and his command throne in the centre!”
“Each one is unique and individual, though one thing is common to all, and I think it’s connecting with their music. When you feel the music, you can put that into your performance, writing and create a connection for the listener to experience. I think our speakers do that in a way that’s really emotive yet very accurate, and detailed, so you are getting the truth and can really feel when it’s right.”
Technology Vs Art
Technology can sometimes stifle creativity, concedes Malekpour, either by offering too many choices or inviting creatives to chase a sound instead of a great song or vocal performance.
The ultimate artist experience is when technology is not part of the creative process, he insists. “You aren’t thinking about if the speaker or room or if the microphone is doing something, you just create and feel you have no bounds. We aim to provide a feeling of being unlimited except by your own creativity, not the room, system or technology. At least that’s my ideal vision of what we are trying to create with our work.”
“Really, what makes a great recording starts with a great song, which, let’s be honest, can be captured on an iPhone without the complications of a studio,” says Malekpour. “What we aim to do is seamlessly integrate the required technology for today’s high-end recording processes, while allowing the artist to focus on the music and the creative process.”
Augspurger® monitors provide signature sound for the world’s best artists and producers
For over 20 years, Augspurger®® has set the industry standard in studio monitoring thanks to their incredible sonic precision and powerful punch. From smooth, detailed highs to throbbing sub bass (down to 20Hz and below), Augspurger®’s unparalleled performance make them regarded as the ultimate studio monitor.
Loud and clear Augspurger® monitors are synonymous with some of the world’s most iconic music studios, including Quad Studio in NYC and Snoop Dogg’s Beach City Music Complex in LA. Rap icons Jay-Z and Dr. Dre as well as other music luminaries, including Coldplay and Alicia Keys, turn to Augspurger® for their transparency and bottom end “feel factor.”
Augspurger® monitors are well-known for their ability to reproduce the sound of a club (or concert venue) inside the studio. As a result, they have long been a favorite of the industry’s finest engineers and producers including Young Guru, Dave Pensado and Paul Epworth.
Powerfully accurate The Augspurger® mission is to provide the most technologically advanced, fully active, DSP smart monitors that are not only exciting and inspiring to listen to, but also empower artists and engineers to produce music as they intend it to be heard.
Augspurger® systems are built-to-order and custom-configured for their intended destination, considering room volume, listening distance, placement, acoustic treatments and more to ensure the most accurate and exciting full-range sound reproduction.
Design crafted Once installed, systems can be tuned remotely or onsite by Augspurger® engineers, providing a reference standard listening environment where creative decisions can be made with absolute confidence. What’s more, Augspurger® systems not only sound amazing, but limitless tuning power is at your fingertips with software-controlled, storable and recallable settings.
The entire product series can be custom designed in a range of colour options and bespoke finishes to ensure seamless aesthetic integration into any studio environment.
NEW:TREO Massiv Series – from $44,900 | £ Price on request The newest addition to the Augspurger® monitor series, these systems include double the number of SUB and MF drivers (found in the Treo range) in a single cabinet to deliver systems ranging from Dual 12″LF/Dual 8″MF to Dual 15″LF/Dual 12″MF to the largest Dual 18″LF/Dual 15″MF systems. By marrying the Subs to the Mains in one cabinet, Augspurger® produce either flush-mount or free-standing systems that are visually impressive yet sonically refined. In short: MASSIV.
TREO Massiv Mini 208-212 offers 2 x12″ LF drivers, 2 x 8″ MF drivers and an MF horn in a delightfully compact footprint.
TREO Massiv 212-215 offers 2 x 15″ LF drivers, 2 x 12″ MF drivers and either an MF horn (for shorter listening distances in smaller rooms) or full-sized horn for larger rooms.
TREO Massiv XL 215-218 offers 2 x 18″ LF drivers, 2 x 15″ MF drivers matched to Augspurger®’s full-sized horn that is one of the most specified driver complements in the lineup.
