JOHN RODD SCORES BIG TIME WITH ATC SCM150s FOR HIT MOVIE GET OUT AND THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER’S HEROES AND LEGENDS
Renowned music recording, mixing, and mastering engineer John Rodd works on a wide variety of projects from blockbuster movies to television (Breaking Bad) to video games (World of Warcraft, Overwatch, EA Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops II). Rodd’s versatility as an engineer is showcased on a diverse range of projects, including huge orchestral scores, rock, electronica, jazz, and classical. His recent work includes the score albums for Better Call Saul and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and the chart-topping #1 classical album Stars Are Rising for soprano Joanna Forest.
Rodd had to bring all of his skills to bear, along with the fatigue-free and translation-assured performance of his LCR set of ATC SCM150ASL three-way monitors, to mix composer Michael Abels’ eclectic film score for the hit social thriller Get Out and composer Penka Kouneva’s inspiring score for NASA’s unique Heroes and Legends 4-D experience at the Kennedy Space Center.
Working with Abels was a great experience for Rodd. He noted that “Michael’s score covered a ton of ground – live orchestra, Swahili group vocals, diverse percussion, solo cello, harp, and unique synth sounds. It’s really far from a traditional thriller score, and Michael deserves all the praise he’s received for writing something that works so well with the movie.” But working with a new film director meant working within budgetary constraints. This meant a very tight schedule to mix the movie’s 45 eclectic score cues. Rodd had to deliver ten separate 5.1 score stem mixes, the full 5.1 score mix, and a stereo fold-down for the soundtrack album, thus delivering a 68 audio track wide score mix for every piece of music!
“I’ve had the privilege of recording and mixing music all over the world at some of the greatest studios on their high-end monitoring systems,” Rodd said. “Given that perspective, I’m grateful to have the brutal honesty of the ATC monitors at my own studio, Clearstory Sound. They have tremendous definition and clarity across the entire range, and they really allow me to hear what’s going on so that I can make sure no elements are masking other important elements. My goal is to give each instrument its own sonic space in terms of frequency, panning, fader moves, and overall placement, while having them all work together at the same time. If something is harsh or woofy or boxy, I know it right away. I’m not second-guessing, ever. The ATCs allow me to work very quickly and confidently, which was a huge asset given the time constraints for Get Out.”
Those long days held the potential for ear fatigue, but Rodd claims the ATCs protect him from that pitfall as well: “It seems like a lot of other loudspeaker manufacturers turn up the brightness to give you detail, and I think that can get fatiguing. The ATCs, however, give me tons of detail without the top-end hype, which allows me to put in really long days of consistently solid work.” When mixing 5.1, Rodd uses his three ATC SCM150ASLs for a left-center-right system together with a revolving cast of surround speakers depending on the nature of the project.
Rodd’s other recent project, Penka Kouneva’s score for the Heroes and Legends 4-D experience at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, offered up a different sort of challenge than the traditional film score. The experience takes visitors through the history of the space program in a way that captures and conveys the excitement and emotion of that history. In addition to the immersive visuals on giant, curved screens and audio that can literally shake visitors to their core, the experience includes holograms, wind effects, scent effects, and other surprising 4-D elements spread across numerous theaters.
For Rodd, “It was a very complex mix due to the elaborate nature of Penka’s awesome hybrid score. It used a massive live orchestra along with many live solos, tons of synths, guitars, percussion, pads, arpeggiators, drums, and sub-bass musical effects. She really captured the spirit of the experience and gave it a timeless yet modern theatrical feel. I leaned heavily on my ATCs to let me know when things were right. I knew that if my mix sounded fantastic on the ATCs, it would sound the same in NASA’s theaters.”
ATC INTRODUCES HOME THEATRE SERIES ON-WALL LOUDSPEAKERS
ATC Loudspeaker Technology Ltd. has re-modelled its acclaimed passive SCM7, 11 and 40 speakers to create the Company’s new range of high performance on-wall speakers for the custom residential market. Available in three sizes and in vertical and horizontal configurations, the Home Theatre Series (HTS) systems can be creatively combined to generate ATC’s signature low-distortion, wideband audio dynamics in virtually any space from slender unobtrusive cabinets measuring less than 14cm (5.5”) deep.
In a development set to raise the performance quality of space-efficient home audio systems, the six new HTS models integrate class-leading drive unit and crossover technologies with a sealed-cabinet design for mounting on or into walls. Available in white or black satin, each model has been sympathetically engineered to blend with a range of room sizes and styles while providing exceptional TV/cinema sound and high resolution music reproduction.
