Chicago’s Soundscape Recording Installs Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus System

Nov 8, 2012 3:16 PM


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photo of Carl Tatz, Michael Kolar

Carl Tatz (at left) and Soundscape owner, engineer/producer Michael Kolar, in Studio A in front of the PhantomFocus System 3.

Michael Kolar, owner/engineer of Chicago recording facility Soundscape Recording, opted to upgrade the sound of his studio's control room with a Phantom Focus System (PFS) designed by Carl Tatz of Carl Tatz Design in Nashville.

"When you can mix from instinct and taste as opposed to compensating for playback anomalies, the sky is the limit," Kolar says. “At the start of spring I was looking at ways I could invest in myself to take my mixes to the next level. At first, I was thinking about getting a variety of high-end stereo bus compressors and EQs to strap across my entire mix to give it a more polished sound. Then I was thinking about getting a small-format Rupert Neve Design or Tonelux console. While all these items undoubtedly would help my mixes, it would not fix the problem of having to make three or four mix revisions to get a sound that translated well from iPod to car to nightclub. That’s when it dawned on me that if I get the best possible playback system, the gear I already have will work way better, as I won’t have to second-guess myself.

“This is when I reached out to Carl," Kolar continues. "From the jump, I was impressed by all the questions he asked. He approached my control room like I approach a mix: We both wanted no surprises. Not only did Carl determine that the room acoustics need improving, but he also improved the Feng shui of my control room. All I can say is that it is a true joy working in my new control room. When it's right on the Phantom Focus System, it's right everywhere."

Kolar also elaborated on Soundscape’s other recent upgrades. "In addition to implementing Carl's suggestions for modifying the acoustic treatment of the control room featuring a custom version of his CTD Acoustic Lens Modules, we also installed LED wall sconces for no-heat lighting/minimal electrical lighting, French wall paper, cedar wood trim and red velvet acoustic fabric, and a 55-inch LED-on a hydraulic lift with 8- and 16-bit Nintendo game consoles. I think I have the only mix room with a 55-inch LED on a hydraulic lift!

"Gear-wise, we installed the new Mac Pro tower with an Avid HDX card running ProTools 10 HD. We also upgraded the I/O to the brand new Avid 16-in/out convertors feeding a SPL MixDream Class-A summing amp. We also added a Dramastic Audio Obsidian bus compressor and an Inward Connections 'The Brute' optical limiter."

Find more information about the Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus System.

Visit Soundscape Recording at

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