Whenever I have worked on a Meyer Sound system, there was always a clear difference. So I decided that, for my own room, Meyer Sound would be the only option to consider.”
Fred ParaganoSupervising Sound Editor & Re‑Recording Mixer
When choosing the monitoring system for his new, Atmos dub stage in Los Angeles, Fred Paragano set forth two main criteria. First, since the home-based studio would be for his own exclusive use as a Supervising Sound Editor & Re-Recording Mixer, the loudspeakers had to satisfy his personal preferences for accuracy and musicality. Because many of his projects — feature films in particular — would be completed at various commercial dubbing stages, it was also critical that his pre-mixes translate seamlessly to different systems in larger rooms. On both counts, says Paragano, the Meyer Sound Bluehorn System full bandwidth studio monitors have proven to be the ideal solution.
“The intent of building the studio was to do most of the heavy lifting on my part here, so it was critical that my mixes translate accurately when finishing elsewhere,” says Paragano. “And I’ve found that, with Bluehorn, when I go to a larger stage my mixes translate exactly as expected. I don’t have to spend any time fixing or compensating. We’re up and running right away, and we can start being creative.”
Paragano’s residential studio was completed late in 2022, a decade after relocating from the Nashville area where he had owned and operated the highly successful Paragon Studios, a multi-room facility for music recording, mixing, and post-production. “Over the years my work had shifted predominantly to film and TV post, so it only made sense to relocate to Southern California since that’s where most of my business was coming from,” he says.
In the early months of the pandemic, Paragano decided to “bring it all back home” and invest in a world-class studio for his own use – a room that would work for anything from stereo music to full commercial cinema Atmos immersive mixes. Two spare bedrooms were gutted to open space for a main mixing room 21 feet long by 15 feet wide. The studio design was entrusted to the esteemed Russ Berger (rbdg.com), who had designed Paragano’s widely heralded Nashville facility.
“Being in Los Angeles, I have worked on many dub stages with different monitoring systems,” Paragano recalls. “Whenever I have worked on a Meyer Sound system, there was always a clear difference. So I decided that, for my own room, Meyer Sound would be the only option to consider.”
In his early discussions with Berger, Paragano had assumed loudspeakers for the main screen channels would be Meyer Sound’s Acheron series. “But when I said I was going with Meyer Sound, Russ insisted I check out Bluehorn,” he says. “He thought that if I were going to build a facility of this caliber, I needed to complement it with monitors at the same level.”
Unique in the industry, Bluehorn System full-bandwidth monitors incorporate dedicated processing with a patented phase-correction algorithm that results in flat response from 20 Hz to 22 kHz.
Paragano had not previously heard of Bluehorn, but he made a point to audition systems at LA area facilities, including at the renowned Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studios. What he heard cemented his decision to go follow Berger’s recommendation.
“It was a leap of faith since there are still relatively few systems out there,” Paragano admits. “However, everyone who comes in here is immediately blown away by what they hear, just as I was. The whole system just breathes. It never feels like it is working hard.’”
Currently, the room is a 7.1.4 configuration with prewiring for 9.1.6 expansion if required. The three full-range Bluehorn Systems anchor the front channels, mounted over three additional X‑400C cinema subwoofers dedicated to the LFE channel. The lateral and overhead surround channels each employ four ULTRA‑X23 compact loudspeakers, with two USW‑210P compact narrow subwoofers in the ceiling for surround bass management. All loudspeakers are concealed behind acoustic fabric. The Bluehorn System has its own dedicated GALAXY processor, with a secondary Galileo GALAXY 816 Network Platform handling all the surround processing.
“The cool thing about GALAXY is that I can have multiple setups,” notes Paragano. “I can have one for theatrical Atmos, one for home Atmos and one for music mixing. I can easily call up what I need with the touch of a button.”
The studio is reserved exclusively for Paragano’s own projects, though clients and colleagues often come in to listen to his work — and to experience the Bluehorn System monitors. “It’s fascinating to see the expressions on their faces,” Paragano says. “They immediately get excited about what they are hearing. Many times, they will sit back, close their eyes, and just listen. I feel fortunate to have worked with Russ and the team at Meyer Sound. We brought the best together and created something that I believe is truly extraordinary.”
Other equipment in the studio is also top-notch in every respect. Five computers are online, with three dedicated to Pro Tools | HD, a fourth for Atmos rendering and a Mac Mini solely dedicated to I/O routing for the entire system. Also included are three Avid MTRX interfaces, three Avid Sync Xs synced to an Antelope OCX clock, and a Brainstorm DXD-8 multi-format reference generator.
A sampling of Paragano’s Film/TV credits includes Amsterdam, The Addams Family, Westworld, and Patsy & Loretta. His music credits include albums by Livingston Taylor, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Kenny Loggins.