Impressing professional musicians and industry executives who’ve heard countless audio systems of all styles and scale is no easy feat. When country music songwriter and producer Clint Lagerberg decided to upgrade his studio with new mixing and audio gear, he knew it would require some sonic muscle to create an immersive listening experience that would bring every detail of his artist’s tracks to life.
With a constant stream of musicians like Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Lady Antebellum, as well as engineers, record label execs and others visiting his Nashville studio for listening sessions, Clint needed a playback system that could impress even the most discerning listeners – and serve as a tool when perfecting the production of an album or song. After working with Emotiva for his electronics and speakers, Clint came to SVS seeking subwoofer performance he couldn’t find in the pro audio world.
After working with chief SVS Sound Expert, Ed Mullen, Clint brought in a pair of SB13-Ultra Subwoofers to complete his system. The incredible speed and low-end muscle of the potent sealed subwoofers has had a profound effect on every step of his production process.
Questions And Answers:
Q. Why is bass important to country music and audio playback in general?
A. The genre, whether we like it or not, has shifted more towards pop than what’s traditionally known as “country’. Regardless of where the genre is now and where it will be in 10 years, there will always be a need to accurately tell what’s happening in the low end (bass) department. There’s so much riding on a killer kick, snare, bass relationship in any style of country music today. The vocal is king… But nothing carries it better than the right low register info. Bass is the foundation of harmony and without it you can lose the magic of how the vocal melody sits against the chord changes.
Q. Why is it important to have a great sound system for playback in your studio?
A. In my particular studio space I regularly have major artists and label execs over for every phase of creating a song. When I’m with the artist, the playback system plays a major role in freeing the song out of us. If we’re inspired sonically by what we’re working with then it’s that much easier to get out of the way of the lyric, etc. You definitely want to keep the artist excited about what you’re creating together and great playback is crucial. When I’m with record label execs it’s very similar as to the artist scenario. They want to be moved too. Whatever you can do to care for the delicate, beautiful process of the conception, birth and delivery of a song is priceless.
Q. How did adding an SVS subwoofer change your studio experience? How have you used it?
A. I’ve mixed with subwoofers in the past and they were all set-ups professionally, but I never enjoyed the experience. I always felt like I was missing a low-end snap, even in the “best” pro audio situations and products. Since adding two SVS subwoofers to my system I’m finally getting what I’ve been missing. They are so important in every aspect of the creative process. They are critical to me when I’m closing out mixes with my engineer Jeff Juliano. His mixes are so glorious in the low end that I can now accurately make tweaks if necessary. Also, by adding the SVS subs it has relieved my main monitors by delegating the low energy. I have so much headroom and transient punch it’s ridiculous. Everybody’s effected in a very positive way with whatever the SVS subs are involved with, from the artist to the mastering engineer to the fan.
Q. What differences do you notice between pro audio gear and SVS?
A. SVS to me is pro audio. They stand shoulder to shoulder and sometimes smoke the highest end “pro-audio” competition. Again, they are so dynamic and musical with an insanely fast transient response. I’ve yet to hear a sub costing 4-5 times as much move me like my SVS subs. They have all the same and more connections/EQ options as the “pro audio” options.
Q. As a listener, how does having an SVS caliber subwoofer change the music experience?
A. I’m listening to music constantly whether it’s making it or being a fan. Being moved by music is a big part of life whether we know it or not… If that music is delivered in the highest quality then my soul has to do less work 🙂
Q. Can you share any reactions from bringing artists or others into your new studio hearing the subwoofer?
A. It never fails… Every artist, writer, etc that listens to my SVS system just loses it and looks at me with their mouths and eyes wide open. It usually ends with, “Who the hell makes those subs?!?” It’s a great feeling to see passionate artists and seasoned industry people get so blown away by something audio related, especially since SVS subwoofers are not even designed for pro use. It really speaks to the build quality and attention to detail.
Q. Anything interesting you’re working on currently that you want to tell the SVS community about?
A. I just finished producing a record for Sony/Columbia artist Steven Lee Olsen… My SVS subs came in about half way though making the record. Crazy how it took everything from that point on to the next level. I’m also going to be producing a few tracks on Big Machine artist (and the Voice winner) Danielle Bradbery. I’m really excited to get to use the SVS subs from the ground up on some major label records