Monitoring four ways
Fred Mollin is one of today’s top Nashville-based music producers. He works in his own studio, as well as in other studios around Nashville, but there is one new common denominator: wherever he goes to track, mix and produce, his LYD 48 three-way monitors come along with him. And when working at his own studio, an 18S subwoofer is added to the monitoring system.
We met with Fred to learn more about how he uses his LYD 48 and 18S subwoofer in a full-blown 4-way monitoring system, and of course to find out how it works out for him when working with a wide range of artists such as Johnny Mathis, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Chris Cornell, Kris Kristofferson and more.
Monitors have always been a critical component in the studio signal chain. In fact, they are the very end point, unless you factor in your ears and brain, of course. And over the years, Fred has been working in so many different studios and on so many album projects that he is familiar with a wide range of different studio monitors, including several of our past designs.
Recently, however, he decided to upgrade the monitors in his studio and went for our new 3-way LYD 48.
I always admired Dynaudio speakers, and this just happens to be the next generation of brilliance.
“I always admired Dynaudio speakers, and this just happens to be the next generation of brilliance. My LYD 48’s allow me to listen without getting ear fatigue, and the mixes we’ve done on them have been exceptional. It’s simply one of the most superb monitor designs I’ve ever heard.”
We were obviously thrilled to learn that he felt this way, but were also curious to learn more about Fred’s view on specific design choices such as having a dedicated 4” midrange woofer in a compact three-way speaker.
“It just allows me to hear things in a way I wasn’t able to before. And actually, when I first got these speakers installed and started working on them, I realized that I now hear things the way that I have always wanted to hear them.
The mixes we’ve done on the LYD 48’s are amazing. You know, when I delivered the first track done on the 48’s my mastering engineer, who I have been using for 25 years, asked me: “What did you mix this on? I had to do next to nothing on this mix!” He was floored. The 48’s are brilliant and just made such a change in our work at the studio.”
It gives me a feeling of being immersed in the music.
Adding 18S for an immersive feeling
Fast-forward a few months to when we launched the new professional subwoofers 9S and 18S. Fred was intrigued to find out what adding a fourth dimension to his new-found monitoring system would sound like and got himself an 18S that is now installed under the main console in his studio.
“The LYD 48’s were already the greatest development in my studio with regard to mixing and overdubbing, but now that I also have the 18S subwoofer it’s simply complete. The apparent sound that comes out of this monitor system is a remarkable clarity. It is musical and it just makes me smile every time I work on it."
it’s like I am listening to the world’s biggest speakers – like you’re in a movie theatre. But at the same time, it’s clinically accurate.
"The subwoofer adds something that I can’t even describe – like a dimension that I never had before. It gives me a feeling of being immersed in the music without it being hyped or phony. It’s almost an out-of-body experience! No, seriously, it’s literally like I am listening to the world’s biggest speakers – like you’re in a movie theatre. It’s that powerful. But at the same time, it’s clinically accurate.”
Well, it is always great to hear stories from the real-life studio life about how our studio monitors assist in the making of great music. And learning that he actually enjoys them so much that he brings them along for tracking and mixing sessions in other Nashville studios is simply amazing - because these studios include some pretty legendary places like Ocean Way and Sound Emporium.
But wait, there's more...
Finally, as the conversation picked up, it turned out that Fred actually had much more to share with us about his five decades as a professional producer, composer and arranger. For instance, his career has not only spanned music production but also delivering music for film and television.