Venice, CA (June 30, 2015) — Producer, mixer, engineer and recording artist Ronan Chris Murphy recently upgraded the main room at his Veneto West studio complex in Santa Monica, California, removing the vintage analog mixing console and placing a greater emphasis on the monitoring signal path. The reconfigured studio now features a massive pair of FAR (Fundamental Acoustic Research) prototype main monitor speakers that are decoupled from the floor using custom-configured IsoAcoustics Modular Series aluminum acoustic isolation stands.
“These one-of-a-kind FAR speakers weigh about 300 pounds each. I was surprised that the IsoAcoustics stands could accommodate them,” says Murphy, who has hundreds of albums in a broad range of genres—including hip-hop, classical chamber music, acoustic jazz, singer-songwriters and progressive rock—to his credit. But the IsoAcoustics Modular Series stands were up to the task, and have made a marked improvement to the performance of the main monitors, he says.
“The FAR speakers are really great sounding, very full-range and very accurate, which isn’t always the case with very large monitors. I use them primarily for mastering work,” he continues. “But the difference with and without the IsoAcoustics stands is night and day. With the stands, the accuracy of the low end is just exponentially better. The FAR speaker cabinets each have dual 15-inch subs in them, and the subs alone are 1000 watts a side. Without the stands they might have been more fun to listen to because they made the whole room rumble. But now, with the IsoAcoustics stands, they produce a much more realistic and clear representation of the low end, far more accurate and useful than before.”
The idea behind the facility makeover was to streamline the equipment that studio owner Murphy and staff recording engineer Diego Lopez use on a daily basis. “We got rid of the mixing console and replaced a lot of the functionality with the new Crane Song Avocet II monitor controller, which is the center of the studio now. I invested in 16 channels of ultra-high-end Apogee converters—customized AD-16Xs and DA-16Xs—and the IsoAcoustics Modular stands. The two biggest changes to the sound of the room were adding the Avocet II and the IsoAcoustics stands,” Murphy reports.
Nearfield monitoring is provided by a pair of Yamaha NS-10s, which are isolated using a pair of IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R155 stands. “We did a blind, level-matched, A/B test and IsoAcoustics frankly kicked the ass of the competitors,” he reports.
Veneto West is a multi-purpose complex that was originally three apartments, and also includes outdoor patio space with a barbecue area. Murphy created a large main studio from two of the apartments that comprises a control room and tracking area with no separation between them. “The entire room is designed to be modular depending upon the work that we are doing—one position for mixing, mastering and tracking,” he explains.
The space is also used for teaching. Murphy also runs Recording Boot Camp, which attracts people from around the world who wish to learn their craft in a working studio. “The whole idea is to offer them an opportunity to get a real-world education from audio professionals working in the trenches, without any corporate spin,” he says. “The program I have put together has had a huge impact upon people. I’ve been blown away by the experience and by the feedback. One guy said that one week with me was better than nine months in a big recording school.”
The main room at Veneto West is centered on an Avid Pro Tools|HD system and includes three racks of outboard equipment, including high-end mic preamps, equalizers, compressors and other processors from such manufacturers as A-Designs, Altec, Drip Electronics, Electrodyne, Empirical Labs, Eventide, Great River, Maag Audio, Manley Labs, Pete’s Place, RCM and TC Electronics.
A second room, built out in the third apartment, is a creative editing, overdub and songwriting space. It features Pro Tools running on a Mac Mini with an Apogee Duet 2 I/O interface.
Murphy’s credits include hundreds of album as a producer, engineer and mixer. Prominent among them are progressive rock projects with King Crimson, Steve Morse, Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin, jazz recordings with Chucho Valdés, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, and work with Norwegian experimentalist Ulver.
“My client base is more than 50% international,” says Murphy, whose recent projects have been with Top 10 artist Pete Teo in Malaysia, multi-platinum Greek-Cypriot vocalist Alexia Vassilou and Italian artist Mike 3rd, and a recent mastering project was for Norwegian musician Johny Aasgaard.
Ronan also produces and hosts Ronan’s Recording Show, a web based program featuring behind the scenes interviews, recording studio tours, production tips and real world product reviews. Ronan recently reviewed the IsoAcoustics stands on an episode: http://recordingbootcamp.com/2015/04/isoacoustics-stands-iso-l8r155-rematch-and-modular-system-review/.
For more information about Ronan Chris Murphy and Veneto West, visit: www.venetowest.com
About IsoAcoustics Inc.
IsoAcoustics stands provide superior acoustic isolation and enhance the sound clarity of virtually all speakers and amplification systems, including monitors for the professional studio and sound reinforcement, home theatre systems, musical instrument amplifiers, subwoofers and large monitors. AlI IsoAcoustics stands are built with a unique, patented isolation technology that allows speakers to float in free space, resulting in authentic, clear uncolored sound.
For more information, visit www.isoacoustics.com.