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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 diversity of styles.
Rafael “Rafa” Sardina just might be the busiest man in the music business. At the very least the 13-time Grammy® & Latin Grammy® Award Winning Producer/Mixer/Engineer is in high demand. When he’s not mixing orchestral tracks for film at his LA-based Afterhours Studio, he’s jetting around the world to engineer international superstars like Yanni, Placido Domingo and Luis Miguel. The Spanish-born Sardina’s list of credits is as impressive as it is diverse, filled with eye-popping names like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello. In the Spanish-speaking music world, Sardina is a superestrella himself, having won more than a half-dozen Latin Grammys® for his work with the likes of Thalía, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Carina Ricco and Antonio Orozco. As Sardina himself likes to say, “I go where the music takes me.”
In his constant pursuit of sonic perfection, Sardina decided it was time to elevate the quality of his mixing monitors at Afterhours. After a couple of chance meetings with Augspurger’s Dave Malekpour, Sardina agreed to try out a Duo 8 Sub 12 MiniMain system. As it turned out, it was the perfect solution. Sardina needs to be able to work on everything from hard rock to string ensembles, so a monitor that gives him a powerful and detailed soundstage of any type of source is a must. Additionally, the system’s deep DSP tuning capability ensures the monitors will be flat and accurate when coupled with Afterhours’ space-challenged environment. After giving the Duo 8’s a good couple of weeks of testing with his platinum ears, Sardina concluded that the Augspurger system was the best main monitor he had worked on, and the right fit for his studio. Sardinia’s opinion that the Duo 8’s would improve his ability to hear and mix music is no small thing, given his reputation as one of the world’s best mixers. After all, his name goes on every project he does.
But he wasn’t done yet. When you are Rafa Sardina, It’s essential to have a comfortable yet energizing vibe for your clients and yourself to get creative. Sardina is about mojo. That is why he chose a pair of Duo 8’s with a highly figured flame-maple front baffle and horn, finished in a hi-gloss, rich red oak lacquer. You could say the wood is as textured as Sardina’s mixes.
Not surprisingly, Sardina’s Afterhours Studio was named a “Class of 2017” studio by Mix Magazine.
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 their clients, it’s not surprising the studio installed an Augspurger monitoring system for their new Studio 4 room, designed by Jelle Van der Voet of Pinna Acoustics. The team chose a Solo 12MF Sub 12 system, acquired through Robbie Dunne of Miloco Gear, London.
“When Wisseloord approached us for a new main monitoring solution for their Studio, 4 their approach was that they wanted a compact system that is both inspiring and accurate. We instantly recommended Augspurgers because we believe no other system can so effortlessly fill this requirement,” said Dunne.
AmsterDAMN: Studio 4 with Augspurger Solo 12MF Sub 12.
“The choice of Augspurgers was driven by a desire to serve a growing clientele of HipHop and EDM artists and producers, as well as offer something new,” said studio creative director Malik Berrabah, “We have a great bunch of speakers in our studios. We were looking for something different and unique in continental Europe; something with more body and low end for more hiphop and electronic producers.”
Pinna Acoustics’ initial challenge was to take an old existing large tracking room and divide it in half to create both tracking and control rooms in the vintage space. This meant that the control room would not be huge but still needed to be tight and accurate. The integration of the Augspurgers was written in to the room’s acoustic blueprint from an early stage.
The system chosen was of one of Augspurger’s most compact three-way main monitor systems, the Solo 12MF with 1X12 subwoofer. Despite a modest footprint, the active Solo 12MF system pushes out 2500 watts of clean, accurate audio. It utilizes the “MF” (Midfocus) horn, 30% smaller than the classic Augspurger horn, which is designed for tighter, closer-in monitoring environments. The system provides Studio 4 with a true, no compromise, no-sacrifice main monitor system with low end to under 20hz.
“Now with a full range and really powerful monitor system the room must be able to handle all that low frequency energy. We designed some seriously tuned low frequency bass trapping so the room acoustics don’t interact negatively with the full range spectrum of the Augspurger system,” said Van der Voet.
“Studio 4 with the Augspurgers is for making music, more than just sound,” Berrabah said, adding, “So far creative producers who’ve worked in the room really love the speakers, mostly the low end. For musicians and producers its great that they can feel the music.”
“Working with Jelle and Malik at Wisseloord has been great. It’s an iconic and top notch facility and we’re proud to have an Augspurger system powering the new room,” said Augspurger president, Dave Malekpour.
Long Distance Call: L – Dave Malekpour tunes the system from the USA, R – Wisseloord Engineers in EU tune-in.
Trans-Atlantic Tuning:Once the monitors were installed, the next step was to tune the Augspurger’s to the room using advanced DSP technology, fitted in to the on-board Class D amps. This is where something groundbreaking happened. Malekpour, along with Wisseloord engineers, dialed the system in remotely, across the Atlantic ocean. Using Skype and advanced tuning software, Malekpour tuned the Holland-based system from Augspurger HQ in Hanover, MA. The results were right on the money.
Van der Voot commented, “I’ve never done a transatlantic tuning session before but it turned out great. Dave took the time to tell us a lot about the company and the speaker system. I sent him some acoustic measurement files of the room with the Augspurgers and Dave tweaked the DSP power through a desktop remote session.”
“We worked closely with the team, remote tuning the system, measuring, listening, making changes, until Wisseloord was feeling the music,” said Malekpour.
“Studio 4 is now a great room for writing, composing, mixing and recording. It has a small and great sounding setup. A real new-school studio!” exclaimed Van der Voet,
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 mastering guru like DeYoung is how the speakers magnify the details, and most importantly, how his work translates to the outside world. According to DeYoung, his new Solo 12MF system checks those boxes perfectly.
“As far as working on the Solo 12’s go I absolutely love it. It’s totally different than mastering on dual concentric speakers that I am familiar with, and have built a career with. I love how my work translates to my clients and so do they,” said an enthusiastic DeYoung when asked for his initial response.
“They make attended sessions a breeze, and put on a show when they need to. I also love how long and low SPL I can work on them. I can judge low end easily at low volumes, which makes my sessions a lot easier,” he added.
*“MF” stands for “midfocus,” the 30% smaller Augspurger horn designed for working in closer, tighter near/midfield zones, sitting atop a single 12” driver.
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!