SOLO Series – from $12,995/pair | £11,990 This 2-way monitor system uses a single 8″, 12″ or 15″ LF/MF driver in a single cabinet with either a standard (large) solid maple horn or the 33% smaller MF “MidFocus” solid maple horn. SOLO systems may be used as a pair or combined with two suitable subwoofers, matched to the main system under consideration. Addition of the subwoofer creates true 3-way full range monitoring systems with details and dynamics. All systems are tuned to the listening environment via the on-board DSP in Augspurger® SXE Series amplification, which is included in the system price.
DUO Series – from $17,500/pair | £16,490 The DUO 2-way monitor system uses a pair of 8″, 12″ or 15″ LF/MF drivers in a single cabinet with either the standard (large) solid maple horn or 33% smaller MF “MidFocus” solid maple horn. DUO systems may be used as a pair or combined with two suitable subwoofers, matched to the main system under consideration. Addition of the subwoofer creates true 3-way full range monitoring systems with details and dynamics.
TREO Series – from $19,500 | £17,990 The TREO systems take a different approach. The 3-way cabinets incorporate the subwoofer into the main cabinet. With all 3 drivers perfectly time-aligned in the same cabinet, phase coherence is startlingly precise and delivers a clean, clear, yet powerful performance, which when combined with Augspurger®’s clean, low distortion and powerful SXE Series amps with built-in DSP, the system can be perfectly and personally tuned to the listening environment.
TREO 812CFM is a mid-field system that brings the subwoofer up off the floor and places it in your face, along with the MF and HF content. Despite its compact size, it can produce startling results in terms of dynamic capability. Despite listening distances of as short as 4 ft., the TREO CFM with its 3500W/Chl SXE Series amps provide an exhilarating listening experience in small-to-medium sized rooms.
TREO 812-V uses the same driver complement as the CFM version but delivers it in a column tower format (available with custom Treo Riser Stands to bring the horn to proper listening height). These elegant cabinets with their subtle radiussed tops would be welcome in any production studio, or at home in a record label playback conference room, a mastering room of 5.1 or other immersive audio environments.
TREO 1015-V takes us up to the “next level” with a 15″ LF driver matched to a 10″ MF driver and large format solid maple horn. Like the 812-V, the 1015-V is a tower with a radiussed top that delivers both an elegant presence and a powerful (almost intimidating) dynamic capability that surprises and delights listeners.
QUATTRO Series – from $37,000 | £30,990 When large is not large enough, the QUATTRO systems offer a dazzling array of options to service even the largest of rooms with highly dynamic and precise sound reproduction. As the name suggests, these 2–way main monitor cabinets utilise four MF drivers (either 10″. 12″ or 15″) in a single cabinet that may be used alone or combined with double 15″, double 18″ or two double 18″ sub cabinets, with up to four SXE Series amplifiers, capable of over 3500W RMS each – that’s over 14,000 Watts – with DSP on every input and output to tune these systems into trustworthy sound reproduction for critical production environments.
CLASSIC Series – from $30,900 | £28,500 The Augspurger® CLASSIC 215H is an updated take on the original system designed by George Augspurger® and found in studios since the 1970s. Taking the original designs, the team at Augspurger® enhanced its proportions while incorporating advanced CNC construction for increased cabinet stiffness and refining every edge and seam to provide a smooth visual flow to the system face. The CLASSIC is designed to be flush-mounted in a well designed control room front wall. Other improvements include the latest driver technology featuring low-distortion, high power handling and extended low end response. As with all Augspurger® systems, the solid maple horn delivers a controlled 70 x 100 degree dispersion and is fed by a 99.94% pure beryllium diaphragm in a compression driver, making for a very low distortion and uncolored sound reproduction across 4-1/2 octaves. The CLASSIC may be complemented with a single or double 18″ subwoofer, or for very large rooms two double 18″ subs. The SXE-3D amps deliver over 3500W/Chl, are networkable with on-board DSP for complete system setup and control.
