Man Made Music, a Manhattan-based company that specializes in sound design, sonic branding and music creation, has been working closely with UK loudspeaker manufacturer PMC to upgrade the stereo and surround monitoring in one of its two control rooms.
The company has installed a PMC IB2S XBD-A active system for both stereo and 5.1 monitoring and is using PMC Wafer2 passive speakers for Left and Right Rear Surround positions. These provide excellent dispersion and frequency response in a small, rectangular footprint, and because they can easily be mounted to any wall they allow for maximum flexibility in all types of custom-install situations.
Established over 20 years ago by award-winning composer and producer Joel Beckerman, Man Made Music fulfils Beckerman’s philosophy that sound matters more than anything because it has the power to influence decisions, opinions and actions in ways we might not even notice. Described as ‘equal parts Philip Glass and Don Draper’, Beckerman is devoted to curating our everyday lives with better sound and believes that exceptional audio is a goal worth fighting for.
This philosophy was instrumental in the design of Man Made Music’s studio facilities, which occupy over 10,000 square feet of space in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. It was also a key reason why the company chose PMC speakers when it decided to upgrade its main stereo and surround monitoring system in its Studio A control room.
“The PMCs are hands-down the most true and transparent monitors I've mixed with,” says Beckerman. “They're also so incredibly inspiring to track with, which just makes the music better all-around."
Man Made Music’s Manhattan base incorporates two large control rooms, a communal tracking space and several other smaller production studios and offices. The technical facilities were designed by renowned studio designer Fran Manzella, who describes the isolation in the two primary studios as ‘the highest-end we do, with completely decoupled floors and multi-layered box-inside-a-box walls’.
The decision to upgrade Man Made Music’s main A Control Room was taken by Chief Engineer Dennis Wall and Chief Technician Darren Moore, who both recognized the need for better stereo and surround monitoring.
“We do IMAX, immersive and other advanced audio formats, so we were looking for an upgrade to add to the speaker allotment in our main studio,” Darren Moore says. “PMC are leading the way for the new Dolby Atmos format and were already outfitting major facilities and schools with Dolby Atmos systems.”
Moore contacted PMC because it has such a strong reputation in the immersive sound world and arranged a listening test at AES 2018. He also tested various monitors in Studio A and concluded that PMC was the right choice.
“I have known of them for a while and consider them very musical, but also cinematic in dynamic range and frequency spectrum,” he explains. “Also, to build out the system to full Dolby Atmos and maybe other future specs we would be adding to the speaker allotment with matched components.”
The addition of the new PMC monitors is providing better full-room coverage and additional reference monitors for mixing in-studio. This, in turn, is allowing clients, guests and larger groups to enjoy the full surround experience.
“Having the new PMC system is a joy,” says Dennis Wall. “There’s less guesswork when mixing, less ear fatigue when tracking, and they also deliver that ‘wow’ factor for client presentations.”
Moore concurs: “Everyone agrees they are fantastic with full lows and crisp, open highs. They sound good at any level and have more headroom than the preceding system. The report is that mixes are coming out better and faster than ever before.”
Man Made Music is now using its new PMC monitors to create iconic music and sounds for companies such as Nissan, Disney, Citi, Alzheimer’s Association and HBO.