Featured KRK User Doug Mountain
Doug Mountain has spent his life in the world of sound, working in such legendary studios as Westlake Recording Studios in Hollywood and Emilio and Gloria Estefan's Crescent Moon Studios in Miami. But it was at Right Track Recording in New York, where he worked with Frank Filipetti and Phil Ramone, that he reached a turning point in his career. Through legendary record producer Ramone, who was then chairman of the board of the Recording Academy, Mountain became involved in the Grammy Awards telecasts in the late 1990s. Joining the academy, he became a member of its technical advisory board.
Along with his work for the Grammys, Mountain also has extensive experience mixing sound for television and film, serving as the dialogue editor for the film Paranormal Activity 2 and the sound supervisor for The Spiderwick Chronicles. He has also worked on the MTV Music Awards, the VH-1 Fashion Awards, for TNN and the film-sound services company Todd-AO. For the past three years he has been the dialogue supervisor for NBC's Community.
Nearly every day, Mountain spends long hours listening to music and audio for TV and film, so sound quality is of the upmost importance to him. His monitors of choice, at work and home, are KRK's VXT6 monitors and 10s subwoofers. "I find for most of the television work I do, the VXT6s are very accurate, especially for dialogue," he says. "I can tell right away if there is a problem with the audio when listening through the VXT6s and the 10s subwoofers."
Listening to audio for extended periods of time can cause serious listening fatigue, but with the KRK monitors this is not an issue for Mountain. "Some other monitors out there, when they are played too loud for long periods of time, the high end starts to hurt. I average about 12 to 14 hours a day editing and listening to the VXT6s, sometimes six to seven days a week, and never experience listening fatigue."
When away from the studio, or when he is simply looking for a highly isolated listening environment, Mountain uses KRK's 8400 headphones. "I use them for critical listening," he says. "They’re very comfortable. For all types of recording, whether it’s dialogue or music, they are my first choice. For dialogue work, the KRK headphones are very accurate and give an excellent representation of the recording."
With Pro Tools becoming an integral part of the recording process in the past decade, KRK monitors have taken on a critical importance. "I recommend the VXT6s to anybody working on Pro Tools in a near-field environment," he says. "For music work, the combination of the VXT6s with the 10s subwoofer gives a very smooth, well-rounded sound that results in a true representation of the mix that's being done. They work for all types of music, from classical to pop and rock. They can handle a lot of power output."
Recording sound for television programs presents a host of challenges, requiring an extremely accurate listening environment. "There's a lot of background sound that has to be identified and cleaned up," says Mountain. "Having accurate monitors is really important to identify any problems. It could be transmission problems with the wireless mics to problems with mechanical noise on the set. You need to be able to identify and separate out extraneous sounds from the actual production dialogue. To do that, you need very accurate monitors and headphones, such as those from KRK, because you end up using both to identify problems."
For Mountain, KRK monitors save time and provide him with the results he is looking for. "It's very important in the critical listening process to have really accurate monitors, so you can identify issues and see if they're fixable," he says. "In television you need to be able to move fast and respond quickly. Also, after a problem is repaired, if it sounds right on my KRK monitors, it's going to sound right to the home audience."