Las Vegas, NV (August 30, 2019)—Six-time Grammy-winning mixer Ken “Duro” Ifill, whose client list includes Jay-Z, Nas, Pharrell, Erykah Badu, Will Smith, Beastie Boys and Usher, recently adopted ATC SCM45A three-way nearfield monitors.
“I discovered ATC working at Q-Tip’s [A Tribe Called Quest] studio,” explains Duro, who splits his time between mixing and his position as senior vice president of A&R at Republic/Universal Records. “He had a pair of soffit-mounted ATC SCM150ASL Pros and some other well-respected nearfields. The first thing I fell in love with on his ATCs was the imaging.”
He continues, “As a mix engineer, I don’t think of things as just left or right. I think in three dimensions, which makes imaging especially important. I’ll put things, say, to the left-rear or center-up. Even beyond that, I’m thinking in actual depth. Say, for example, is something three feet back on the left or is it six feet back? I quickly stopped using Q-Tip’s nearfields entirely and just mixed everything on the ATCs. I loved how the volume didn’t affect the mix. I could mix quiet or loud and still have the same stable relationships and all the bass information. The top end was smooth and not at all fatiguing. It was a really enjoyable and productive mixing experience.”
After 20 years of using the same monitors, Duro was in the process of acquainting himself with a new set of nearfields in his own studio, but was having reliability problems with them, he says. “I decided to just get the ATCs that I was wanting.”
Duro chose the ATC SCM45A three-way monitors, which use two 6.5-inch low frequency drivers, a 3-inch soft dome mid-frequency driver and a 1-inch high-frequency driver. Although he has had them for just a short time, he has already completed Kiana Ledé’s EP Myself using the new monitors. “The translation on the ATCs is great,” he says. “But even beyond the balance between the instruments, the more nuanced texture of the sounds translates. The same way that two vocalists can hit the same note and still sound different.… It’s kind of analogous to what I’m talking about.”
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