Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler University is a highly respected private educational institution that offers over 60 major academic fields of study in six colleges. At the College of Communication, Technical Services Coordinator Mark Harris was tasked with helping to put together a new state-of-the-art recording facility. The new room, which began construction last year and is now fully operational, makes use of an Ocean Way Audio HR3.5 system for its large main monitors.
We spoke to Mark to get his thoughts on the HR3.5.
What was it about the HR3.5 that made it the right choice for your control room environment?
In our previous configuration, we had inferior monitoring due to both our room acoustics and the fairly expensive second-hand main speakers that we were using. Our mixes would often be bottom heavy because we weren’t hearing certain frequencies in the mix. We knew that correcting our acoustics would make a major difference, but we wanted to choose monitors that would provide us with a true full frequency response and give us an honest representation of the music that we were working with. The Ocean Way HR3.5 monitors were recommended to us by several trusted engineers and had the features that we were looking for.
What are your initial first impressions now that the speakers are installed and in use?
I think our installation engineer put it best when he told us that we were in trouble with the Ocean Way monitors. He said that he was listening to a favorite album through them and was hearing parts that he never knew were there before. It’s amazing how each frequency rings clear and true at any volume. When comparing the Ocean Way HR3.5 monitors to the other speakers that we have in all of our project rooms side by side, the HR 3.5 monitors really show the shortcomings of what we had considered to be “good” speakers.
How was the overall experience working with Ocean Way in choosing/getting the speakers?
We have had excellent customer service from the start with everyone at Ocean Way. They’ve helped us from the time of purchase with the entire setup process, including speaker stand selection and height adjustment of our monitors to get the best performance in our environment.
What are some of the types of projects typically done at the Butler studios?
Our student projects range from recordings of university ensembles such as the Butler Symphony Orchestra, Jazz and Percussion Ensembles to independent student projects that range from singer/songwriters to alternative rock bands. Our record label, Indy Blue Entertainment works with a wide variety of groups to record and produce samplers, EP and demo tracks to further their careers.
Did you bring in an acoustician to set up and tune the room?
Our Acoustical Engineer is Gavin Haverstick of Haverstick Designs. He is submitting our room to Mix Magazine for their Class of 2018 issue and we will be touting Ocean Way along with API and Sound Construction Supply in our submission. He was in yesterday to listen to the acoustics of the room and when he was done, turned around and said, “Why would you ever listen to any other monitors?”
Learn more about Butler University at their web site.