PMC Monitoring Super-Systems Shine At Reopened Wisseloord Studios

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

PMC's in the new Control Room 1 at Wisseloord Studios

The first paying clients have begun work at the reopened Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands. The studio complex has an illustrious history stretching back to 1978, but after being rescued from bankruptcy by a team including Dutch recording engineer Ronald Prent and mastering specialist Darcy Proper in mid-2010, it spent much of the following 15 months undergoing extensive refurbishment, including major structural work and the installation of two PMC surround monitoring systems in the two main studio control rooms. The Studio 1 control room opened for mixing sessions at the end of October, and work in the studio’s recording area was completed just before Christmas, ready for a series of vocal sessions booked for a major Dutch artist in January. The control room in the other main studio, Studio 2, was also completed before the festive period, work concluding with the tuning of the PMC 5.1 monitoring (a duplicate of the full-range system in Studio 1) just before Christmas. 

As recording engineer turned Wisseloord Creative Director Ronald Prent makes clear, some of the work was restoration, some completely new building. "The control rooms had to be completely rebuilt, because they were too small for surround, and this facility has to be able to cope with surround, up to 10.1 if needed." With this in mind, Studios 1 and 2 each feature a state-of-the-art PMC 5.1 active monitoring system comprising three of PMC’s BB5-XBD-A speakers, the most powerful in their range, a pair of MB2S-XBD on the rear surrounds, and a set of the smaller active AML2 speakers for reference. AML2s are also used for reference in the new mastering suite built for Darcy Proper.

Just before the first mix session in the Studio 1 control room at the end of October, the monitors were tuned by Maurice Patist, President of PMC USA, who has worked closely with German acoustician Jochen Veith to integrate the monitors with the studio acoustics; according to witnesses, several of those present became quite emotional while the system was being tested. Ronald Prent commented: "I have no words to describe it: I knew it was going to be good, because I know Jochen and Maurice work very well together… but here they have excelled themselves. It is a quite extraordinary-sounding room." Featuring a custom black Euphonix System 5 console especially produced for Ronald Prent, with integrated control of Pro Tools HD, as well as many of the effects and processors amassed by Prent over his 30-year career and no fewer than eight top-of-the-range Prism Sound ADA-8XR analogue-to-digital interfaces, this is a tremendous addition to the top echelon of European recording facilities. For those who prefer to mix in the analogue domain, Studio 2 features a 64-fader API Vision console, along with the same PMC surround monitoring setup and extensive Prism Sound interfacing.

Construction work in Wisseloord's second mastering suite is on schedule to be completed by the end of January, while the former Studio 4, which will handle multimedia projects, high-resolution disc authoring, and vinyl cutting, will not open until later in 2012. But as he listens to a surround playback on Studio 1's BB5-XBD-As, Ronald Prent is delighted with progress so far. "The team of people that has worked on this project — consists of a number of indispensable individuals. But when we work together, we become something still greater. We can make music sound like this."