TOWER Series – from $37,900 | £35,990 Like the TREO Series, the TOWER Series bring Augspurger® 15″ and 18″ drivers into an elegant and slim tower. The vertical array offers excellent time alignment of all frequencies, which translates to seamless transition from Lows to Mids to Highs. These 3-way systems deliver a compact footprint that allows for generous decorating options in professional conferencing rooms as well as tight control rooms, without losing the powerful delivery Augspurger® is known for. Single or double 15″ MF, combined with an 18″ Sub driver and full-sized horn, bring theatrical dynamics and precise details into a wide variety of listening environments – even immersive spaces.
Augspurger® Launches MinimaX, Delivering New Depths of Immersive Sound at Summer NAMM
July 12th 2021: Augspurger®, the studio monitor specialist, announces its new 2-way near-field monitoring solution, the MX-65 ‘MinimaX’, at Summer NAMM. Featuring many of the same high-end features as seen in its iconic SOLO and DUO series, the MX-series brings legendary Augspurger® sound and immersive capabilities to new audiences in a compact and portable package.
The first in a new MX-series from Augspurger®, MinimaX is built-in mirror-image pairs allowing for a wide variety of placement and applications. They can be positioned either horizontally or vertically thanks to the unique and rotatable solid maple horn (patent-pending) which operates across more than an impressive four octaves – perfect for classic audio recording and post-production rooms.
Enhanced Immersive Sound
Suitable for a vast array of listening environments, the MinimaX brings theatrical dynamics and precise details into a wide variety of spaces.
With Atmos-enabled facilities on the rise, the new MX-series meets the needs of the most discerning listener, delivering a super-focused and accurate sonic experience. It does this by enhancing the immersive features of Atmos, delivering 70 x 110 degree dispersion for extremely controlled, highly accurate directivity of the sound.
Equally at home on a console or desktop, MinimaX has been designed to provide a main monitor experience in a near-field position and is expandable to a full-range 3-way system with the addition of Augspurger® subwoofers. For larger playback theatres where sound needs to travel further, MinimaX can be complemented with Augspurger®’s SOLO range.
MinimaX also boasts a 99.97% pure beryllium diaphragm, a signature feature carried through the entire Augspurger® product line, delivering all the sonic clarity and punch you’d expect from the brand’s larger speakers.
Ultimate Control, Flexibility and Portability
The DSP inside MinimaX’s onboard SXE Series amplifiers is accessed via Augspurger®’s own DSPtunesoftware (available for Mac and Win PC), providing complete setup and control of all parameters, including crossover, phase, group delay, limiting, and EQ to personally and perfectly tune MinimaX to the working and listening environment – so travelling engineers and artists can benefit from MX-series portability, without compromise.
MinimaX loudspeakers feature an attractive, modern design. The enclosures come in a variety of colours and finishes to blend seamlessly with any décor and can be positioned vertically or horizontally, on stands or wall-mounted to suit your needs.
The MX-series MinimaX makes its debut at Summer NAMM on the Augspurger® booth #212.
Pricing and Availability
The MX-65 is shipping in Q4 2021. USD 10,995.00/pair, including Augspurger® SXE Series amplification, exclusively from Pro Audio Design Inc (US only). Pre-orders can be placed immediately at Augspurger®.com.
For international sales enquiries, please contact email@example.com
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GRAMMY® Award-winning Hyde El Quimico Relies on the Power of Augspurger® Monitors for Mixing New Ozuna Record
Hanover, Mass – September 2021 – Augspurger® has defined the industry standard in studio monitoring for the last twenty years. From hip hop to pop and EDM, the biggest names in music such as Snoop Dogg, Coldplay, and Above & Beyond rely on Augspurger®’s incredible power and precision to create their signature sound. That’s why it should be of no surprise that Augspurger® is highly esteemed by the music-makers behind one of the biggest and fastest-growing genres in the world: reggaeton.
