Irvine, CA (April 8, 2008)–Mariachi music dates from the 1860s and involves an ensemble of acoustic instruments playing at a variety of formal and family gatherings throughout Mexico and the U.S. Its unique instrumentation places specific demands on production equipment, not the least of which is the need to reproduce stringed instruments, horns and ensemble vocals with a high degree of fidelity and energy.
“I have been looking for a set of accurate monitor speakers for a long time,” explains José Hernández, leader of Mariachi Sol de Mexico and owner of Lake Arrowhead Recording Studios. “My new PMC IB1S Precision Monitors from Professional Monitor Company sound incredible–they are very natural, with even, uncolored playback. I couldn’t be happier with these IB1S monitors powered by Bryston 4B amplifiers.”
Hernández is well known as the King of Mariachi; his most recent Grammy Award nomination came in 2007 for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album for 25 Aniversario. Last September, Mariachi Sol de Mexico appeared on Broadway, performing The Passion of Mariachi, a tribute to the passionate history of mariachi music and its composers.
Lake Arrowhead Recording Studios has been in operation for just over four-and-one-half years and offers digital and analog multitrack recording as well as CD mastering and 5.1 surround mixing. “I set up this facility primarily for my own projects,” explains Hernández, “but also for outside producers and musicians. The acoustics are ideally suited for acoustic instruments.”
A section of the facility’s performance areas was recently dedicated to CD mastering and related functions. “My main monitors, located in the control room, just aren’t accurate enough for critical mastering sessions,” Hernández continues. “I looked around at what was available–and went to a number of trade shows–searching for high-resolution monitor speakers. When I auditioned a pair of IB1S in my facility, I knew that I had heard the best. They are amazingly analytical–just what I need for CD mastering projects.”
The IB1S is a three-way monitor for either stereo or surround applications, and can be partnered with its dedicated center channel and SB100 sub-bass system. The unit features wide-dispersion soft-domed fabric mid- and high-frequency units and the PMC 10-inch carbon fiber and Nomex flat-piston LF driver.
Acoustic treatment at Lake Arrowhead Recording Studios includes custom absorbers, bass traps and diffusers. Two main tracking rooms feature high ceilings. “Several Latin artists and composers have been pleased to find Arrowhead studios exceptionally suited for their musical vision and production needs,” Hernández says.
Recording equipment includes a 96-input Yamaha DM2000 Digital Production Console, 24-bit/96 kHz Apogee ADX16 converters and an Apple Mac G5 running Digidesign Pro Tools HD|3 DAW software with MOTU MTP MIDI interface. Analog equipment includes an Otari MX-80 two-inch 24-track with Dolby SR noise reduction.
Lake Arrowhead Recording Studio