Barry S. Weir Jr., a re-recording mixer and sound designer with Hollywood-based post production powerhouse Levels Audio, works on a wide variety of projects in any given week, requiring him to frequently switch between nearfield monitor speaker configurations and calibration modes. In late 2015, Weir installed Blue Sky’s Audio Management Controller (AMC) to handle those monitor switching and calibration tasks.
“I decided to go with the AMC because it is one of the only monitor controllers on the market in the $2500 price range that provides so many features,” explains Weir. “Because the AMC is a monitor controller that supports up to 7.1 channel configuration and also handles speaker measurement and calibration, it was the best monitor controller for my workflow and studio setup.”
Weir has been with Levels Audio since August 2009, working on the Emmy Award-winning audio post team for HBO’s The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert and taking a variety of roles on a wide range of projects, including feature films and television series and specials, promos, trailers and music shows. His credits include Emmy-nominated primetime TV series such as American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Cake Wars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race and The Voice, on which he has worked variously as a re-recording mixer, sound designer, sound editor, sound effects editor, and voiceover recordist.
“Because I work on a wide variety of projects, I really need the flexibility to switch quickly between different monitoring setups, going from 5.1 to stereo, not to mention various room EQ calibration, from X-Curve to flat response, and bass management on or off,” Weir elaborates. “With the AMC Remote located directly in front of me within arm’s reach, it has really enabled me to streamline my workflow. I’m able to quickly and seamlessly switch between different monitor configurations and speaker calibration modes, bass management on/off, individual channel delays, levels and input source selections.”
Weir’s room setup is compact yet powerful, and places all of the important audio tools immediately under his hands. “My studio is only 100 square feet and I don’t have too much room for large equipment, so I require gear that has a small footprint but large firepower,” he says. Immediately in front of him is a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 keyboard, Avid Artist Mix and Control panels and RTW Primus meters, all centered around the Blue Sky AMC. His reference monitor setup comprises a 5.1-channel ADAM Audio system (three S3As for LCR plus two S3X surrounds) with a Genelec subwoofer, plus a pair of Behringer Behritone C50A mini speakers.
“I’m running all of my audio from my Pro Tools 10/11 rig out of an AVID OMNI interface via AES directly into the AMC. I’m using an ART TRS 48-point patchbay and my AMC is normalled to my ADAM Audio 5.1 monitor setup. Channels 1 to 3 are my ADAM LCRs, channel 4 is LFE, channels 5 and 6 are my surrounds and I use channels 7 and 8 for stereo playback through my mini speakers. Being able to use any speakers with the AMC is really convenient,” he comments.
The AMC ships with Blue Sky’s Speaker-Room Optimization (SRO) software, which combines precision room measurement and calibration tools with powerful corrective equalization capabilities. “I really like the SRO software,” Weir reports. “It was pretty easy to understand out of the box. Anyone with common professional studio knowledge can operate it. There are a lot of advanced features that I have been digging into more, which will enable more precise room calibration.”
Indeed, Weir has already immersed himself in the software and has had some suggestions for enhancements. “The customer support from Rich Walborn [Blue Sky’s chief technical officer] has been amazing,” he says. “Anything that I had a question about, or any bugs that I found, or any features that I suggested, he quickly addressed and implemented as new software and firmware updates. Not too many people or companies respond that quickly.”