Since the early 2000s, Puerto Rican producer and mix engineer Hyde El Quimico has played an essential role in crafting the hip-shaking dembo rhythms of reggaeton. Hyde’s credits read like a who’s who of multi-platinum Latin superstars from reggaeton pioneers Daddy Yankee, Wisin Y Yandel to chart-breaking newcomer artists Ozuna and Reik. La Base is the name of his studio, record label and management company he co-founded with his partner Wisin (Grammy award-winning reggaeton artist & producer) to develop and manage artists and producers.
When Hyde is mixing a reggaeton record, it’s essential that he hear every nuance in the mix with absolute clarity and feel how the bass hits – which is why his monitoring system of choice is always Augspurger®. Hyde credits Augspurger® monitors for allowing him to fit more musical information in the mix and hit high levels of volume without the harsh effects of limiting. As chief engineer at La Base, Hyde uses the Augspurger® Duo 12MF-Sub18 to create his signature sound.
When it came to Hyde’s latest project – mixing Ozuna’s new record at the legendary Quad Studios in Time Square, NYC – he immediately turned to the team at Augspurger® to provide the tools he needed to forge his masterpiece. Quad’s Studio Q1 already houses beasty Augspurger® Duo 15V main monitors, but Hyde requested to try out the brand’s new MX-65 near-field monitors, fresh from their launch at Summer NAMM 2021. The team at Augspurger® set up the MX-65 as a third reference option next to the Duo 15Vs and the Yamaha NS10s already in situ, and Hyde was blown away.
“There is no small speaker that can give you this level of clarity and power. I can feel the air of the bass when it hits just like a big speaker.”
He continued, “Translation-wise, they are the same. I can go back and forth, and my drums feel like they are in the same place. But also, you don’t have to run them up. If you are at low level, they sound like true near-field speakers, and you can hear everything. But when you need the power, it’s there!”
Delivering all the clarity and punch you’d expect from the brand’s more prominent speakers, the MX-65 brings the unmistakable Augspurger® sound to new audiences who need compact near-field monitors, providing the perfect solution for music-makers and audiophiles who don’t have the space or budget for a large studio system.
Augspurger® is also renowned for its exceptional customer service and attention to detail, and each MX-65 system comes complete with a personalized, remote studio tuning session with Augspurger® engineers. Presets can be created, stored, and recalled to suit individual tastes and preferences, which helps studio engineers and music creators work quickly and efficiently. These presets are especially useful when an engineer is mixing away from their usual environment – they can recall their preferred settings wherever they’re recording and hear their mix exactly as they would in their own studio, taking their signature sound (and the portable MX-65s) with them at all times.
For Hyde’s Ozuna mix, Dave Malekpour – President and CEO of Augspurger® – was able to take the curve from La Base and tune that into the Q1 system at Quad, which allowed Hyde to open up his mix files and get to work faster.
Hyde noted, “I’m so much quicker at getting where I want to get to sonically. Something that used to take me a few hours or maybe half a day to get right now takes me one or two hours. The mixes translate perfectly, and I think that’s a good thing about working with Augspurgers®. Once Dave tuned them with my curve, I felt like I was in my studio in Puerto Rico.”
As the studio monitor of choice for sub-heavy music styles like trap and EDM, it’s only natural that Augspurger® is also a perfect fit for reggaeton and beloved by the genre’s leading artists. Augspurger® was already making waves in the genre before reggaeton gained the mainstream recognition it has today. Back in 2002, Daddy Yankee installed Augspurger®Classic 215H and Sub18s in his private studio in Puerto Rico. Shortly after, Lunay Tunes ordered the same speakers for his studio. These two artists and studios fueled the local Puerto Rican music scene from the start, paving the way for emerging reggaeton artists over the following two decades – conquering the mainstream music industry – with a bit of help from Augspurger®.