Commenting on the launch of the HTS, ATC’s Marketing Manager Ben Lilly states, “in the HTS we’ve engineered a very discreet, easy-to-install speaker line, which delivers excellent custom design flexibility to residential custom installers, combined with the qualities of neutral fidelity and high dynamic range that our existing hi-fi/audiophile customers will instantly recognise.”
The HTS Line-Up
The Series comprises the vertically-configured HTS7, HTS11 and HTS40 speakers, and their companion HTS7C, HTS11C and HTS40C horizontally-configured versions. All HTS models benefit from the proprietary ATC drive unit technology deployed by their award-winning hi-fi counterparts, including revelatory SH25-76 dual-suspension tweeters (all models), CLD (Constrained Layer Damping) bass-mid drivers (HTS11), and ATC’s renowned 75mm/3” Soft Dome mid-range and 164mm short coil/long gap bass drivers (HTS40). ATC’s crossover designs have been completely revised to deliver a wide and accurate response from on-wall locations. Even so, wall proximity provides enhanced bass output and efficiency: the HTS11 has a -6dB point close to that of the SCM40 and the HTS40 approaching that of ATC’s larger SCM100 system!
HTS7 / HTS7C – 2-way Passive
Compact 2-way design suitable for small-to medium sized rooms, available in both vertical and horizontal versions. May also be used as a surround speaker for any installation.
HTS11 / HTS11C – 2-way Passive
Mid-size 2-way design suitable for main loudspeakers in medium sized rooms, available in both vertical and horizontal versions. May also be used as a surround speaker in medium – large rooms.
HTS40 / HTS40C – 3-way Passive
Large 3-way design features ATC’s 75mm soft dome for exceptional mid-range clarity and is suitable for main loudspeakers in larger rooms. The model employs a single cabinet design that can be configured for both vertical and horizontal mounting. The HTS40 may also be used as a surround speaker in large rooms.
Flexible System Design
Shared acoustic design enables a wide range of multi-channel system permutations to suit room size, shape and budgets. For instance, installers can use HTS7s or HTS7Cs to great effect as surround channel speakers supporting 11s in the front, or HTS11s to complement a front-firing HTS40 array. Both versions of each HTS model offer equal performance and are freely interchangeable, allowing maximum design flexibility in the choice of speaker orientation/configuration.
On-wall installation is easy via key-hole plates on the rear, which mate with wall fixings. Each product ships with a card template to assist the quick and accurate marking of fixing positions.
ATC at Work
ATC Loudspeaker Technology’s systems are employed by many leading audio engineers, designers, composers and professional sound studios around the world, including Dolby, Fox, BBC, Abbey Road, and Skywalker Sound. Dolby Labs purchased ATC loudspeakers for the majority of its R&D listening labs and also its VIP listening suite at its new flagship San Francisco HQ, which opened in 2015. The opportunity to provide the speakers for Dolby came about after winning a lengthy selection process against many other manufacturers. As with every ATC product, each HTS model is individually hand-built to provide a lifetime of service and audio enjoyment, and carries a six year guarantee.
UK Retail Prices
HTS7/7C £475 each.
HTS11/11C £685 each.
HTS40 £1950 each.
All prices include VAT at 20% and the products will be shipping from 1st July 2017.
The Absolute Sound Review the SCM19A
Our floorstanding active 2-way, the SCM19A continues to impress with, Neil Gader the latest reviewer to be wowed by it’s stunning performance. Writing for U.S. based print and web magazine, The Absolute Sound, Neil not only found the loudspeaker highly impressive but also made him reconsidder the typical approach to hi-fi nirvana; “the chase” as he so eloquently puts it.
Here are just a few highlights from the review:
“Far and away its biggest asset (and this was also true of the SCM19) remains its fast, dynamic, and transparent midrange—one that anchors images, from vocals to violins, and establishes their palpable presence in the room.”
“Image placement is fastidious; at times almost startling in the way musicians inhabit their own space with authority, clarity, and specificity.”
“There is no two-way loudspeaker that I would recommend more highly.”
Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, May 2017.
ATC Announce ProLyd AS official Norwegian Professional Distributor
2nd May 2017, Stroud, UK:
With immediate effect, ATC is very pleased to announce the appointment of ProLyd AS. as their official professional product distributor for Norway. ProLyd will handle ATC’s full professional product line from the smallest SCM12 Pro nearfield monitor through to the largest SCM300ASL Pro main monitor and including ATC’s range of professional electronics.
