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From Soundtracks to Supercars, Patrick Jordan-Patrikios Trusts ADAM Monitors

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Patrick Jordan-Patrikios with his ADAM Audio monitors.

The career arc of multi-instrumentalist and producer Patrick Jordan-Patrikios is as broad as it is high. Once a session drummer for hip-hop legend Coolio, he has cut pop gems for such artists as Kylie Minogue and Little Mix, worked with synth pioneer Giorgio Moroder, and composed pulse-pounding scores for countless movie trailers. Recently, he discovered the joys of mixing on ADAM Audio A7X active studio monitors and spoke about their role in his latest projects, including sound design for the first all-electric vehicle from exotic British carmaker Lotus.

"I first used ADAMs working with the Swedish songwriter Jorgen Ellefson," recalls Patrikios. "He was the go-to guy for Simon Cowell for many years, and we were mixing Il Divo, the opera-pop crossover band Simon discovered back in 2003. Anyway, these were the A77Xs with the dual-woofer arrangement. The first thing that drew my attention was the horizontal configuration. Then the clarity was just mind-blowing."

To understand what Patrikios looks for in a monitor speaker, it helps to know his history of mixing on headphones -- something he says has both advantages and downsides. "I mixed on headphones for so long because I was always working on my laptop in hotel rooms, on a plane, wherever," he notes. "There's something to be said for having all that sound right up close to you. I've mixed on a lot of high-end monitors, but the ADAMs are the first that have given me that same sense of satisfaction -- and honestly, I feel like I'm mixing better than ever. Wearing 'phones for six or eight hours at a stretch kills my ears and is uncomfortable, so I'd always double-check mixes on other speakers. After using the A7Xs for only about seven months now, I find that I don't need to. I trust them."

Asked for more details about what he finds so satisfying, Patrikios says, "People always talk about the ADAM folded-ribbon tweeter and how the highs are detailed but smooth, and that's certainly true. But I find the mids are just as detailed, the low-mids are tight and precise, and the bass extension on the A7X in particular is downright surprising. I thought I would add a subwoofer to them, but I haven't needed one yet because the monitors give me full confidence in my decisions in that frequency range."

Patrikios needs that confidence because bass and low-mid reproduction is central to many of his projects. "The trailers I tend to get are for action-adventure movies," he explains, "so there's a lot of throbbing bass, big 'action drums,' and the like. I'm doing one for an upcoming picture that's set in Japan, so the producers wanted pounding Taiko-style drums. These film companies want that epic vibe, and they expect to hear a polished product. With the A7Xs, I'm getting all of the emotion that gets me to that finish line -- and I can do it at low-to-medium volume, which is where I like to mix to avoid ear fatigue. Of course, when I do turn up for a client who's in the room, the ADAM's always deliver. It's a blast!"

When Patrikios took on creating the sonic signature of the Lotus Evija -- a limited-edition electric hyper car commanding upwards of two million dollars -- he found that the same qualities that make the A7X a great music production tool were just as valuable in the wonderfully weird world of automotive sound design. "I was thrilled to get the call from Lotus," he recalls. "Luxury car makers want to appeal to all the driver's senses. That includes an aural experience people will identify with the brand. Interior tones like alerts and for when you press a control panel button all came out gorgeous, but the sound that's also projected outside the car to let pedestrians know you're there -- that was the real challenge."

How so? "Unlike with some electric cars, we weren't trying to emulate a gasoline engine revving," explains Patrikios. "Lotus wanted a progressive, building sound reminiscent of a starship or maybe something from the movie Tron. It needed to be identifiable and unique even when communicated to the noisy outdoor world. Now, pretty much all car companies use the same drivers for this purpose, and they mount them in the wheel arches. I often had the guy who designed the car [the appropriately named Russell Carr] in the studio with me, and you know it's a compliment when he listens to the ADAMs and says, 'Wow, I wish we could use these speakers on the vehicle itself!' Again, for bass, for detail, and for reliable translation to the wheel-arch speakers, the A7Xs gave me everything I needed.

The work netted me a ten-year contract with Lotus for future vehicles. I think it speaks very highly of ADAM's versatility that you can go from mixing a pop record to scoring a movie trailer to this."

Speaking of cars, Patrikios relates using ADAMs to listening to music in his own. "I've always checked mixes in my car, which is a loud sports car and doesn't have the best stereo system. I sort of think of it as my old pair of NS-10s," he laughs. "Mixes done on the A7Xs translate to it very clearly - it's as if my car stereo is way better than I thought! Next up, I have a record for Noah Cyrus which has just been released. There are a lot of strings, piano, and vocals and the ADAMs really helped me communicate the emotion in Noah's music. This is a pop record, so it's bound to be heard on everything from car stereos to cheap smartphone ear buds. If the mix sounds good on ADAMs, I know it will sound good in any medium."

"I've never been the type to say that this or that particular piece of equipment improved my work or made my job easier," Patrikios concludes, "because until now, it's never been true. But the ADAMs really have. They've literally made me feel like not just another record producer anymore!" See and hear more from Patrick Jordan-Patrikios at his label Notting Hill Music .

WWWwww.adam-audio.com


(21 May 2020)

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