Malekpour offered his thoughts on why the Augspurger® sound fits reggaeton so well; “Puerto Rico has its own vibe, there’s a warmth to the interactions with people there, it’s a very feeling-based environment. I think Augspurger® speakers connect the music to the feeling.”
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Augspurger® Producer Profile: Jason Livermore’s Blasting Room Rocks an Augspurger® Duo 8 system!
“I love my Duo 8’s. They get face-meltingly loud and also let me really get a feel on what is happening in the bottom end. Great for tracking, mixing and mastering. Also after Dave Malekpour tuned them for me, they sound better than almost any other speaker I’ve heard!”
Jason Livermore doesn’t call his studio “The Blasting Room” for nothing. He specializes in producing loud rock and punk music. His latest project is a reunion album for punk legends, The Descendents.
See the Mix Online story about Jason here: http://www.mixonline.com/news/profiles/separate-together/428517
Learn more about Jason, his studio, and his Duo 8’s, here: http://theblastingroom.com @BlastingRoom
Tony Anderson | Sonic Architect | Crafting Music For Your Story
Ryan Doss for Midwestern Interactive
Check out the web-site of Sonic Architect and new Augspurger® user, Tony Anderson. Tony will be creating aural atmospheres for film on his Duo 8 MiniMain system with 1X12 subs. We are super pleased to have Tony in the Augspurger® family! @TonyPterodactyl
Top studios continue to choose Augspurger® Monitors
The basis of their design goes back over 30 years, yet there’s no shortage of professional studios and artists that continue to rely on Augspurger® monitors. Along with venerable old names like Neve and Neumann, Augspurger® has never stopped being the sonic standard in the world’s best studios. In the past year alone, a dozen of music’s A-List producers and artists have chosen Augspurger® monitoring environments to make their critical creative decisions. It’s a testament not only to Augspurger®’s timeless design, where power and precision meet, but to the modern Augspurger® company’s ability to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of pro audio. Artists appreciate the big Augspurger® sound, coupled with the vast DSP tunability of their new generation of systems.
LA’s recording scene has always been Augspurger®-equipped, and that trend continues to grow. Recently, Snoop Dogg’s massive Beach City Studio complex in Inglewood was completed and fitted with three Augspurger® systems. The A Room, which Snoop has dubbed “The Mothership,” rocks one of Augspuger’s most powerful systems, known as the Quattro 10K for its four 15′s pushing 10,000 watts, atop dual 2X18” subwoofers. B has a pair of 2X15 Classics, and the smaller C room has the new Solo 12MF with 2X12 subs.
Elsewhere in LA, Mega-producer Rafa Sardina, winner of 12 Grammy’s and counting, arranged for the Grammy Award voting committee (of which he is a member) to use an Augspurger® Duo 8 system with 1X12 subs to listen to, evaluate and judge all the nominated tracks for this past year’s Grammy Awards. Sardina wanted to insure that the judges experienced the music with full clarity, dynamics and depth. The listening sessions took place at Village Recorders in Hollywood in the fall of 2015. After the Grammy committee was done (and impressed) with them, Sardina insisted that the monitors move permanently to his beautiful home studio near LA. He is now using the Augspurger® system to mix everything from film music to rock to latin pop.
High atop Malibu, veteran film composer Richard Gibbs has upgraded his stunning Woodshed Studio with a Duo 8 MiniMain 3-way system. Among the many artists who tracked with the Gibb’s Augspurgers® was Coldplay and their engineer Rik Simpson, who used his very own set of Duo 8s to mix the chart-topping 2015 album, “A Head Full of Dreams.”Cobb at the Console:RCA Studio A now rocks Augspurger® Duo 12′s
Speaking of Grammys, Nashville-based roots producer Dave Cobbhas been pulling in Golden Gramophones by the handful for his work with breakout artist Chris Stapleton and alt-country veteran Jason Isbell. In a world of formulated Nashville pop, Cobb is the producing power behind the new gang of Outlaws, including Sturgill Simpson and Shooter Jennings, who are dedicated to bringing the twang back in to Country. Cobb was recently granted “Producer in Residence” status at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, originally designed in the 1960s by Chet Atkins. Cobb’s first act upon moving in to the studio was to install a pair of Augspurger® Duo 12 Mains with 1X18 subs. The purchase was made through Chad Evans at Vintage King Nashville. Because he does the majority of his work with Atlantic Records, Cobb had used the Duo 12s in various Atlantic rooms around the country, and has come to rely on them. Atlantic now owns SEVEN Augspurger® systems in NY, Atlanta and Nashville.
