Mix engineer Joe Zook (OneRepublic, Modest Mouse, Smokey Robinson) builds new Atmos studio

Having spent his entire childhood and teenage years playing guitar for a variety of bands, Joe Zook would soon discover his true passion—music production. After attending recording classes and landing an internship at a local studio, Zook mixed everything from worldbeat and jazz records to ESPN fishing shows and political ads. Today, as a world-class mixing engineer, Zook has worked with artists such as Alessia Cara, AJR, OneRepublic, Modest Mouse, Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, and hundreds more. When Zook recently decided to upgrade his studio for Dolby Atmos recording, he turned to KRK V-Series studio monitors (V4 and V6), as well as the brand’s S12.4 subwoofers.

For the past few years, Zook had been deploying KRK’s V4s as an auxiliary pair of mixing monitors. Knowing and trusting the KRK sound, Zook was confident the brand would be the best fit for his new Dolby Atmos studio. In his 7.1.4 Atmos system, Zook has V6s surrounding him, V4s mounted on the ceiling, and two S12.4 subwoofers under his desk. “I’ve gotten very familiar with the KRK sound and really like the audio consistency across the entire V-Series line,” he says. “I simply trust that a good mix will feel right on the KRK V-Series.”

For Zook, a key advantage of the KRK V-Series is that they aren’t overly sensitive to placement in his room. “Some speakers sound amazing in one room and terrible in another—I haven’t experienced that with the KRK V-Series,” he explains. “I think that’s a really important quality to have for Atmos mixing as you have so many speakers in a room and not a lot of options on placement. I’ve also noticed that I can relate to the sound of the V-Series more than some speakers that are three times the price.”


Zook also finds KRK’s S12.4 studio subwoofer to be a great value, offering a cost-effective solution for mixing bass-heavy tracks. “With the KRK sub, you really get a bang for your buck,” he continues. “They have all the controls and connections that I want and can get the job done for about 300-percent less than the top-shelf subs. With KRK, you simply can’t go wrong.”

Exciting things are coming out in the next few months for Zook, who’s been working hard in his Dolby Atmos studio, creating both immersive and stereo mixes. Some recent projects on which Zook deployed his KRK studio monitors and subwoofers include mixing tracks like Scott Helman’s “Pretty,” Tassia Zappia’s “Like Ooh,” and Alessia Cara’s “Somebody Else.”

“Lately, any project that I’ve mixed in stereo has also required an Atmos version,” says Zook. “So, I’ve been turning to my KRKs more and more to meet this new demand. I’ve also started working on older catalog albums that I originally mixed. With KRK, I’m able to mix both stereo and Dolby Atmos recordings, and the artists have been thrilled with the results.”