“The Amphions spoke to me on an emotional level I had not experienced before.”
What you see on the photo is my new room for TV and theatrical premix in Amsterdam.
I work on sound-design and mix of 5.1 surround shows for NatGeo, Discovery and PBS in the US, but also do feature documentaries, that are starting out their life in the film festival circuit worldwide. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and a lot has changed. Since the moment DCP projection became the standard in cinema’s, and the film print and Dolby fee were no longer needed, it became possible for filmmakers with smaller budgets to aspire a theatrical release. These budgets don’t allow for much mix time on an expensive 3000 euro/day dub-stage, so I need a good sounding room that translates well to the theatre. If I can get it 90 % there and finish quickly and efficiently on the dub-stage, I’m happy. So when it was time for some new speakers, I thought about all the usual suspects suited for what I do and the size of my room. Amphion was NOT on my list – passive, a 6.5” woofer, on paper not enough peak SPL for very dynamic film work at 85 dB at -20 calibration..
“Three notes into Coltrane’s solo, I had tears in my eyes.”
But by accident I got a hold of a set of One15’s, a prototype version even, without the passive radiator. The first track I played was Miles Davis “Blue in Green”. Three notes into Coltrane’s solo, I had tears in my eyes. The Amphions spoke to me on an emotional level I had not experienced before. In the end, after talking to very helpful Anssi from Amphion, I decided to give the Two18‘s a try as my LCR set. Partly because the modest size of my new room and the type of films I do, I don’t require an 85 dB calibration, but not in the least because there’s another trend in cinema mixes: playback quality on dub-stages AND in the cinema themselves are increasing. Where all dub-stages used to have JBL speakers (because all the cinema’s had them installed), most modern dub-stages tend to install higher resolution systems from Meyer Sound and the like. It made sense to mix with the highest possible resolution.
After working with the Two18‘s for a couple of years now, I can say they have never let me down: they are trouble free, translate to TV and the dub-stage and are very inspiring to work with. They’re fast in the lows, without the mud I hear in many speakers. Dialogue, which is always the anchor ingredient in what I do, is represented true and accurate, despite the crossover frequency being at a seemingly awkward frequency within the “dialogue spectrum”. I found I can work long hours on them and all my clients love the sound of them. The project I’m currently working on is a wildlife feature about Galapagos, which will have it’s premiere in a few weeks in Amsterdam. The Dutch king, his wife and the president of Equador will attend. The big orchestral score needed some help, the Amphions made it very clear what to do. The balancing of delicate foley, against score and voice over by Ronan Keating was a joy to work on, thanks to the resolution of the Amphions.
I have no doubt this mix “made on Amphions” will get a “royal approval” 🙂
-Peter Stoel, Producer, Editor & Sounddesigner