In another neighborhood of Music City, rock-pop studio owner and producer Brandon Metcalf worked through Vintage King to outfit his South X Sea Studios with TWO Duo 8 MiniMain systems. The A room system had 1X12 subs and the B room uses the Duo 8 Mains without subs, pointing to the fact that even as a two way system, the Duo 8′s low end is capable of producing 30hz.
Augspurger®. Precision Meets Power.
Bob Horn Interview & Echo Bar Recording Studios Tour – Warren Huart: Produce Like A Pro
Warren Huart talks to LA mixologist Bob Horn about his studio and his process. About four minutes in Bob starts bragging about his Augspurger® Solo 15 system. The system is crucial to his incredible mixes. @warrenhuart
Augspurger® Producer profiles: Chris Pinset Keeps the Groove Moving at Mood Recording.
Chris Pinset’s story started in Jamaica Queens in the ‘80s. The production artist and owner of Mood Recording grew up in a time and place where people were being recognized for doing music. His neighborhood was hot! Queens has one of the most diverse demographics in the US. It’s the open vibe in this community that allowed Chris to dream and wander his way into the studio music scene.
“I was somehow very aware of the fact that I lived in a town where people took recordings very seriously. James Brown , Metallica , Run Dmc all made albums in my town,” Pinset recalls.
Eventually he became an in-demand production artist, working with the likes of Redman and KRS-1. “Before long, I was doing tons of music for all kinds of New Yorkers and spending countless hours in studios,” said Pinset. Ultimately, the day came where it made sense to build his own room in Rockland County NY .
Studio-designer Frank Comentale took Pinset’s dreams to the drawing board. A year later, Mood Recordings was born.
^ Mood lighting: Augspurger® Solo 15 3-way system w/ 18″ subs.
Pinset’s choice of studio monitors was simple; he wanted only the best. “I literally built the room around the Augspurger® Solo 15 system,” Pinset said. “Frank had the expertise and experience in building mains and he recommended that buying a new generation system from Pro Audio Design had overwhelming advantages. The truth really is, they are the best speakers on earth,” he added.
Pinset’s system is the Augspurger® Solo 15 5000watt three-way system with 18” subs. It’s a powerful, ultra transparent and accurate system, with plenty of low end to make hip-hop artists happy. Using Augspurger® proprietary DSP technology, PAD’s Dave Malekpour personally tuned the system to Pinset’s environment, making it as flat as possible.
Pinset reports that everyone working at Mood enjoys the speakers at both high and low levels. The room is also being used to score content for film and television. Many editors rely on the accuracy of the room to make their most critical decisions.
“Augspurgers® give you the truth,” Pinset said. “In fact, if the mix doesn’t sound good, it’s your fault, not the speakers!” he laughed.^ In the Mood: Chris Pinset dialing in the tones with his Augspurger® system.
Chris Pinsett’s recent tracking and mixing projects at Mood:
Anhayla , Ellis Dodi , Redman , 33&1/3 , Oran Juice Jones ii , Bhi , & many others .
Augspurger® Duo-12 Monitors packing a major punch at London’s Livingston 1
Very exciting news at UK’s Livingston Studio 1! The immense London tracking studio has just taken delivery of some awesome sounding Augspurger®® mains. The monitors are a Duo 12 SUB18-A3 system. Each free-standing vertical speaker consists of two 12” MF/LF drivers and one 1.4” high compression driver with 4” beryllium diaphragm and a separate 18” sub on each side. The monitors are powered by Augspurger®® AAM-DSP3 two way D Class amplifier modules (1000w, 1000w & 500w).
