Carl Tatz Design’s Revolutionary PhantomFocus™ System Teaches Students a Lesson at Vaughan Music Studios

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— “The PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) monitor tuning protocol is the holy grail of studio monitoring, period... I’ve never had mixes translate as well as they do from this system, and I feel like I have grown exponentially as a mix engineer since Carl brought his genius to our facility in Ohio.” – Chief Engineer Mark Abrams —

Nashville, TN: Cindy Vaughan, CEO of Vaughan Music Studios (VMS) in Columbus, Ohio, and Chief Engineer Mark Abrams, began their new studio project by driving down to Nashville to experience the PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) at a few of Carl Tatz Design LLC (CTD)’s award-winning studios. As is often the case, CTD’s services were hired on the spot to help VMS design a studio for their beautiful new school that would feature the PFS as a major teaching tool. CTD was able to provide a control room design for this vibrant music school, ensuring the success of the PFS.

“We’re implementing the PFS in more and more educational facilities because the recording department heads realize that there is nothing more important in the recording process than accurate monitoring,” comments CTD principal Carl Tatz. “Students are paying substantial tuition fees for their specialized educations, and they really deserve to experience state-of-the-art monitoring as part of that education, so that they can carry this knowledge into the real world. It doesn’t matter how great or expensive the monitors are; they can never approach the accuracy of the PFS because of the various boundary and modal issues in a control room – no matter how well designed by me or any other designer. What we are doing with the PFS using any brand of monitors is quite revolutionary, and there is nothing offered that compares to it."

Chief engineer Mark Abrams goes on to say, “I am able to make mix decisions with more precision in less time. It has literally cut my mix time in half. I never go to the car with the fear of saying ‘where did X go?!’ anymore. It’s all about enjoying the music on the way home now.”

Abrams gleefully recalls, “During a recent open house, we had a line similar to a new roller coaster at an amusement park. Just like a roller coaster, the facial expressions were priceless. Typically within the first five seconds, the listener will turn around with their jaw wide open. I actually had to show one listener that there was not a center speaker placed behind the video monitor!”

Commenting on the student experience, Abrams points out, “As a teaching facility, we benefit greatly from the PFS, as it allows students to hear the changes they make on an EQ or compressor with ease. So many instructional facilities try to teach their students about the sonic subtleties of specific pieces of gear using inadequate monitoring. Our students are knocked out by the incredibly responsive performance of the PFS when they put their hands on the gear and make even the slightest adjustments. They can hear what they are doing, which ultimately leads to a better educational experience.”

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