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Fidelity to input and output

altThe democratization of technology has made it possible for more and more people to have access to produce, good or bad, their musical projects. A medium-cost personal computer can be turned into a whole music studio. However, when it comes to bringing a competitive product to market, only a high-performing team can achieve this.

by: María Cecilia Hernández

Recording, mixing and producing a song, although not of professional stature would say purist musicians, and even spreading it in the world context is no longer a matter that only great producers or famous artists can afford.

The amount of free or low-cost software and equipment that allows you to make all kinds of musical adventures, are being sold with great success in the world market. This has become a threat to distributors and equipment manufacturers of all ranges for the entertainment and music production industry.

However, the most recognized companies in the sector are preparing better to face what some call an obstacle and that others prefer to see as an opportunity. They know perfectly well that in matters of professional audio fidelity is the most important thing and in high performance equipment the cheap is expensive, but they have been aware that the economic crisis has made the costs of acquiring or using this type of technology must be more accessible and with it the idea that producing musical material is only for those who can afford it has been distorted.

AVI LATINOAMÉRICA spoke with some experts in the professional audio market to inquire about the advantages of using a team of monitors or high-performance speakers for music production, technological developments and the challenges faced by this industry in the Latin American context.

- Publicidad -

According to Antonio Martínez, general manager of the company D&B Audiotechnik in Mexico, "the formula is simple: when it comes to monitors and speakers, the good is expensive. If you want good speakers you're going to have to spend more than the typical $200 per pair, the cost is higher but it's definitely worth spending about $600 for a good pair of monitors, and thus ensure that what you're mixing is really what you're looking for."

Easy-to-use technology
Manufacturers make great efforts to avoid human errors as much as possible in the audio production process and allow a more intuitive handling of monitors, for example by making their connections easier, and thus remove the most frequent failures.

"In our case we work with the German brand ADAM Audio, which manufactures self-powered monitors and also has proprietary technology, such as its exclusive Tweeter X-ART, which stands for Extended Accelerating Ribbon Technology. This technology allows you to use an area 2.5 times larger than that of a conventional dome Tweeter," explains Martínez.

For his part, Antonio Zacarías, Meyer Sound's sales director for Latin America, adds that this company "has mostly self-amplified speakers. To operate this equipment it is enough to have a digital processor called Galileo which processes the signal sent to the speakers in what has to do with equalization, delays, phase, etc. Each speaker only has one AC Power cable and one XLR signal cable, the latter connects to the Galileo to have control over the speaker."

The team is not everything
Anyway, having state-of-the-art equipment does not guarantee a good result, there are other elements that come into play when it comes to optimizing the functionality of high-performance systems.

"The optimal thing is to adapt the acoustics of the space in which you are going to work beforehand, the interaction with walls and surfaces in the enclosures can generate a bad result, that is the first step to succeed," explains Oscar Barrientos who provides technical support in the company Meyer Sound in the Mexican headquarters.

Aquiles Vera, sales representative of the Avid Group for Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, adds other recommendations with the aim of obtaining better results: "In the care of these equipment, factors such as the temperature of the place where they have been installed intervene, from 18ºc to 24ºc is recommended. Keep in mind that a team of these should be used for what it truly is. Special care must be taken with the connections and the signal flow, whoever is going to operate the equipment must know what it is doing."

Our guests agree that if you have good monitors everything else must also be good, from the physical space, consoles and microphones to human talent, otherwise the result will always have a but.

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This is how Antonio Martínez explains, "in the case of audio systems and musical productions, the result will always be conditioned by the weakest part of the system. That is, you can have the best recording console in the world, but if the microphone you use is of poor quality, you can never recover with your console the quality lost by the microphone. The same goes for the talent, ability and mastery that anyone on staff has."

A new threat
Despite the proliferation of home studios of competent quality and the fact that the economic crisis has wreaked havoc in various world markets and impacted the Latin American economy, our guests affirm that there will always be projects that can only be achieved in professional studios and with high-performance equipment, although the trend points to large studios disappearing and being replaced by domestic studios.

In addition, manufacturers must adapt as market demands change.

"At Avid Audio we have six years of steady growth, between 8% and 12% per year, including last year, which was the year of the crisis. In the global context, the United States and Japan are the largest consumers of this type of technology, while in Latin America, those who set the tone are Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile, "confirms Aquiles Vera.

This is confirmed by Antonio Zacarías, sales director of Meyer Sound for Latin America, "our company is constantly growing and we have a strong presence throughout Europe in the most important music festivals such as Montreaux Jaz Festival in Switzerland, Moers in Germany, Sziget in Hungary, among others. It is the same with Latin America, where our strongest presence is in Mexico. In 2008, for example, we had sales records compared to other years."

The economic crisis did not fatally hit this market, at least not in the way that the market for the production of amateur equipment does, which becomes the real threat to the big manufacturers.

- Publicidad -

"For me the biggest threat is that we forget quality and art. On the one hand, the democratization of production has allowed inexperienced people to participate in the creative process and for the public to think that anything that is recorded on a CD is of quality. This is not true, we often find productions whose sound is deplorable. The same thing happens at an artistic level, we must not forget that what we do is part of an artistic creation", insists Antonio Martínez.

Each new technology, the implementation of processes that offer greater ease in the handling and operation of the equipment, the care in the adaptation of the spaces, the training and professionalization of the technical staff and the artistic talent, converge in the search for a single objective: In the end what is interesting is that the sound that is emitted by a monitor is as good as the one that entered by another device. Fidelity is the important thing.

Author: Santiago Jaramillo

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