An in-depth interview with Trinnov pro audio user and music producer Sal Oliveri (P!nk, Billy Joel, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton), a long time Trinnov user, Sal goes deep into his use of the ST2 Pro and how it has affected his monitoring chain for the better!
Can you tell us about your studio and the acoustic issues you were facing here?
After being here in this new studio there was a period of time of just learning the room, so I would pull up mixes of projects I had done or music that I knew really well in my library, and I kept finding a consistent issue in the creation or mixing of music and a lot of it was the low end and low mid-frequencies behaving strangely. It was just frustrating to me that my mixes were not translating everywhere, at first I wasn't sure if it was because of the room itself or the speakers within the room, and it was only until later with a Trinnov in place that I could actually see on the graphs what was missing in my room or what was being over-excited. Looking at the graphs and seeing a visual representation of what I was hearing that’s when I realized exactly where were all those issues I've been hearing all this time.
How did you hear about us and what was your reaction after the first calibration?
The guy that I bought the studio from had a Trinnov and was telling me how much he loved it, and that I should give it a try. So, I just went ahead and bought one and put that microphone up, so it went through its process which is a pretty quick process of shooting out the room. And well, I was amazed even before I started to listen, just seeing how detailed the measurement reports were, I mean I spent a lot of time measuring where the speakers should go and to get the heights and such as good as I could… On the first calibration, the ST2 Pro told me that my left speaker was a quarter-inch lower than my right speaker and an eighth of an inch further away, and I said no no it's wrong! So, I got the tape measure out and sure enough, it was right. I was like oh my gosh this thing's pretty intelligent! And then listening to the first preset that the ST2 pro rendered, I was shocked at the world of difference: the clarity, the definition in the stereo field, right away the center wasn't murky any longer, I was sold right away!
Room correction has been controversial in the past, so were you surprised?
I had actually some of my peers tell me that they were against digital processing for room correction, you know there are many opinions floating around the internet, but I’ve always found no matter what the product is the best test is to get it in your room. I would say there were four of my professional colleagues that in theory were against it and when I told them that I bought a Trinnov they were sort of rolling their eyes at m... that was maybe three years ago: now three of those four people own either a Trinnov or have invested in some kind of room correction
All I know is that I went from hoping and guessing and then going out to the car and listening on headphones and all kinds of hoops that I had to jump through to not doing any of this at all. The ST2 Pro literally corrected all the issues I had and the first thing I mixed after that translated everywhere immediately because I could actually hear what I was doing finally! I mean how good of a job would you do to vacuum your rug if the lights weren't on? Right? You can't see what you're doing! It’s like all of a sudden the lights were on, and I could finally hear everything.
Has it changed the way you work?
For me, It really affects every decision I make: from pre-production to mixing and listening to music and making judgments on what I’m hearing in the marketplace. I mean everything I listen to goes through the ST2 Pro, so my workflow is completely different now, I feel like my focus can be a lot more just sort of laser-focused.
Since getting the Trinnov in here like I’ve told a lot of my friends that i would go back what I would call good professional speakers and keep The ST2 Pro rather than having this 20 000 dollars pair of speakers and not having it, and I mean I have a professionally tuned room !!! I would say it becomes even more evident in a room like this, the more refined your room is the more you can pinpoint the weaknesses and so even still having a great room having great speakers the Trinnov still took me I’m not talking like two or three percent i mean i would say a good 25 it took me to where now I’m not questioning or guessing I just would never go back to guessing without a Trinnov.
Looking back, do you think it was a good investment?
It is maybe one of the best investment that I’ve made so far because it impacts every single decision I make, you might record with a fancy microphone for an hour a day, but you will surely be listening to your monitors eight hours a day! I would say it's the last item that I would ever depart with if I had to sell any equipment!