Mix Engineer Jason Reynolds Talks Flatly about Studio Monitors
Power User Review: Meyer Sound AMIE
Author: Jason Reynolds
Choosing a studio monitor is a delicate subject for those in the recording arts industry. There are many brands and price-points to choose from, and the technologies marketed and sounds that are produced vary significantly across manufacturers.
So what makes a good studio monitor loudspeaker? For me, it’s the ability for the speaker (or speaker setup) to reproduce the source as precisely as possible. The speaker should reproduce the audio input without adding colouration or worse, distortion.
This does two things for me; during the artistic process it keeps my mix honest, and once I have it mastered, having an accurate studio version means that it can be scaled up and played through larger systems with fewer variables to worry about during the tuning process.
Here’s some background on me... I’m a live sound guy (FOH and monitors) who, up until COVID-19, didn’t do a ton of studio work (don’t get me wrong, wish that wasn’t the case… no time between gigs!). I was out on the road with the Marley Brothers, Shaggy and Magic!, to name a few, and my basement was a storage closet for my children’s off-season clothing and toys. Of course, like the rest of us live folks who have been stuck at home since March, my routine and schedule has drastically changed… that storage closet in the basement is now a small studio where I use my skills to mix for various artist groups and remote-mix for multiple church organizations on a weekly basis. I’d still like to treat the room a bit more, but for the most part, I am happy with my setup. I’m running protools with an AVID S3 control surface which is connected to an Apollo X16 interface. I do my mixing in the box using UAD, Waves and Plugin Alliance plug-ins, among some others, and I also have a few analogue outboard units. Most importantly to me, and thanks to the folks at GerrAudio, I have a pair of Meyer Sound AMIE studio monitors sitting on the bridge of my Argosy console, and honestly, these things are incredible.
The AMIE is one of the most accurate monitor speakers I have had the opportunity to mix on, and having used their predecessor in the past (HD-1s), the bar was set pretty high going into it. These things boast a razor flat frequency and phase response... in other words, what you feed them is exactly what you get from them.
You might be saying, flat? Jason, who cares about flat?!
Well, as I mentioned above, I believe in mixing to a linear reference to keep me honest and make my job easier down the road. Since having the AMIEs set up in my studio, I have played familiar tracks through them and while doing-so, have heard things I have never heard before… sometimes on older stuff that I mixed! I want the raw emotion of the tracks I am working on and the AMIEs give me just that.
In my world, the ability to create a mix in the studio and have it easily transition and be played through a smaller setup or big PA is critical. By having a truly accurate baseline mix, the only variable I have to worry about is how the live setup is calibrated and tuned. I can be confident that the mix is what it is and any changes to it is attributable to ‘some other factor’ that can be addressed and fixed on any real, professional larger-scale system.
One thing is for sure, GerrAudio ain’t getting these AMIEs back! All I need now is the AMIE companion sub to complete the kit :)
Born from the HD-1, the AMIE is the latest generation of near-field studio monitors that form the foundation of Meyer Sound’s Studio & Cinema Series of loudspeakers.
With a unique and patented Class-D amplifier, the AMIE boasts a flat frequency response from 45Hz - 20kHz.
The AMIE was designed to transition perfectly to the Acheron-series of loudspeakers for larger studio and post-production facilities, including the Bluehorn system, which is the world’s most accurate loudspeaker on the market today.
Since 1979, Meyer Sound has handcrafted linear, extremely powerful, distortion-free loudspeaker systems - and the AMIE is no exception.