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Mix Engineer Kelly Donnelly Praises IsoAcoustics ISO-PUCKS as an Enhancement to his Mixes

By IsoAcoustics | November 16, 2017

Austin, TX (November 14, 2017)Producer, engineer Kelly Donnelly is well-known for recording and mixing eclectic, Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson, Mike Stern and others. Donnelly’s résumé also includes mixing original film scores for composer Hanan Townshend and legendary director Terrence Malick, a number of big-brand TV commercials for companies like Apple and Hyundai as well as recording live performances from Austin’s famed SXSW music festival. Recently, Donnelly discovered the benefits of IsoAcoustics ISO-PUCKS, and is using them for his work on Johnson’s new album Collage as well as the soundtrack to the video for Johnson’s latest signature-endorsed Fender Stratocaster guitar.

The compact, low profile ISO-PUCKS are intended for use with studio monitors, and with each rated to support 20 pounds, multiple pucks can handle mid-field and larger monitors.

“I’m using ISO-PUCKS in five studios currently: Eric Johnson’s studio Saucer Sound, Studio 71 West (my new residence), Studio Plush (my personal studio) and a couple of project studios owned by guitar players,” says Donnelly. “The thing I really love about the ISO-PUCKS is, until now, every product that I’ve tried has been just a way of compensating for poor surfaces your monitors might be resting on, just a means for dealing with those problems. ISO-PUCKS go way beyond just compensating, they actually enhance the performance of the monitors and of course my work!”

Asked to elaborate, Donnelly continues, “The ISO-PUCKS of course certainly do what the other products do, but for example, we have Sound Anchor speaker stands in all the studios. They’re really solid, high-mass, high-density stands. I usually don’t use any additional isolators in my studio because I have these stands. However, when the ISO-PUCKS came out, I learned that engineer Eddie Kramer was using them with his Sound Anchors, under his ATC monitors. I was like, ‘All right let’s decouple my speakers a little more.’ And again, I found the difference was that the setup with the ISO-PUCKS didn’t just fix problems, it improved the whole performance of the system, which is a pretty big deal.”

Among the performance improvements Donnelly heard using the ISO-PUCKS were a wider yet more accurate stereo soundstage, which enabled him to be able to make better mixing decisions. “We engineers measure improvements in millimeters, so any improvement you can hear is worth pursuing,” he laughs. “One thing I’ve learned over the years is that subtle changes in the frequency spectrum tend to affect the listener’s perception of everything not just the frequencies. For example, if you remove some problem low-mids in say, the 250 Hertz range, your mix will tend to sound wider. With the ISO-PUCKS, there’s not only a decoupling thing going on to prevent surface resonances that would color your hearing of those frequencies; there’s a mechanical thing as well. They stabilize the cabinet in terms of the excursion of its own drivers, which is something I think reduces the ‘smear’ in those problem octaves. There are fewer artifacts.”

“So for me everything sounds a little punchier, a little tighter, the soundscape is a little more 3D, because all these seemingly small contributions are lending themselves to the final result,” he concludes. “So I’m now using the ISO-PUCKS in all studios where I work under sets of ATC SCM-25A speakers. And trust me; I have an insane vetting process. I don’t just try any trendy thing that might change my workflow. But again, the ISO-PUCKS, as opposed to just solving an acoustic problem, enhance that workflow.”

Kelly’s final validation came from Eric Johnson himself. “Eric is the kind of guy who’s been doing things a certain way for 20, 30 years, and he’s a perfectionist,” explains Donnelly. “But when Eric heard what the ISO-PUCKS were doing to enhance the mixing process, he went out and got a set himself.”

To learn more about Kelly Donnelly, visit www.kellydmix.com.

About IsoAcoustics Inc.

IsoAcoustics stands provide superior acoustic isolation and enhance the sound clarity of virtually all speakers and amplification systems, including large and small desktop, bookshelf and floor standing speakers for audiophiles, hi-fi enthusiasts and consumers, home theatre systems, as well as musical instrument amplifiers and speakers used in professional audio settings. AlI IsoAcoustics stands are built with a unique, patented isolation technology that allows speakers to float in free space, resulting in authentic, clear uncolored sound.

For more information, visit www.isoacoustics.com.

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