Chicago, IL (March 10, 2005)–Brando Triantafillou, a partner, composer and engineer at Chicago’s Rhythm Cafe commercial music facility, recently discovered ATC SCM10ASL Pro active speakers. Initially introduced to the brand by local mastering engineer Danny Leake, Triantafillou knew he’d found his ideal monitor system after further auditions at the audio department of nearby Columbia University.
“The mid-range is very accurate,” said Triantafillou of his new ATC monitors, which are currently installed in Studio A at Rhythm Cafe, a nine-year-old facility specializing in music for radio and television that is located in a late-19th Century brownstone in the city’s River North district. Plus, he said, “I’ll be using a subwoofer in conjunction with SCM10s, but even without the sub, the monitors really give me an accurate, un-hyped representation of the audio while tracking and mixing.”
Triantafillou was concerned that many of the industry standard brands, a number of which he has used previously, would not meet his expectations. “My biggest complaint about other two-way monitor systems,” he elaborated, “is that there tends to be dip in the mid-range at the crossover point. The larger the LF driver, the more difficult it is to accurately hear mid-range frequencies. HF drivers tend to smear the upper mid-range frequencies. This can lead to mixes with a slight mid-range boost that don’t translate well to other monitor systems”.
Having used the ATC SCM10 monitors for nearly a month, Triantafillou’s discovered that mixes translate without a problem onto other speaker systems. “I’ve found that when a mix sounds good on SCM10s, it sounds good on other systems as well. I’ve had clients call back and comment on how their mixes sounded phenomenal. The ATC’s make my life easier, I can work faster since I’m not second-guessing whether my mixes are going to translate.”
The SCM10s are destined eventually for Triantafillou’s home studio, which is currently under construction. “In designing and building my home studio with personal and outside projects in mind, I wanted to have a highly-accurate monitoring system ” he explained. Listening to the ATC monitors installed at Columbia University, he recalled, “Obviously the SCM10s are a smaller monitor, so they’re not going to produce the lower octave, but the detail, depth, and imaging of the speakers is amazing. I put on Peter Gabriel’s So record, and all of a sudden I could hear reverbs that I’d never heard. It was really quite striking.”
The Columbia University audio department features both ATC SCM10 and the larger SCM50 monitors. Triantafillou’s friend at the department, engineer John Murray, pointed out that the sound is the same throughout the ATC line, he reports. “It just sounds bigger on the bigger monitors. But it’s the same tonal quality.”
“I remember John telling me, the ATCs sound different in the mid-range, he continued,” They have this virtual three-way thing going on, mimicking the response of a three-way system with only two drivers. That impressed me, since my space and budget constraints would not allow me to purchase a three-way monitor system.
“What also made an impression,” he said, “was that I was told that one of the theories behind the design was to mimic how your ear actually hears, as opposed to making it flat 20 to 20, the SCM10s start rolling off at 17kHz, which is closer to how human hearing works.
“One of my complaints with other monitor systems is that they may produce a flat frequency response, but they sound “edgy” or “harsh” on the top-end. This tends to be very fatiguing during long sessions. I was very impressed with the smoothness of the ATCs, and called Richard Bowman at TransAudio Group and ordered a pair.”
Rhythm Cafe principally produces music for radio and television commercial work, and also handles sound design projects. “From time to time, its also nice to use the facility to record and produce music that is longer than 30 and 60 seconds,” said Triantafillou, who recently completed a jazz trio session in Studio A. “It’s always fun to compose and produce different forms of music, and using the ATCs helps to make it even more enjoyable.”