ATC Loudspeaker Part of Cleveland Institute of Music Upgrade

Dec 17, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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The Cleveland Institute of Music's director of audio services Alan Bise, who also serves on the faculty, has been part of a project to upgrade the Institute's new recital all, which is scheduled to be completed in 2006. The new facility will embody top-of-the-line recording and sound reinforcement equipment, including 24-bit/96kHz PCM and DSD capability. Among the gear on the assembled purchased list is a complete ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) Loudspeaker 5.1 surround system. Unwilling to wait three years to begin using ATC monitors, Bise and his staff recently purchased a pair of ATC SCM100-ASL Pro loudspeakers for use in their control room.

"Working at CIM is a real pleasure," said Bise. "With 37 members of the Cleveland Orchestra serving on the CIM faculty and 33 CIM alumni currently holding positions in the orchestra, there is a very close relationship between the two institutions. The quality of the performances we hear on a daily basis is quite phenomenal.

"Performances in Kulas Hall, CIM's main primary venue, span an enormous range in terms of the number of forces and the styles of music. While we record roughly 65 performances a year, most of those are student performances, ranging from solo classical guitar to a 110-piece orchestra. Our professional audio engineering staff includes myself and Jennifer Shope, along with 30 or so work-study students."

Bise said that his decision to purchase a pair of ATC loudspeakers for CIM was "a simple choice. I'd been aware of these monitors since Bruce Leek, noted recording engineer, mentioned them to me several years ago. Then Telarc purchased a full set of ATCs a year or two ago. Since Telarc is only about 20 minutes away from us, I went down there and listened extensively to them. By the way, Jack Renner, a multiple Grammy Award-winning engineer at Telarc, is an adjunct faculty member at CIM.

"I immediately noticed that the ATCs were amazingly accurate and detailed. Since we installed them at our Kulas Hall location, they've forced us to work harder on our microphone positioning. We use very high-quality microphones and mic preamps. With the ATCs, there is no doubt whether a microphone move of an inch makes a difference. Rather than make our recordings sound pretty, the ATCs reveal both the good and the bad. What you hear is exactly what you've captured. I do not have to make any compensation. We have no excuses to make poor recordings, and that's good!"

Recordings at Kulas Hall are done using a Ramsa WRS-4416 console that was custom-modified by John Windt. "The board was installed a bit before my time, but I know that John Windt redid the power supply and replaced many of the electronics in the board. Other gear we use includes Millennia Media mic preamps and Apogee converters, along with high-end microphones from B&K, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Neumann and Audio Technica. We try to keep our front-end very high in quality, and right now we're catching up on our data resolution while auditioning converters, microphones and DAWs to complete the system. When the new recital hall is completed, our recording equipment will be state-of-the-art. The one item we won't have to replace is our ATC monitors. They're gorgeous, and we're looking forward to working with a complete 5.1 system from ATC."

For more information on the monitors, visit its distributor, Transamerica Audio Group, at For more information on the Cleveland Institute of Music, visit

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