The studio itself reports, “Basically, they sound incredible. Crystal clear with plenty of bottom end and extremely accurate. On cranking them up for the first time – dust (literally) fell from the ceiling and the TV, and the pictures in the rec room next door rattled away. Be scared, be very very scared but above all come and listen to monitors that will literally blow you away – lucky we don’t have any residential neighbours. Oh.”
Augspurger®®: Putting the “stun” in Livingston 1!”
Augspurger® Nation: Top Studios Continue to Choose Augspurger®
The basis of the design goes back over 30 years, yet there’s no shortage of professional studios and artists that continue to rely on Augspurger® monitors. Along with venerable old names like Neve and Neumann, Augspurger® has never stopped being the sonic standard in the world’s best studios. In the past year alone, a dozen of music’s A-List producers and artists have chosen Augspurger® monitoring environments to make their critical creative decisions. It’s a testament not only to Augspurger’s® timeless design, where power and precision meet, but to the modern Augspurger® company’s ability to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of pro audio. Artists appreciate the big Augspurger® sound, coupled with the vast DSP tunability of their new generation of systems.
LA’s recording scene has always been Augspurger® equipped, and that trend continues to grow. Recently, Snoop Dogg’s massive Beach City Studio complex in Inglewood was completed and fitted with three Augspurger® systems. The A Room, which Snoop has dubbed “The Mothership,” rocks one of Augspuger’s most powerful systems, known as the Quattro 10K for its four 15′s pushing 10,000 watts, atop dual 2X18” subwoofers. B has a pair of 2X15 Classics, and the smaller C room has the new Solo 12MF with 2X12 subs.
DOGGSpurgers!Snoop and the Augspurger® Quattro 10K system at Beach City.
Elsewhere in LA, Mega-producer Rafa Sardina, winner of 12 Grammy’s and counting, arranged for the Grammy Award voting committee (of which he is a member) to use an Augspurger®v Duo 8 system with 1X12 subs to listen to, evaluate and judge all the nominated tracks for this past year’s Grammy Awards. Sardina wanted to insure that the judges experienced the music with full clarity, dynamics and depth. The listening sessions took place at Village Recorders in Hollywood in the fall of 2015. After the Grammy committee was done (and impressed) with them, Sardina insisted that the monitors move permanently to his beautiful home studio near LA. He is now using the Augspurger® system to mix everything from film music to rock to latin pop.
Mali-Beauty! Gibbs Duo 8 with 1X12 subs finished in a hand-rubbed cherry.
High atop Malibu, veteran film composer Richard Gibbs has upgraded his stunning Woodshed Studiowith a Duo 8 MiniMain 3-way system. Among the many artists who tracked with the Gibb’s Augspurgers® was Coldplay and their engineer Rik Simpson, who used his very own set of Duo 8s to mix the chart-topping 2015 album, “A Head Full of Dreams.”
Cobb at the Console:RCA Studio A now rocks Augspurger® Duo 12′s
Speaking of Grammys, Nashville-based roots producer Dave Cobb has been pulling in Golden Gramophones by the handful for his work with breakout artist Chris Stapleton and alt-country veteran Jason Isbell. In a world of formulated Nashville pop, Cobb is the producing power behind the new gang of Outlaws, including Sturgill Simpson and Shooter Jennings, who are dedicated to bringing the twang back in to Country. Cobb was recently granted “Producer in Residence” status at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, originally designed in the 1960s by Chet Atkins. Cobb’s first act upon moving in to the studio was to install a pair of Augspurger® Duo 12 Mains with 1X18 subs. The purchase was made through Chad Evans at Vintage King Nashville. Because he does the majority of his work with Atlantic Records, Cobb had used the Duo 12s in various Atlantic rooms around the country, and has come to rely on them. Atlantic now owns SEVEN Augspurger® systems in NY, Atlanta and Nashville.
