We had the pleasure to meet with Dylan Dresdow, a prestigious sound engineer who worked with many international artists like Prince, Beyoncé, and the Black Eyed Peas among many others. He won a Grammy Award in 2009 for his mix work on the Black Eyed Peas album The E.N.D. In this interview, we wanted to discuss with him how much of an impact the Optimizer technology had on his work.
Please tell us about your room
The two main rooms that I work out of are this room, Studio A, at a facility called "The Future", which is owned by Will.i.am. The second room that I work out of most often is a home studio that I moved my old facility (Paper VU studios) over to. We're just finishing up construction on that to get it ready for immersive sound.
This facility used to originally be a Technicolor facility and was then completely redesigned. Vincent Van Hoff and George Oxberger designed the mains in here, which I love. It's a pretty good room to work out of ! My home studio has just been completely done by me and a lot of trial and error has gone into that because of it. But it really did benefit from the Trinnov system.
Will.i.am's studio in "The Future" facility
What was your original take on room correction solutions ?
There's been different types of room correction forever. There's been analog versions of it, there's been digital versions of it, there's been digitally controlled analog versions of that… I tried many of those systems. I think that's where my scepticism was birthed, because I saw it not working properly. Likewise, I would take multiple tests, exactly the same and get different results every time. How is that possible ?!
I think Trinnov was the first company to really make a believer out of me to the point where we have Trinnov here at this facility, I have Trinnov at my home studio, I even have Trinnov for my consumer electronics at home for my home stereo system.
What was your experience from the calibration on ?
The great thing about the calibration is it's just extremely simple and quick. If I ever have a client that walks in and wants something different out of a room, no problem. I can do another test, we can do other adjustments, I can save it as a preset and we can always get back. I never feel like I'm painted in the corner and we always have great results.
Every time it's just so foolproof and again there's been consistency. I've done multiple tests and it's been the same every time. This is also great if I do want to take it portable. If I do want to take the system with me into a different room or patch it in from a different room, then we always have the ability to do that and apply it some place else.
What was your first impression of Trinnov's Optimizer ?
Originally, we got Trinnov not to address issues in this room. We wanted to address them in a different room where there were a bunch of hard surfaces and reflections all over the place. We did some things to try to address that where we put down some rugs and stuff like that but we really were not getting close enough to the finish line.
As soon as we installed the Trinnov system, it just felt like a new space! It was almost dizzying because we were so used to hearing it the other way… It felt like we were in a new environment and that was something that was really eye-opening to me, of how powerful the system actually was.
Has it improved your workflow ?
Whenever we did our first analysis of the room, we let the Trinnov do its thing and it was actually too much. Things can sound too flat or too sterile, I don't even know how to put it into words. We noticed whenever we dialed everything back a little, that's whenever things started to really come into play. We were like now we've got all the benefits of what we've got and it doesn't sound like we just put ourselves in a cubicle or some weird space that doesn't sound like a recording studio. Not only that, but we noticed that we reduced the amount of mix time significantly, we spent a lot less time on those mixes which also meant we didn't over mix, we didn't overdo things.
Beyond the over-mixing, I would say we probably saved four hours a day. It allowed us to turn in things a lot quicker and to adjust for things. A lot of times we would send things off and have to get approval from somebody, and they would come back and give us an entirely new part!
We work very crazy hours over here, it's just part of our business and anywhere we can increase efficiency is helpful. So the Trinnov has paid itself back many times over because of that. It's been one of the better investments we've made in Pro Audio and we have a lot of that here!
Would you recommend Trinnov to other engineers ?
There are several budgets you have to think about whenever you're purchasing a system like this. You look at the cost of the Trinnov system and then you look at what it's taken care of: construction costs, the downtime costs that you have when making the construction happen or when doing the actual design of the room, the cost of matrixing to some degree… there are all these different things that Trinnov does.
In addition to that, if I do want to make changes, it doesn't force me into a corner where if I redo construction, that's it. If I want to change that, I'm tearing down a wall! How much more is that going to cost me in the long run?
So it's a serious purchase that people need to consider for themselves, but they have to listen to it first to actually hear if it's going to be beneficial to them or not. I do think that it will be beneficial to them because it's proven itself several times over in several environments for me.