“It gives us great pleasure to appoint ProLyd as our new distributor for the Norwegian market,” states, Ben Lilly, ATC Sales Manager, “their experience, technical ability and customer base was an outstanding fit for ATC and we look forward to working with them.”
Established in 1996, ProLyd has grown to become one of the leading companies for the design, supply and installation of professional audio equipment in Norway. Operating from their base in Oslo, ProLyd supply clients in a wide range of categories including music recording & production, postproduction, broadcast, live sound and education.
ProLyd AS. Mølleparken 4, 0459 OSLO
T: +47 23 19 96 00
Hi-Fi Wigwam – Real Reviews – SCM19A
As part of their new RealReview feature, Hi-Fi Wigwam have been reviewing the SCM19AT. Reviewer, Richard Bowles made a few interesting findings during his extensive listening…
“The obvious test of any piece of equipment is its ability to make you keep listening. As I start the first draft of this review, we have most of the family arriving for Easter on what was tomorrow but is now today. It is three in the morning and I am being moaned at, not unreasonably, for carrying on pulling things off the shelves to listen to. That, in a nutshell, is the ATCs. They make you want to keep finding things to play. A number of tracks are probably the best I have ever heard them sound.”
Richard Bowles, Hi-Fi Wigwam, April 2017.
Hi-Fi Wigwam SCM19A Review
Synth whizz Will Gregory gears up to take new Goldfrapp album to the masses with ATC assistance
“What’s good about the SCM25A Pros is that they’re more muscular; they’ve got more bass end, and you can control that… they manage to throw the sweet spot quite a long way into the room, so everyone can share it… but they have all that accuracy, so when you do sit yourself down in the sweet spot they’re absolutely invaluable.” – Will Gregory (composer/keyboardist/producer), 2017.
BOX HILL, WILTS, UK: specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC is proud to announce that Goldfrapp synth whizz Will Gregory turned to London based ATC dealer Funky Junk to supplement his trusty Nineties-vintage SCM20 passive monitors with an altogether more modern SCM25A Pro three-way active studio pairing, promptly put to good use when working on the multiple Grammy®-nominated British electronic duo’s recently released seventh studio album, Silver Eye…
But before finding critical acclaim and international chart success with vocalist Alison Goldfrapp — Supernature sold over one million copies as Goldfrapp’s third album (featuring striking smash hit ‘Ooh La La’), the Bristol-born multi-talented composer, keyboardist, and producer predominantly recorded and toured throughout the Eighties with Bath-based rock/pop phenomenon Tears For Fears and later performed with other big name ‘local’ acts, including singer-songwriter/humanitarian activist Peter Gabriel and trip-hop pioneers Portishead. It was around this time that Will Gregory began a lifelong love affair with those trusty two-way passives, playing their part in putting him on the road to Goldfrapp glory. “I managed to source a second-hand pair of SCM20s, because I didn’t have a lot of money at the time,” he begins. “But I’ve always used them as my main reference monitors, and I’ve taken them to all the mixing sessions we’ve done with Goldfrapp. I know where I am with them, so they’ve stood me in good stead, because they have this quality of not bringing anything to the party.”
Problems have, however, occurred — albeit as far as Will Gregory’s well-honed listening skills are concerned — when stepping outside his ATC comfort zone: “I’ve had to mix on other speakers when working elsewhere, but then when I play those mixes back on the SCM20s I end up making more changes — put it that way. Whatever else I play them on after I’ve made those changes, I don’t want to make any more changes, so — in that sense — you can trust them to be accurate.”
All of which rather begs the question: why the need to move on up to ATC’s acclaimed SCM25A Pro three-way actives? An answer lies somewhat closer to home. Home is where the heart is, after all, and home for Will Gregory is a spacious Sixties bungalow also housing his primary studio setup (as well as a synth-based room and another room dedicated to analogue drum sounds and tape manipulation). Here he hunkered down for the best part of two years to work on the new Goldfrapp album, announced on Twitter by Alison Goldfrapp herself back in July 2015. While Will Gregory has not entirely forsaken his passive pair of beloved SCM20s, the larger SCM25A Pro three-way active studio monitors met with his approval in more ways than one: “What’s good about the SCM25A Pros is that they’re more muscular; they’ve got more bass end, and you can control that because they’ve got ports on the side, so you can decide how much or little you want, which is great. I love the totally practical, physical way that you can just remove or insert the bungs to change the bass, but, either way, they fill the room much better than the SCM20s.”
