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Angel Takes Wing with Meyer X-10s
North London recording and mixing complex Angel Studios, which specializes in classical recordings and film soundtrack work, has installed a Meyer Sound X-10 Linear Control Room Monitor 5.1 system into its newly-refurbished Studio One. The aim of the refurbishment was to update the equipment and create more space in the main control room.
Angel is the second London studio to install X-10s following the installation of a stereo system at Abbey Road's Mastering Room 7. Allen Stagg, recording engineer and former manager of Abbey Road Studios, was instrumental in introducing the Angel staff to the X-10. The sale was conducted in tandem with acoustic analysis expert Bob Hodas, a Meyer Sound studio products dealer who is well versed in X-10 technology, and Meyer Sound's UK distributor, Autograph Sales.
Explains Hodas, "The engineers from Angel went over to listen to the X-10 system at Abbey Road. After that they were hooked. They were particularly impressed by the linear frequency response no matter what volume the system was played at, and the fact that the system sounded good in all parts of the room. They also liked the idea that the X-10 was very powerful for a small box since they had some space limitations."
The Hodas-designed 5.1 system for the new control room comprises five X-10s for L/C/R and L/R rears, two X-800 High Power subwoofers for extended headroom, an XO-1 Router & Crossover module and six CP-10S Tamper Resistant Parametric equalizers.
During the project Hodas consulted with the studio designer, John Flynn of the Acoustic Design Group. "We covered subjects such as cabinet phase alignment for aiming, and air circulation for the soffits, since the amplifiers are built into the cabinets," he says. "We also discussed the center of gravity of the cabinets since the X-10 weighs about 85 kilos. John came up with a very clever mounting device for the rear loudspeakers. I also made a wiring chart for Dave White, Angel's chief maintenance engineer, for the rack configuration of EQ and crossovers."
Explaining his design work for the project, Flynn says, "We stretched the original control room size, which was relatively cramped by today's standard, with minimal encroachment into the live area. The installation of the new soffit-mounted monitoring system required total reconstruction of the observation window, meaning the window had to be moved forward into the live area. By using the available space this created to maximum efficiency, only a few inches of live area floor surface were lost."
Once the loudspeakers were installed, Hodas traveled to London to align the system, adopting a linear tuning that would translate well to the outside world. "The room was well designed and so no acoustic solutions were necessary," says Hodas. "I spent a day tweaking in the system, which was a process of computer measurements, adjustments and listening. The ears are always the final judge. When I was finished, I was told that the engineers would come in the following day to do some listening and would ask for some final adjustments based on what they heard. However they loved the system just as I had tuned it and so the work was complete. The huge sweet spot that the X-10s provide was a favorite. While the engineer has the prime seat, you can sit anywhere in the room and hear really good sound. This makes it easier for the engineer, producer and musicians to communicate about what they want in the mix."
Adds Angel's senior engineer Gary Thomas, "The new 5.1 surround system and state-of-the-art recording equipment has really improved the service we can now offer our clients. And coupled with the improved design of the whole studio, we can achieve a recording quality that was not possible before."