Equator Audio & American Idol®
I recently received a phone call from a good friend of mine—Francis Buckley. He is the recording engineer/mixer for the American Idol® Ford music videos. He asked me to bring by some Equator Audio monitors for an American Idol® session he was doing at The Record Plant in Hollywood. Eric Brooking (with camera in hand) and myself packed up a pair of our Equator Q12's and made our way to the studio. When we got there, the place was buzzing with celebrities and industry folk.
The staff was great! They unloaded the Q12 monitors, located some speaker stands, and placed them behind the console. Francis was busy preparing for the session and suggested that I find a second to wire up the Q12's to the SSL. A moment later, a young guy walked into the control room and I immediately introduced myself. He introduced himself as Blake. Thinking he might be a second engineer, I asked "what do you do around here?" His response: “I sing”. Francis quickly informed me that Blake was one of the American Idol® finalists.
I had never seen the show and have to admit, I felt a bit embarrassed. Blake on the other hand, was really down to earth and wanted to know all about the monitors. He was really excited when I told him that each monitor had a dedicated computer inside and that the transducers were digitally controlled. As it turns out, Blake is a "gear guy," and he understood the concept right away.
We proceeded to get the monitors running and I have to admit, they sounded great. But understand that this is The Record Plant, and huge corrections were just not necessary.
The room filled quickly with the six American Idol® finalists, vocal coach Debra Bird, and producers Scott And Roger Wojahn. The Wojahn brothers are the masterminds behind these sessions with Scott in the studio directing the Idols, and Roger in the control room with Francis directing the sessions. Amazing producers.
All of the Idols were talkative, friendly and seem to really appreciate what was going on. The session consisted of six vocal tracks on three tunes: Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier), Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones), & You Really Got Me (The Kinks).
Roger likes his playback really loud and suggested the main monitors—beautiful and very expensive soffit-mounted Ausbergers. Mid-way through the first tune, Francis switched to the Q12's and was never asked to switch back to the Ausbergers. To my ears, the Q12's sounded great. And apparently to their ears as well.
I was most impressed by the process that day. I’ve seldom experienced the level of professionalism on hand and everyone in the room was having a good time.