Tricky as it may sound, residential room size played a part in influencing Will Gregory’s studious SCM25A Pro purchasing decision. “I’m in quite a big room now,” notes its owner, adding: “I’m here a lot of the time, so it functions like a home. I think they used to have more room in the Sixties, so it’s got this large sitting room with a lovely picture window, which means you can see some nature while working. So I love it from that point of view, having spent so many years underground, which is where musicians seem to put themselves a lot the time in studios for some strange reason. But because we’re detached here, we’re not going to disturb our neighbours unduly, so it’s ideal. But when I’m working with other people in there we clearly can’t all fit in the sweet spot between the speakers, yet they manage to throw the sweet spot quite a long way into the room, so everyone can share it. They’re also fantastic for just ramping up the vibe a little bit, but they have all that accuracy, so when you do sit yourself down in the sweet spot they’re absolutely invaluable.”
Invaluable for referencing that all-important bass end on Goldfrapp’s eagerly-awaited seventh studio album, about which the dynamic duo themselves collectively commented: “Silver Eye belongs more to the electronic world of Supernature and Black Cherry. We’ve worked with some fantastic people on this album and we’re really excited to share it with you.”
SCM25A Product Page
Will Gregory Moog Ensemble
SCM19A Review – The Speaker Shack
Giancarlo Massironi is the latest reviewer to be bowled over by the performance and musicality of the SCM19A.
“the ATC SCM19AT speakers have all the potential for offering up this album with an extra-large serving of quality. The dynamics and transients are really excellent…with the ability to create a large scale sonic picture in my smallish room. The top end is so detailed with not a hint of any harshness as the tweeter is one of the finest sounding I have come across…Listening to the SCM19AT speakers has proved to be a very rewarding experience…” Giancarlo Massironi, The Speaker Shack, March 2017.
To read the review in full, please visit The Speaker Shack website.
ATC P2 Power Amp Review – Hi-Fi News
The new P2 power amplifier has received a glowing review in the latest (March) edition of Hi-Fi News.
Hi-Fi News reviewer, Adam Smith greatly enjoyed his time with the amplifier and here are just a few of his thoughts from the review:
“the P2 is one of those subtle components that quietly works its magic on you, until you suddenly realise that it is doing everything brilliantly but without any fuss or melodrama. Put simply, it just sounds ‘right’.”
“In terms of detail, the P2 struck gold once again. Instruments were lifelike and beautifully atmospheric, no matter whether a recording featured a soft solo acoustic ensemble or a grand orchestral bombardment.”
Adam Smith, Hi-Fi News, March 2017.
To read the review in full, click the link to the PDF.
For more details on the amplifier, visit the P2 product page.
To arrange a demo, please get in touch with your local ATC dealer or distributor. Details of retailers in your area can be found here.
Hi-Fi News, is the longest running Hi-Fi magazine, worldwide. It is widely respected for it’s detailed and thorough reviews, covering both the subjective quality and the measured technical performance of the products it covers. You can find out more on the Hi-Fi News & Record Review website.
GREEN DAY AND CHRIS DUGAN OUTFIT NEW STUDIO WITH ATC SCM45s AND SUBWOOFER PROS FOR REVOLUTION RADIO
As the legendary five-time Grammy-winning punk rock trio Green Day filled out a project studio in anticipation of recording its twelfth studio album, their longtime engineer, Chris Dugan (U2, Iggy Pop, Smash Mouth), collaborated on the equipment choices. They filled it with their favorites, including API, BAE, Manley, Vintech, Universal Audio, Chandler preamps and equalizers, and a Trident 80b console. When it came time to decide on monitors, Dugan recommended ATC SCM45A Pro nearfields paired with two Subwoofer Pros Studio 18’s, following his success with his own pair of ATC SCM25A Pro monitors. As a result, “Green Day’s recently released recording, Revolution Radio was recorded entirely on the ATC/Subwoofer Pros system. The system was sold to Dugan and Green Day by their long-term supplier, Cutting Edge Audio and Video, San Francisco.
