EA STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT™ ORIGINAL SCORE MIXED AND MASTERED ON ATC LOUDSPEAKERS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 2015: John Rodd snuck out of the house. The year was 1977, long before he would become a prominent music recording, mixing and mastering engineer in the film, gaming, and music industries, with credits including Breaking Bad, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Lincoln Lawyer, World of Warcraft, Elysium, Batman: Bad Blood, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed; and Eric Clapton among countless others.
He was eleven years old at the time, and the occasion was arguably worthy of so great an infraction: the original Star Wars film was playing in the theater and he wasn’t going to be the only kid in class to miss it! Now, decades later, Rodd is a part of the Star Wars universe by mixing and mastering Gordy Haab’s original score for EA Star Wars: Battlefront™. Like many of the scores he records, mixes and masters, Rodd relied on his ATC SCM150ASL Pro reference monitors to inform his decisions with transparency and truthfulness
Players of EA Star Wars: Battlefront™ hear Haab’s original score throughout most of the game, but the game also segues in and out of parts of John Williams’ legendary Star Wars film scores. Rodd had to make sure that Gordy’s original score would fit with the older film scores from both a technical standpoint and, more importantly, from an emotional standpoint. “To fit within the Star Wars universe, Gordy’s music had to sound lush and huge, exciting and dramatic,” Rodd said. “The recordings took place at Abbey Road’s largest studio, and part of my task was always striking the perfect balance between the room mics and the spot mics. If only the room mics were utilized then the music would sound too far away. The spot mics add presence and detail, but if they become too loud, the recording loses its grandeur and falls out of balance. It loses its depth.”
Rodd emphasized that his cinematic and gaming work takes a different mindset compared with that of a classical recording that is meant to stand on its own. It has to effectively coexist with dialog and sound effects, which require different considerations. “I had to think about the big picture for EA Star Wars: Battlefront™,” he said. “Clarity is paramount. A lot of my work involves tiny surgical adjustments to clear away frequencies that are masking or diminishing important elements. Getting the right balance of clarity and size is difficult, and it requires profoundly accurate monitoring.”
He continued, “I find that my ATC 150s are very revealing and honest. ATC is legendary for its midrange quality, and I rely on my ATC 150s to help make all the tiny sonic decisions that add up to a compelling mix. They’re brutally honest, which is a good thing! If something actually sounds glorious, then it will sound glorious on my 150s. If something is slightly amiss, it will sound wrong on my 150s. There’s no guessing; ATC gives me the whole picture. Moreover, that truthfulness guarantees that a great sound in my studio will translate well to any other system. As a result, I’m able to work with 100% confidence.”
ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP
TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.
ATC SCM150ASL Pro
New Sonicscoop Feature: Inside Adele’s “25”: How Tom Elmhirst Mixed a Masterpiece
“The ATC SCM 50’s and an ATC SCM 1-15 subwoofer have been my main monitoring for three years now. They’re the best I’ve had.” Tom Elmhirst, SonicScoop, December 2015.
Read the feature in full here at sonicscoop.
Omar Hakim selects SCM50ASL Pro for personal studio after ATC factory visit
“To finally be able to monitor music with this level of accuracy and detail is an incredible experience for me. The SCM50ASL Pros are definitely taking my work to the next level.”
– Omar Hakim, 2015 (musician/producer/arranger/composer).
NEW JERSEY, USA: specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC is proud to announce that Omar Hakim has installed a pair of SCM50ASL Pro threeway active monitors in his personal studio — The OH-Zone — sited at his New Jersey home, having had a guided tour of the ATC factory facilities in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK…
According to his official website, Omar Hakim is: “Widely acclaimed for his versatility, technical prowess, and groove [and] is one of the most successful session drummers of the past forty years.” Yet the acclaimed American jazz, jazz fusion, and pop music drummer, producer, arranger, and composer certainly needs not blow his own trumpet too loudly, so-to-speak, for his association with top-tier acts as varied as Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Weather Report, Sting, Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kate Bush, Dire Straits, and Journey surely speaks louder than words.
When ever-present US rock band Journey’s longtime drummer, Dean Castronovo, was arrested during their 2015 North American summer tour they turned to Omar Hakim to capably walk in his percussive shoes at arguably the shortest notice in high-flying touring history — less than 24 hours! However, when reclusive English singer-songwriter, musician, composer, dancer, and record producer Kate Bush ventured out on stage as a headliner late last year for the first time in 35 years for a sold-out string of no fewer than 22 ‘intimate’ theatrical shows at London’s Eventim Apollo theatre — the admired, albeit renamed venue where her only concert CD to date, Live At Hammersmith Odeon, was recorded way back in 1979, it was with Omar Hakim holding down the perfect beat throughout those career-spanning shows… shows that indirectly led the demonstrably in-demand drummer to ATC, as it happens.
“I didn’t become aware of ATC until I began working with Kate Bush,” begins Omar Hakim himself, before adding: “Her engineer was the great producer/engineer Greg Walsh, who set up a control room space at the rehearsal location during pre-production for the London shows. That’s where I heard ATCs for the first time — SCM100ASL Pros, I believe. I was immediately blown away with
what I was hearing. That was the first time that I had ever heard a speaker reproduce audio like that! Then I had the pleasure of doing some show prep at Kate’s personal studio, where I think she had SCM150ASL Pros — fantastic!”
So when it came to upgrading the main monitoring at The OH-Zone, his own personal studio back home across the pond in New Jersey, it was an ATC done deal as far as Omar Hakim was concerned: “I was thinking of getting SCM25A Pros — until I heard the SCM50ASL Pros at the ATC factory, having had the pleasure of getting a factory tour and sitting with Managing Director Billy
Woodman to audition several ATC models. I decided to go with the SCM50ASL Pros because I could hear the difference in the low-end response. I also knew that for my purpose of tracking live drums and small rhythm sections they were the right choice for me! To finally be able to monitor music with this level of accuracy and detail is an incredible experience for me. The SCM50ASL
Pros are definitely taking my work to the next level.”
Not that Omar Hakim has ever been short of session work, mind — most recently recording drums for the Grammy® award-winning Random Access Memories album by breakthrough French electronic duo Daft Punk, as well as recording, mixing, and producing his third critically-acclaimed solo album, We Are One, at The OH-Zone. The Trio of OZ, the band he formed with wife Rachel Z in 2010, are currently working on their second album, all set for release on his OZmosis Media Group label in 2016: “I’ve recorded and mixed three albums there, and I also do lots of sessions for clients around the world that send me tracks to put drums on.”
Omar Hakim has plans to build a new home and studio, so his beloved SCM50ASL Pros will definitely be making the move, too: “I’ve always had a deep appreciation for technology and the thought, ingenuity, and commitment needed to bring it to the world. Billy Woodman and the crew at ATC are craftsman of the highest order. From the beautiful wood cabinetry to the speaker components and electronics, ATC speakers are simply amazing!”