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Harris Mixes Remotely with Neumann 5.1.4 System

Grammy, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning broadcast and mix engineer John Harris has transitioned to a remote mixing environment.

What used to be a bedroom in John Harris' home in New Jersey is now a 5.1.4 immersive mix room for remote mixing.
What used to be a bedroom in John Harris’ home in New Jersey is now a 5.1.4 immersive mix room for remote mixing.

Burlington, NJ (December 11, 2020)—Grammy, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning broadcast and mix engineer John Harris, music mixer for the televised Grammy presentations for the past 30 years, has set up a remote mixing environment at his home outfitted with Neumann monitors.

Harris and his creative partner, Jody Elff, who is a Grammy Award-winning audio engineer, sound artist and designer himself, reportedly began pursuing their new endeavor HEAR in earnest last year, leveraging existing technologies and commoditized connectivity infrastructure with the goal of delivering perfect recordings and mixes to remote clients.

“The system we have set up basically consists of two components: one is to control the machines on the other side, and one is to hear them properly,” Harris explains. “Our controllers are so fast that you can really get the feel of a live remote mix, so you are making fluid movements.” Their new business model was put to the test when the pandemic hit in March.

What used to be a bedroom in his home in New Jersey is now a 5.1.4 immersive mix room, says Harris, who wants to help push forward the broadcast market for multi-channel audio. His new system consists of Neumann KH 310 monitors at the LCR mix positions, two KH 310s in the rear, and four KH 120s overhead.

View From the Top: Ralf Oehl, CEO, Georg Neumann GmbH

“My goal here is to demonstrate that we are no longer limited by location-based facilities,” he says. “I want to get people excited about how we are able to deliver all the needed components to the artist and monitor and create in an ideal environment — and to a Dolby standard.”

To facilitate their remote recordings, Harris and Elff send a system of cases containing recording hardware and software and microphones to the location. “They roll the case in, power it up and plug the internet in,” says Harris. “When the client turns it on, our switches see it and immediately we are able to control everything; we talk to them on their headphones as if they were in a studio.”

Harris says, “The systems always function as a recorder but also function as a mixer that I control with hardware controls—not a mouse. If the goal is to be live, it will output my mix to streaming, a network or wherever it’s needed in real time.” The recorded audio also uploads to a secure site, and in about 20 minutes, Harris is able to access an entire multi-track and start re-mixing, continuing the process from where he left off.

Neumann • www.neumann.com

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