“We had been demoing some songs the band had been working on, and as we made the transition to recording for the album, I suggested that we consider upping the monitoring in Green Day’s project studio,” Dugan said. “We agreed that it made sense to go to the top of the line so that we would know that we’re doing exactly what we hope we’re doing for this big recording project. I have a pair of ATC SCM25As, and I heard the SCM45As at AES last year. I knew they would give us the kind of precision monitoring that we needed, and Brad Lunde at TransAudio Group helped us complement the ATCs with two Subwoofer Pros subs.”
He continued, “They were exactly what we were hoping for; we were able to hear absolutely everything. When I’m talking to my non-audio friends, I tell them that monitors are like prescription glasses: you can’t really discern the details without a good pair. Bad monitors hide various aspects of the sound, and it’s those aspects that poke out in weird ways when you listen back on another system. In contrast, the ATCs reveal everything. The Subwoofer Pros subs fill in the bottom end nicely, which gave us a more inspiring playback – the full frequency impact was impressive!”
JOE CHICCARELLI SCORES WITH ATC SCM45A PRO MONITORS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 2016: With Ten Grammy wins, including Best Engineered Album for The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely and scores of platinum and gold albums, Joe Chiccarelli has made good on the famous opportunity Frank Zappa gave him during the recording of “Sheik Yerbouti” – among Zappa’s best-selling albums ever. When the head engineer couldn’t make the session, Zappa promoted then-assistant engineer Chiccarelli to take the lead.
Joe Chiccarelli at Sunset Sound with his ATC SCM45A Pro.
Since then, Chiccarelli has had the opportunity to work with the biggest and best artists in the music industry, including U2, Beck, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Tori Amos, The Strokes, Jason Mraz, The White Stripes, and on and on and on. Inspired by their transparent midrange, extended low- and high-end, and impressive SPLs, Chiccarelli recently switched from the monitors he had been using for two decades to ATC SCM45A Pro nearfields.
“I had stuck by the same monitors for twenty years because they offered the kind of phase coherence that allowed me to hear, for example, small differences in mic position,” explained Chiccarelli. “But in the last five years or so, I started looking around for something that would give me that same phase coherence, but greater low-end and high-end content to meet the current expectations in the recording industry. People are making bigger, punchier albums these days, with an extended frequency range and plenty of synthesized sounds with extreme frequency content. For a long time, it was an unsuccessful search, and I stayed with my old monitors.”
He continued, “But then I was working with The Killers at their studio in Las Vegas, and Brad (Lunde, president of ATC’s U.S. distributor, TransAudio Group) loaned me a pair of ATC SCM25A loudspeakers. We were doing guitar overdubs at the time, and the moment we put the SCM25As up, I heard details that went beyond the capabilities of my old monitors. It was immediately apparent that I had to go move the mic a quarter inch because it wasn’t quite right where it was. That’s the kind of fine detail that I depend on to make the right decisions.” Keen for more low end than the SCM25As could offer, Chiccarelli waited – on the advice of Lunde – for the introduction of the ATC SCM45As, which have two low-end drivers.
In the year-and-a-half that he’s had them, Chiccarelli has used them to record, mix, and/or produce Morrissey, Alanis Morissette, Arkells, Needtobreathe, Milow, Spoon… “pretty much everything I’ve done,” he said. “Recently I’ve been traveling to Montréal to work on a project with Broken Social Scene, and after I finished pretending that I could get by without my ATCs, Brad stepped in to help me find a local pair that I could use. It’s really the midrange for me – that’s the tell. Plenty of monitors can impress with their low end or high end, but the midrange is where most of the critical work happens. I think that’s why engineers used to rely so heavily on Auratones, Altecs, and JBLs – speakers that had that clarity in the midrange. New speakers, with the exception of ATCs, are missing that. And truth be told, ATCs take that midrange clarity to a whole new level – this is something new under the sun.”
Not only do the ATC SCM45As sound great and produce recordings that reliably translate, they also produce plenty of clean volume. “That’s important,” Chiccarelli states. “I do a lot of live tracking sessions with full bands – it’s not just about the vocal. I want the band to come back into the control room and get excited about the work they’re doing. I want it to be big and powerful and to reflect who they are as artists. It’s an impressive psychological advantage that feeds back to inspire better recordings. My SCM45As practically sound like soffit-mounted mains!”
Chiccarelli is so reliant on and impressed by the ATC SCM45A Pro that he recently purchased a second pair for a new overdub room that he opened up in his home-away-from-home, Sunset Sound.
SCM45A Pro Product Page.
Transaudio Group (ATC U.S. Distribution).