Equator Audio Monitors ‘Hands Down’ Favorites With Groove Addicts
If ever there was a studio that re-defines the term “versatility”, Groove Addicts is it. Featuring multiple divisions, this hotbed of music activity handles a wide range of projects spanning everything from sound for TV and film to radio branding, game audio, movie trailers, and record projects —all of it high-end, high-profile work! At the heart of this whirlwind of mixing and recording is Gerhard Joost (pronounced Yost), Groove Addicts’ Chief Engineer/Mixer/Producer in residence. Mixing audio for such a broad range of projects requires a thorough understanding of a given project’s genre, coupled with great ears and the ability to work fast and accurately. To ensure everything he mixes translates well to a wide range of playback mediums, Joost relies heavily on his studio monitors and, for this, he depends on Equator Audio Research.
A veteran with more than 28 years experience, Joost got his start in Cleveland, OH and quickly worked his way into the top echelon of LA’s music production community. Joost has mixed just about every conceivable type of project. He’s worked with Police drummer Stuart Copeland, Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blige and film composer Danny Elfman. He’s also been at the helm of leading commercials for Mercedes Benz and Disney; and has mixed music for LA’s KNBC TV as well as the Telemundo and Univision Spanish language TV networks.
With a resume like this, Joost certainly knows a thing or two about the importance of accurate studio reference monitors, and for virtually every project he works on these days, he mixes on Equator Audio’s Q Series. “While I use the entire Equator Q Series in my work,” says Joost, “I spend a lot of time with my Q8’s, Q15’s and their new subwoofer, the Q18. I’m using a 2.1 stereo configuration with the subwoofer, and I have the room wired in such a way that I can add or subtract the sub as necessary. The Equator monitors reside in Studio A — our flagship room — where all major tracking, mixing, and overdubbing takes place. The only reason we’re not yet set up as a 5.1 environment in this room is because we’re still in the process of choosing which Equator monitors to use. We love them all!”
With projects of this caliber, the accuracy of one’s studio monitors is critical. When queried about those characteristics that endear him to his Equator monitors, Joost offered the following thought. “I understand the history of these monitors, including the engineering people behind them and their construction,” said Joost. “In my mind, the Q Series represents the state-of-the-art in monitor design.”
The design team responsible for Equator Audio’s monitors includes Walter Dick; one of pro audio’s most highly credentialed engineering talents and the brains behind several legendary monitor designs. The Q Series monitors employ a 2-way, active system employing a Zero Point Reference coaxial design. The monitor’s no-slope crossover approach reduces the mid-range distortion associated with conventional coaxial designs. The CPU that resides inside each Equator monitor handles a host of formidable tasks, including matching the transducers as well as seamlessly incorporating the system’s crossover approach.
“I’ve been doing this type of work long enough to know whether or not a particular monitor is going to work for me,” says Joost. “On that note, I was absolutely fascinated to discover that the Equator 8’s sounded like main monitors. Reliability is also a huge issue. In my work, I’m dealing with high SPL’s and wide dynamic range at full bandwidth. As an example, when we’re tracking, I may be getting drum sounds without any compression or gating. That’s a lot of sharp attack transients for any monitor and they need to move a lot of air. My Q8’s fill my 600 square foot room beautifully.”
Joost also reflected on the impact a quality studio monitor has on the talent and production personnel who work on projects at Groove Addicts. “While producing a radio package for the number one station in Vienna, Austria,” said Joost, “I had the Rock Star / INXS band in the studio to do some rhythm tracking for us. This was the first time working with the band, so it was important their impression of everything we do here be that of unerring attention to detail and quality. I wanted them to be positively influenced by what they heard, as this motivates any musician to give their best effort. Hands down, not only was the band inspired upon hearing playback through my Q15’s—one of the players actually went to the owner to tell him what an amazing sound the studio had!”
In addition to their high-end build quality, The Equator Q Series monitors also benefit from cutting-edge DSP technology that helps mix engineers ensure their room is optimized for accurate monitoring. Two software packages are available — one that facilitates manual tuning of the room and another that automates the process. Joost reflected on the benefits of Equator’s room optimization software.
“I love having the option of tuning the monitors to the room manually or via an automated process,”
“I love having the option of tuning the monitors to the room manually or via an automated process,” Joost said. “It gives the more experienced audio engineer the ability to have an extremely high level of control while, for the less technically inclined engineer, the software can make the critical decisions. I recently took my Q10’s to Southwest Studios in Phoenix, AZ to do some work on an upcoming Carmen Electra album. I did a sweep of the room, sat down, and started mixing, and I felt every bit as secure in that new room as I do working here at Groove Addicts. That’s huge. The owner at Southwest Studios was so impressed that he went out and bought a pair of Q15’s. Equator monitors sound terrific and represent the latest in the design and application of DSP technology to aid audio professionals in obtaining the most accurate mixing reference available. I’m absolutely sold!