Music mixer Joseph Magee, whose impressive credits include Saving Mr. Banks, Pitch Perfect, High Fidelity, Into the Wild, The Muppets, Spider-man 3 and many more, is currently on location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, mixing music for the feature film, Pitch Perfect 2.
For this music-heavy project, Magee is putting HARMAN’s JBL Professional flagship large-format M2 Master Reference Monitors to the test. Recently signed by Hollywood’s TODD-SOUNDELUX, where he is responsible for the company’s expanding music services, Magee chose the M2 system for projects at TODD-SOUNDELUX’s Hollywood facility.
For Pitch Perfect 2, Magee transported his JBL M2 monitors along with a pair of JBL LSR308 studio monitors to Baton Rouge, where the film is in production. The music recording studio for the project was built specifically for the film in an existing 4-story warehouse structure.
With the objective of recording 95 percent of all the on-camera a cappella performances in a new, untested studio environment, Magee relies on the M2’s ability to provide exceptional performance in any production environment. “I’ve been using the M2 monitors in my music dub room at TODD-SOUNDELUX and I’m now getting accustomed to using them on the road,” Magee said. “I think a lot of people perceive the M2’s as monitors that are meant to be permanently installed in a control room, tuned to the room and then left alone. But the reality is these loudspeakers sound great out of the box, so taking them to Baton Rouge was an easy decision.” With the dynamic range needed for film production yet with a footprint of only 20 feet wide by 14 feet deep, the M2 is finding its way into smaller rooms where traditional cinema speakers are prohibitive. With included room EQ, the M2 system can deliver accurate response in any mix environment.
Having used other large-format studio monitors, in Magee’s opinion, JBL’s patented-pending Image Control Waveguide, coupled with JBL’s patented low-distortion D2 high-frequency driver sets the M2 apart from the pack. “The waveguide is so darn fast, I’m hearing things I haven’t heard before in my mixes and I’m hearing things differently—in a good way,” he said. “At the TODD-SOUNDELUX facilities, all the engineers who have come through have been shocked at how authoritative these M2 loudspeakers are and they’ve been amazed at the clarity of the system.”
In addition to the M2 system, Magee uses a pair of JBL’s powered 3 Series LSR308 studio monitors as his near-field listening system. In a portable, “bookshelf”-size format, and available at an entry-level price, the 3 Series studio monitors share the Image Control Waveguide technology developed for the M2 to provide detailed imaging. “In all honesty, when I was first auditioning the M2 system at TODD-SOUNDELUX, I didn’t fully understand what I was working with,” Magee noted. “But then I worked with the 308 monitors at home and it all clicked for me. I simply wasn’t used to the imaging and level of detail these speakers provide.”
To further meet Magee’s needs, JBL custom-designed a panel in its HARMAN HiQnet System Architect™ software that enables Magee to quickly create a simple, 4-band Room EQ in the DSP of the Crown I-Tech 5000 HD amplifiers being used to power the system.
Looking towards the future, Magee sees no boundaries for the M2. “I envision a lot of opportunities for different applications with the M2,” he said.
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