Irvine, CA: Working with Prince as his regular keyboard player, Morris Hayes has become familiar with the artist’s new two-channel PMC BB5-XBD-A Large-Scale Reference Monitoring System that was installed late last year at his Los Angeles-based composing facility. “But, as much as I love the sound and power of Prince’s XBD system,” Hayes advises, “it is just too big for Ill Street Studios, my project recording and writing facility in Sherman Oaks. Instead, I opted for a pair of PMC’s smaller AML1 Active Reference Monitors, which fit my requirement as compact monitors with my Apple Logic Pro and MOTU Digital Performer workstations. And for full compatibility, I also have a pair of the new Digidesign RM1 Reference Monitors on my keyboard rack.” Designed by PMC, the RM1 units also use the firm’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line/ATL technology.
Hayes considers that there is no compromise when working with smaller-sized PMC monitor loudspeakers. “I do not give up anything with my AML1s, despite their smaller size,” the musician-producer considers. “For such a small footprint these monitors provide a truly clear and precise sound, and one that translates well to other rooms, which is very important. These AML1s are the truth. They are severely accurate and sensationally crisp.”
As well as working in the studio and on tour with Prince since 1992, Hayes has played keyboards in New Power Generation and worked with Maceo Parker, The Time and Carmen Electra, among others. He is an outstandingly competent keyboardist, song writer, producer and visual artist. He performed with Prince at the 2007 Pepsi Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show, an event that was carried “to the biggest audience of my life - 140 million television viewers,” the musician recalls. Recent sessions include LOtUSFLOW3R and MPLSoUND, a three-CD project for Prince that includes a bonus CD from his new artist Bria Valente, plus a film score for an upcoming project with Anthony Michael Hall.
“When I first auditioned these AML1 Reference Monitors,” Hayes adds, “I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They are small, but pack a lot of power – I was completely blown away by them. I have never heard anything like the AML1s; and they get real loud! I plan to update my two-channel stereo system to a 5.1-channel surround array in the near future.
“Friends who have heard the AML1s find it a jaw-dropping experience. ‘How can they have such force,’ they ask me? ’Surely larger loudspeakers are always louder?’ But size obviously isn’t everything, because these AML1s are capable of delivering high sound levels from a compact cabinet.
“And even though they get loud, I can listen at lower levels with the same degree of confidence, since I get the same ‘punch,’ clarity and definition. This isn’t often the case with other loudspeakers I’ve used. With the AML1s I achieve the same sound at all playback levels. And there is no listener fatigue, even after long tracking and mix sessions.”
The Digidesign RM1 Reference Monitors are “compact,” Hayes offers, “but sound wonderful. Textures I generate on my keyboards rig sound exactly the same on the AML1s – I need that compatibility in my studio.
“Prince turned me on to PMC and I am very happy he did!"
PMC designs feature its uniquely engineered Advanced Transmission Line technology (ATL™), which provides high-resolution, wide-bandwidth signal response across the complete product range. Proprietary drive units, electronics and cabinet engineering, provide unrivalled tonal accuracy, clarity and dynamic range throughout a range of designs. PMC monitor systems are in service with most of the world’s premiere music and film sound recording studios, broadcast companies, post production and audio mastering facilities. Such is the influence of PMC’s engineering on the audio world that the majority of blockbuster movies, chart-topping albums and revered classical recordings have been mixed and mastered using PMC loudspeakers.
About the AML1
The AML1 is as far from a “me-too” product as could be imagined. The AML1 design is one of no compromise and the only way of achieving this goal is to manufacture the complete device ‘in house’. The AML1 includes the PMC 6.5-inch flat piston woofer that is constructed from a carbon-fiber Nomex™ honeycomb, which allows large, controlled linear excursions capable of producing an astounding 33 Hz. The PMC 34 mm silk-dome tweeter, which is common to all the large active models, provides an immense stable image. The two drivers are integrated by discrete, low-noise active crossovers.