Filip Pietrzykowski & PMC IB1 Monitors

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


When it comes to mastering audio, accurate monitors are not just a luxury - they are a necessity. This, says mastering engineer Filip Pietrzykowski, is the reason why he has chosen PMC for his own mastering studio.

“PMC monitors deliver so much detail that they reveal any issues within the recordings in a matter of seconds,” Filip says. “In the professional world, this is an amazing thing. Great recordings sound fantastic, and with bad recordings you can immediately hear where the problem is.  Many clients praise my work because I am able to hear things that they can’t hear, such as the small cracks, clicks, and other digital issues that were created during a production. Finding and fixing these problems is my job and what clients pay me for. Having PMC monitors helps me to discover and fix issues, no matter how small they are, before preparing a master tape for vinyl pressing and/or CD.”

Polish-born Filip started his audio career as a producer, recording engineer and mixer before moving into mastering and setting up Red Mastering Studio in London in 2010. He now handles a wide variety of projects covering all musical genres.

“I am extremely passionate about my work and quality is very important to me,” he says. “My PMC monitors, combined with my knowledge of all stages of music production, help me deliver the best results because I can pinpoint any problems within the mix and advise on the best way to fix them. In short, my PMC’s allow me to deliver better work and really enjoy the music because I am listening to it on full range monitors.”

Filip’s passion for PMC bean some years ago when he invested in a pair of TB2 monitors, which he says sounded great for their size but didn’t deliver sufficient range for a professional mastering studio. After hunting around he came across some LB1 monitors on eBay and called PMC to find out more about them. The advice he received was to check out IB1 or IB2 monitors instead because they were a more recent addition to the PMC range.

“PMC staff helped me to find a second-hand pair and they came to my studio to help set them up,” Filip says. “I was a real pleasure to deal with such friendly helpful and professional staff. I had already built up confidence in PMC because I’d been using TB2 monitors for a few years so I didn’t need much convincing to stay with them. I wanted to keep PMC products in my studio.”

He adds that switching from TB2 to IB1 monitors was very straightforward because all PMC monitors have similar audio characteristics

“It was just like adding low end and more sound pressure to my TB2s,” he says. “I had the feeling I was listening to the same monitors, with the same musical character, but just a much bigger version. For an audio engineer, new monitors usually means spending a couple of months learning how they translate but with these I didn’t have to. I was comfortable with them right from the start.”

One change Filip’s new IB1 monitors did necessitate was a revamp of his room acoustics. Having spent many years getting his room set up precisely for his TB2s, he discovered that the IB1s threw up a serious problem with sub frequencies, which meant investing in more acoustic panels.


studio
 

“In general, every monitor needs a proper room setup and proper acoustics, but from my experience and observations, PMC speakers are very demanding in this area,” h says. “They require good room acoustics – a few foam wedges just won’t cut it – and they are also very touchy about where and how they are set up in the acoustic space. I successfully upgraded my room acoustics to suit the IB1s by using a VPR panel from the Fraunhofer Institute. The changes I made allowed me to feel closer to the speakers and hear much more detail without moving from my chair. The extended low end is beautiful and clean, allowing me to pinpoint any issues in the 100Hz area and below. Thanks to their detail I now have the bigger picture and this allows me to work faster, more efficiently and with more confidence.”

Filip adds that the clarity and precision of PMC IB1 monitors allows him to work confidently at lower volume levels, which is much less tiring.   He also loves the detail and ‘big sound stage punch’ of his monitors, especially when he is listening to music where the low end/bass is dominant.

“In my opinion, PMC monitors are very good value and you can’t buy better for the price,” he says. “Also, my personal experience with the PMC team was really good because they were so helpful – firstly with advice and then with finding me a UK audio dealer who was selling the monitors I wanted. I only got what I wanted because of PMC’s staff and I won’t forget that, so thanks again!”

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