REMIXING ABBEY ROAD:
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DANGEROUS DEVINE

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August 5, 2014

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Richard Devine in his studio (image: Supplied)

Richard Devine is best known as an American electronic music composer and producer, as well as sound designer extraordinaire. With his company Devinesound, he spends his days working out of  his Atlanta, Georgia studio, specialising in the creation of custom sound, music and audio environments for film, television, video games, audio hardware/software and interactive web-based environments, amongst others.

Devine recently switched out his monitor controller for the Dangerous Music Monitor ST with the integrated Dangerous DAC ST D-to-A converter in his massive electronic music studio. “I realized I needed to get a separate DAC that could accommodate multiple digital sources and at the same time output transparent audio .”

Devine had heard about the ST from a friend, he explains, “I have a friend that’s a mastering engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shawn Hatfield, and he’s mastered a good number of records for me. He used to be a producer making electronic music back in the early 90s like me. He’s got an incredible setup and an incredible set of ears for mastering electronic music. I had many discussions with him about correcting certain things in my studio and I noticed that he used the Dangerous Music gear and I was curious about that. He said you ‘just can’t go wrong’ with it. He has the BAX EQ, and the Liaison to switch the signal chain up, he swears by that.”

Hatfield’s recommendation caused Devine to reassess his own equipment and motivated him to make the switch, which he believes is “one of the best investments I’ve made in my studio.”

Devine explained, “You feel a lot more comfortable and confident in what you are doing if you can trust the equipment you are working on. I feel that I can be creative and not worry that there’s something not correct in the signal chain, something causing distortion, or jitter in the clock.”  

He’s already completed several projects using his new monitor controller and DAC, including sound design and effects for the video game Wolfenstein: The New Order, trailer music for Twisted Tools DarkMorph Sound Effects Library, and the new iPad app “iMPC“-based on the iconic MPC-60 line of drum machine/samplers-for Retronyms and Akai Professional.

Testing 1, 2, 3…
To check the sound of the ST Devine did some very specific listening test, “I A-B’d the Dangerous gear against my Apogee DA conversion, and also did some comparison tests with the U.A. Apollo, and UFX RME card.” Devine noticed an improvement in sound quality at low volumes with the monitor as well, “I like to mix at lower volumes, and with the ST even at low volumes you get all that macro, beautiful detail, which was interesting to me. Having a dedicated DAC for monitoring is essential.” 

Devine was so impressed with his new purchase, he even went so far as to state he hasn’t suffered any ear fatigue when mixing for long periods on it, which seems unlikely and was probably a run-on effect of playing with his shiny new monitor controller rather than an actual loss of ear fatigue. Although, Devine did think there was possibly some kind of distortion in the DA conversion with his previous monitor controller that may have caused fatigue in the past. Since then, he’s not noticed it (as yet) while using the ST, “It’s become a non-issue now,” says Devine. We think the jury’s still out on this and will see if he still feels the same a year from now.

Project Usage: A New World Order
Discussing his sound design work, Devine details his need for multiple outputs:
“I finished designing sounds for a game called Wolfenstein: The New Order, and I was tasked to make all these impact sounds, sounds that have a lot of low frequency content, a lot of metallic resonating drones, a lot of sounds of actual metal that I recorded,” he explains. “So there was a lot of low-end material, a lot of subwoofer action, because they wanted the sounds to be bigger than life. I have a wireless Bluetooth bar speaker system that’s in the middle of my monitoring area that I do references on for TV work and video games, to test what people might listen to on more of a conventional Hi-Fi-like system.”

In his studio Devine uses several speakers including the Genelec 8250, with auto calibrated DSP and the Genelec sub, the Avantone Mix Cubes, and he is planning on getting a third pair of monitors.

Adding to that, he says, “I use multiple sources for sound design and TV projects, I switch around from Pro Tools to Nuendo, to Logic, there’s lots of formats using various hardware. So I wanted to have a system where I could switch between having 4 different sources digitally and several analog sources that I could A-B against really quickly…I have an Airport Express modem running into one port of the DAC ST so I can monitor iPod, iPhone, and then I have a CD player and analog outputs from my main mix down card, my Universal Audio Apollo. Then I have another source, my Yamaha DM2000, where I have all my synths and drum machines connected. It’s nice to be able to level match all these sources. You have a reference of how loud things are irrespective of different devices that you have connected to the ST.”

For more information about Richard Devine visit his website at: devinesound.net

 

Excerpts from Press Release

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REMIXING ABBEY ROAD:
50th Anniversary Edition
READ ONLINE NOW
Issue 61