US-based musician, synthesist, and composer Celldweller (aka Klayton among friends) has added ADAM Audio A5X, A7X and A8X monitors to his studio collection, which includes a matched Sub12 subwoofer.
The long time ADAM Audio user has recently been busy with a number of projects which include his own music, as well as sound for motion pictures and video games.
Since his 1990s project Circle of Dust first lit up the musical radar for combining elements of the Detroit techno sound with metal and hard rock motifs, his work has grown to encompass scoring for films and games, running the record label FiXT, and releasing his own full-length concept albums.
“Right now, I’m programming synths for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, and just finished doing so for Deepwater Horizon, the new Peter Berg film,” Celldweller said of his to-do list. “I’m working on a score for an upcoming film called The Dunes, and also with my friend Tom Salta on music for the Microsoft video game Killer Instinct: Season 3.” Through all the intense deadlines, he praises his ADAM monitors as invaluable production partners.
“It was probably about eight years ago that I first heard the ADAMs, at a monitor shootout at Vintage King in Detroit,” he recalled. “I brought listening material with me that I was very familiar with and compared every brand of monitor, at different volume levels. I kept coming back to the ADAMs. In the end, they were the truest in terms of what I needed to hear.”
Klayton holds his ADAM monitors and subs in high regard because “you never want to have to think twice about whether you’re really hearing what you’re supposed to be,” crediting their folded-ribbon tweeter and dual woofers for the clarity he sought. One reason he demands that clarity is the track density of his sessions. “I’ve tried really hard to be a ‘simple’ producer and it just never works,” he laughed. “As simple as I think I’m being, I look up and my ‘minimalist’ session has a hundred or more tracks in it. Every sound is always changing. I may have a group of tracks dedicated to one section of a song that you only hear for eight bars, so there’s a fair amount going on.”
Using a large modular synth highlights another benefit of ADAMs: their wide sweet spot when it comes to stereo imaging. “This is the first album where I’ve largely moved away from soft synths and inside-the-box production, and did the majority of the sound design on analogue and modular synths,” he added. “It also means I’m surrounded 360 degrees by synth gear and constantly moving around the room. With the ADAMs, I find I can always hear where sounds are in the stereo field without having to anchor myself right in front of the console.
“I still do the car-stereo test just to be sure, but with the ADAM monitors and subs I know that if I can make it sound good at both low and high volumes, it’s going to sound good everywhere.”
Celldweller concluded: “I’m re-mastering and re-releasing the first five albums I made under the name Circle of Dust – my practicing ground for what would become Celldweller. 25 years ago, I had a Mac Classic with 1MB of RAM and a 40MB hard drive, and an Ensoniq EPS-16 Plus sampler, which was mono with 2MB of memory. There was no way I could ever get the sounds I wanted with that limited amount of gear, but I was too dumb to know that! Now listening through the ADAMs, I’m realising how much better I can make those mixes now. People who’ve heard it tell me it’s like getting all new music!”