In another neighborhood of Music City, rock-pop studio owner and producer Brandon Metcalf worked through Vintage King to outfit his South X Sea Studios with TWO Duo 8 MiniMain systems. The A room system had 1X12 subs and the B room uses the Duo 8 Mains without subs, pointing to the fact that even as a two way system, the Duo 8′s low end is capable of producing 30hz.
Mix Class of ’17 Highlights Two New Augspurger® – Equipped Studios
Mix Magazine has once again released its annual “Class Of” roundup. Two of the exciting new rooms featured this year are outfitted with Augspurger® main monitor systems, as implemented by Dave Malekpour of PAD Group, Hanover, MA.
WEST: First up is multi-Grammy winner Rafa Sardina’s private studio, Afterhours. Sardina’s is among finest and most well-equipped private rooms in LA, with all high-end and vintage gear, centered around an SSL Duality. Knowing he needed the most precision monitoring possible within a tight space, Sardina chose an Augspurger® Duo 8 three-way active system with Sub 12s. The modest-footprint monitors, with gorgeous Tiger Maple baffles, provide Afterhours with 2500 watts of pure Augspurger® power and unequalled performance. Duo-8’s width and depth of soundstage is essential for Sardina’s orchestral film-score work.
Rafa’s Room: Close-up of Sardina’s Augspurger® Duo 8 monitors.
EAST: Next in the Class of ’17 is NYC’s new Penthouse Studios, located just one block north of Times Square in the Quad Studios complex. It’s on the top floor; naturally! The Penthouse project was designed and equipped from the ground up entirely by Dave Malekpour and PAD Group. The room is built around Augspurger® Duo 15V-S218 mains finished in high-gloss Arctic Whiteauga. The system boasts a whopping 5Kw of pristine, punchy Augspurger® DSP-controlled power. “Penthouse Manny,” as it’s being called, has instantly become one of New York’s hottest tracking and mixing suites.
Penthouse Power: The control room featuring a 5Kw Augspurger® Duo 15 Sub 218 system.
For the second year in a row, a new Augsurger monitor system has been nominated for a NAMM TECAward in the category of Technical Excellence in Studio Monitors.
Augspurger’s® new Solo 12MF is a powerful and compact active reference monitor is ideal for tracking, mixing, and mastering, featuring Augspurger®’s renowned DSP-based tuning capabilities. Free-standing or soffitable, the single 12” cabinet is built around the breakthrough “MF” (MidField) horn, which was introduced in 2015 with the TEC-nominated Duo 8 MiniMian. The Solo 12MF is a perfect design for smaller control rooms with a tighter zone between the monitors and the mix position.
The system pushes 650 watts per side and extends down to 30 hertz without a sub. Add any of the optional subwoofer packages – 1X12, 2X12m 1X18 and 2X18 – and you get a 3-way system boasting 1650 per side and bass extension to 20hz.
The MF horn has opened up a whole new range of monitor solutions for engineers with limited space. They may have thought they couldn’t have a true main monitor due to lack of distance between the front wall and mix position. The 30% smaller horn enables free standing monitors in the midfield area, as close as 5ft from the mixer.
~Dave Malekpour, president of Augspurger® and designer of the Solo 12.
Solo 12 MF pricing starts at $13,000 for a stereo two-way system.
The 32nd Annual TEC awards ceremony will be January 21, 2017 during the NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA.
While we always welcome customer visits at our factory, it isn’t always a practical option. To fully experience an Augspurger® monitor system you should be in a well-designed and acoustically treated room with the system carefully set up and tuned, or calibrated to the room’s response.
With installations worldwide we often partner with our clients to make available their rooms for demonstrations which provides you the ideal listening experience. So, wherever you are, we invite you to contact us to arrange for a personalized demo. Just let us know which system(s) you are interested in!