Peter Beckmann Upgrades His Mastering Room With PMC MB2S Monitors
Peter Beckmann, owner and founder of TechnologyWorks Mastering in London, has upgraded his studio to incorporate PMC MB2S, which he says have exceeded his expectations and sound ‘just fantastic’.
Established in 2009, TechnologyWorks Mastering handles a wide range of projects, mastering all styles of contemporary music as well as extensive restoration and remastering work. Beckmann also uses his studio to mix a few albums each year.
Previously equipped with PMC IB1S monitors, Beckmann decided to upgrade because increased resolution would enable him to speed up his workflow.
“The last couple of years have been very busy and it looks like I’m getting busier, so the only way to keep up is to work faster,” he says. “In mastering you’re often making fine adjustments, like a 1/2 dB cut or boost here and there, so it’s all about making decisions, and more importantly making the right decisions. I was very happy with my IB1S speakers, but I wanted more information to help me make tone and dynamic choices more quickly. I wanted to be sure of those decisions too.”
PMC’s MB2S monitors are aimed at mid-sized control rooms and can be either soffit mounted or placed on custom studio stands. Their sophisticated design allows higher SPL’s without colouration and loss of definition, and a bass performance normally associated with a monitor of far greater volume.
As a renowned mastering engineer who is always on the look-out for ways to improve his studio, Beckmann says he chose MB2s monitors because they offered exceptional clarity and precision.
“Like most mastering studios, we work with a broad range of artists and music, some of which is very bass dominated,” he explains. “An area where I wanted more insight was low bottom end and sub bass. The extra clarity in the critical mid-range is welcome, too. The MB2s also have the identical ‘presentation’ of the music as the BB5 XBDs, which are in most of the vinyl cutting rooms I go to, so it’s great to have that same point of reference. The BB5s would be too big for my room, but the MB2s are perfect.”
Introducing new monitors into a successful working facility can be anxiety-inducing, so to counter this Beckmann spent an entire day listening to material he knew well and reviewing projects he’s mastered on his previous PMCs.
“I didn’t need to worry because I felt at home with them straight away,” he says. “The MB2S monitors have the same PMC family sound, but just more of it: more detail, amazing imaging and honesty. Great recordings sound great, but bad recordings have nowhere to hide. It sounds like a cliché, but I heard things on albums I’ve been listening to for decades that I hadn’t heard before.”
Although much of the equipment at TechnologyWorks has been in place for some time, over the last year along with the new monitors, Beckmann has added a Dangerous Bax EQ and a Knif Audio Pure Mu compressor. The PMC monitors are now driven by new mono block amps. The studio’s ergonomics and acoustic treatment have also been improved to make the sweet spot wider and the room more comfortable for clients who want to attend sessions.
In 2016, among other projects, Peter Beckmann mastered Laura Mvula, Three Trapped Tigers, a live album from Pentangle’s last ever tour, and re-issues including New Order Present Be Music and a box set of 10 Sun Ra 7” 45’s that he restored for Strut Records.
“The latter sold out in just two weeks despite a hefty price tag, proving that there really is a renewed interest in vinyl and that people are prepared to pay a significant premium to buy music in that format,” he says.
Since the start of this year Beckmann has completed a new album for New York singer/songwriter Becca Stevens, which he describes as ‘beautiful and amazing’. This was produced by Troy Miller, who relies on Beckmann for most of his mastering work and who recently brought him his latest project – mastering a track by Jamie Cullum.
“I am busy and I’m loving working on my new PMC MB2s,” Beckmann says. “I’m not listening to the speakers - I’m listening to the music, which is what it’s all about.”