Steve Levine discovers the KH 120

Producer Steve Levine may be best know for his work on radio, but he has also worked with many of the biggest rock and pop artists and is regarded as having ‘some of the best ears in the business’.

Neumann’s new KH 120 has helped him to end a long-running search for the perfect studio monitor.

Levine has worked in the recording industry for 36 years and does much of his current work at home in a highly specified studio. Finding a mid-sized monitor has always been an issue for him, but with the Neumann KH 120 his quest has finally ended.

“When you are mixing at home, you have to get the balance right between having something that gives you a true sense of the low end and speakers being gigantic,” he said. “With the radio shows – especially The Record Producers for Radio 2 – I do a lot of editing on computer. For that I had been searching for several years for a smaller monitor which had the right sound, but which isn’t fatiguing on the ears, as many monitors of that kind of size are.”

Having tried a number of brands, Levine was eager to test out the KH 120s. “Like everybody does, when I first set them up in the studio I put a CD through them and the clarity was breath taking – I could hear the layers of things, everything, it was just an amazing revelation,” he said. “It was music I’d known for a long time and, all of a sudden, something I knew so well became incredibly transparent and clear.”

Steve mixed the most recent episode of The Record Producers featuring Pink Floyd on the KH 120s and the Neumann monitors proved more than up to the task.

“It was probably one of the hardest shows I’ve ever done in terms of mixing and really listening to the fine detail,” said Levine, “but the KH 120s made it a pleasurable experience and we had an unbelievable reaction response from the Radio 6 Music audience in particular, with many of them commenting on how good it sounded.”