Serious SoundCTD: Carl Tatz Design

Oklahoma City Sounds oh-so Pretty as Upstairs Productions Steps up to a Carl Tatz Design Dual PhantomFocus™ System

— Engineer/producer Ted Curtis chooses Carl Tatz Design's PhantomFocus™ System to transform the monitoring in his Oklahoma City personal studio, Upstairs Productions —

Nashville, TN: "Well, as Carl will attest to, I was a hard sell. I had SERIOUS problems and doubted anyone could fix them. And the results??? He knocked it out of the park! It's simply incredible. The only regret is I wished I had done it sooner. Thanks Carl!" beams Oklahoma's Upstairs Productions owner/engineer/producer Ted Curtis about his new Dual PhantomFocus™ System (PFS).

"Boy he's not kidding about being a tough sell" laughs Carl Tatz of Carl Tatz Design LLC and creator of the PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) monitor tuning protocol. "Ted has amazing ears and was determined for us to step up to the plate after being so disappointed in the past by everything he had tried to make his monitors sound the way he wanted them to."

Tatz explains, "This was a textbook example of breaking the myth that having a well designed control room, whether designed by me or another designer, along with great monitors will render great monitoring. The fact is that the monitoring will never begin to approach the sonic impact and accuracy that the PFS can deliver - not even close - and keep in mind that most of these systems are near field."

As part of his meticulous research which included his studying all the literature, reading up on the various articles and reviews as well as interviewing PFS users, Curtis traveled to Nashville to experience the PFS for himself in a couple of Carl Tatz Design award winning control rooms. After hearing the systems, he quickly became a believer and decided to make the purchase. However, in spite of his being knocked out by what he heard and the assurance that we bat a thousand on all systems, his enthusiasm was still guarded because of his multiple failed past attempts to optimize the monitoring in his own room.

Expanding on his experience related to his massive console that required thoughtful consideration during the physical implementation of the PFS, Curtis observes, "The 9098i is so sensitive and precise, and the band width and low-end is so remarkable, that not having proper monitoring makes it nearly impossible to work on. You simply can't guess at it. Before we started I had an 18dB tight cue dip at 125HZ, a mountain range dip between 35Hz and 50Hz, a large bump at 20Hz, and several other issues in the 500-1550Hz range and 3-4K range. It was simply awful. It took many trips to the car to get it right IF you even got it right then. By that time you had completely lost perspective and lost all of your confidence.

"Well I'm glad to say now, for the first time in my life, I hear EXACTLY what I mixed in the control in both cars, absolutely no surprises. It's really exciting if not a bit scary. I don't have anything to blame anymore. I've already come a long ways in the confidence department in the short time I've had the PFS installed. I urge anyone who is struggling in the same way I was to give it a shot. It may likely change your life..."

"Just the ability to put something in the mix in the exact place and level you want it to be, is now effortless. You simply mix it the way you want to hear it and it's right, no more compensation. Snare drum level adjustment is easy. Additionally I've never experienced panning like this either. You can hear every single move, no matter how small, as you move from side to side."

After maintaining the number one position in the Mexican food business for over 20-years in OKC with his, Ted's Cafe Escondido restaurants, Ted understands attention to detail and truly appreciates and demands the best which explains why he goes on to say, "I truly appreciated Carl's obsession to get things right. Simply put, it's not done until it's done. He spent many hours getting things aligned and adjusted, then many hours more tuning, trying crossover points, re-adjusting, etc... (At some point you think he's a mad man!) But when it comes time to sit in the driver's seat, and you hear the results, you understand why he does things the way he does them. His true passion to do his best shines through. In a high speed world where most don't care, nor have time to do their best, Carl excels beyond anyone's expectations."

Curtis chose to move up to the Dynaudio Professional M1 near fields driven with the new Bryston 4B SST2 amp and use his existing ADAM S5A MK2s in a Dual PFS configuration where both near fields and mains share the same PFS frequency response curve. "The results were predictably stellar," comments Tatz. "And Ted, who was considering closing the room down before hiring Tatz because his very high expectations were not being met, now drives his monitors with the same thrill and pinpoint accuracy as his exotic Porsche based RUF 3400K sports car."

About Carl Tatz Design

Carl Tatz Design (CTD) is an award winning studio design firm offering design and consulting services to homeowners and entertainment industry professionals in areas of: Recording Studios, Monitor Systems, Home Screening Rooms, Dedicated Listening Rooms, Acoustic Analysis, Tuning, and Sound Isolation. Carl Tatz is also the inventor of the industry acclaimed proprietary PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) monitor tuning protocol. CTD’s many resources combine knowledge, experience and expertise in sound, picture and design to serve its clients worldwide. For more information, visit
About the PhantomFocus™ System
Once the basic acoustic treatment has been accomplished, Carl Tatz Design’s proprietary PhantomFocus™ Monitor System offers clients a unique opportunity to have a truly world-class monitoring experience in their room, no matter how modest they may perceive it to be. The PhantomFocus System allows their monitors of choice to perform accurately at a full 20Hz-to-20KHz frequency response with pinpoint imaging in an almost holographic sweet spot — this enables their mixes to travel anywhere with a new level of sonic accuracy. There are approximately fifty steps in the proprietary PhantomFocus System implementation protocol, some of which may include phase and laser alignment, damping, isolation mounts, careful assessment of engineer/speaker placement relative to their room’s primary axial modes, proprietary speaker distance and angle, crossover points for pass filtering, and finally parametric equalization. Hardware can include monitor stands, concrete, sorbothane and other isolation materials, custom floating plenum mounts, subwoofer system, custom crossover, parametric equalizers and the monitors themselves (passive or active). The evaluation and implementation is a full two-day process and can be applied to near-fields, mid-fields, and large soffit mounted monitors, regardless of manufacturer. Carl Tatz Design can install the PhantomFocus System in existing control rooms or in studios that are designed and built from the ground up by CTD. The result is like the aural equivalent of HD TV. Once you experience a PhantomFocus System, you can’t go back.

Serious Sound

Pictured L-R: Carl Tatz and Ted Curtis in Oklahoma City's Upstairs Productions featuring the Dual PhantomFocus™ System using Dynaudio Professional M1 Near fields and ADAM S5A MK2 Mains

Carl Tatz Design: 6666 Brookmont Terrace, Suite 1109, Nashville, TN 37205, 615.354.6242 /