Reaction from Clients
Of course, the most important thing in any studio improvement is how it affects business, which is largely determined by artists’ and producers’ reaction to the change.
“Billy Cobham’s not the kind of guy who gets impressed with engineering concepts like LEDE, but if he takes the tape home and likes the way it sounds, that’s cool,” says Greene.
“If he doesn’t like it, it’s not cool. All the rest of the hype doesn’t matter to him. But most of our clients are long-term, and they’re saying that our mixes are much better. The new clients all like it too, even though they don’t have our old room to compare it to. But they do compare it, very favorably, to other rooms they’ve been in.
“The LEDE concept is so new that even a lot of people in the engineering end of the business aren’t that aware of it, so you can’t expect the creative people to concern themselves with it for some time yet. I think though, that artists and producers will care more in the future, and it will become a major issue.”
And at the bottom line, business for Normandy is up. It will be a while before the magic of a Billy Cobham record or two will draw clients to the studio, and a lot of the increased business was booked before the control-room conversion. But, as Greene says, “they won’t hurt.”
Greene figures that things will get even better, and puts it in this perspective: “With the current economic climate, people want state-of-the-art equipment with good personnel and service that will cost them in the $100 to $125 an hour range, which is where we are.
Fancy rooms will only be for established superstars with huge recording budgets. Otherwise, the record companies don’t want to hear about paying $165 to $200 an hour.
“Our equipment is not vast and awe- inspiring, but it all works, and you can make records in the place. I think that is what’s going to make us successful.”
*Garry Margolis, Sales Director of UREI, comments as follows:
“We noted Mr. Green’s comments on old versus new 813’s with interest. There are a number of objective and subjective differences between the old and new coaxial drivers. The older AlNiCo magnet was subject to partial demagnetization when hit by very heavy transients reproduced by a large power amplifier.”
“This demagnetization lowers the mid-range response of the driver, and, therefore, apparently increases the bass response. The newer ceramic magnet will not be demagnetized in heavy use, and will retain its sound character.”
“The new drivers have a crisper, tighter low-end, which may seem light to someone accustomed to a demagnetized AlNiCo driver. The mid- range response of the new driver has been considerably smoothed, and dis-persion broadened, when compared to the original system.”
“The new horn design uses slots to minimize the shad-owing of mid-band response from the cone, and utilizes a new diffraction buffer and padding in the horn to reduce reflections, improve dispersion, impedance matching, and smooth the out-of- band response.”
“We are soliciting user opinions regarding further improvements to our monitors, and we appreciate Mr. Green’s comments.”
Original Article (pdf)
Editor’s Note: This is a series of articles from Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, which began publishing in 1970 under the direction of Publisher/Editor Martin Gallay. After a great run, RE/P ceased publishing in the early 1990s, yet its content is still much revered in the professional audio community. RE/P also published the first issues of Live Sound International magazine as a quarterly supplement, beginning in the late 1980s, and LSI has grown to a monthly publication that continues to thrive to this day.
Our sincere thanks to Mark Gander of JBL Professional for his considerable support on this archive project.