Recently got a great chance to listen to some of my recent work at MSR Studios in NYC. I stopped by since a friend of mine works there and we met up to head out someplace that night. I believe I was shown “Studio C” where some of the high rollers that want to be someplace private go for sessions. Some high profile folks had been there recently, but I won’t be that dude to name drop. The studio itself sort of isn’t done justice by my pic here. I love how the glass into the live room is so low and close to the floor. It kind of makes the engineer be in a position where their in the live room too in a sense instead of look down or across at it. The ceilings in the live room are super high too in what is a pretty cozy space.
The point of bringing it up is how helpful it was to monitor there. A lot of people coming up in hip-hop say things like “monitor your music on the shittiest system, because if it sounds good, it will sound good anywhere”. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is why I mix and master on what I am most comfortable with that I think actually sounds good.
When you listen to your music through a set up like they have at MSR, my theory is only backed up. As an engineer, I still feel great when my work sounds incredible through high quality systems in well built rooms. Whether that’s a studio, a venue or even a great car stereo, you better hold up when quality equipment calls. I was reminded of this lately there.
I played stuff from Adam Warlock’s “Dark Weapons” and Gajah’s “Man the Ship” (2 recent projects to come through the lab) and both sounded really great to me. They responded great to the huge bass bottoms they had installed. Then I played something that was released by a large indie label that I knew I didn’t like the sound of, just to get a reference and to confirm some of my own listening sources. Yep, sounded like shit there. That’s the bottom line.
A good lesson, that you can never learn enough. Mix and Master to the highest quality possible, let the people listening on a transistor radio from 1995 figure it out.