Serious SoundCTD: Carl Tatz Design

Rascal Flatts's Jay DeMarcus Hosts Tracking Session for New Flatts Album in His Carl Tatz-Designed Personal Studio Complex, The Grip

- Award winning producer/guitarist Dann Huff chooses The Grip for multiple album projects including tracking for Rascal Flatts’s new album because of its acoustics, vibe, and CTD SpringLoad™ amp closet -

Nashville, TN: “I had been explaining to Dann for a while how deceptive the size of The Grip’s drum room was and that Carl’s design made the room sound far larger than it appeared” noted The Grip owner Jay DeMarcus, founding member and bass player of contemporary country super group, Rascal Flatts. DeMarcus has been producing tracks at The Grip for country artist Jeannette McCurdy, pop artist Jason Scheff of Chicago fame and gospel artist, Marshall Hall.

Dann Huff was already a big fan of the studio’s unique Carl Tatz Design (CTD) SpringLoadTM amp closet where he had been doing all his re-amp recording as well as taking advantage of the Grip’s ISDN line capability for his West Coast projects. So on DeMarcus’s recommendation, Huff tracked sides for a new Michael Bolton album there and became convinced that the extraordinary acoustics would be ideal for the new Rascal Flatts album’s drum sound.

The tracking session featured seven players including two guitars, drums, bass, scratch vocal, grand piano, and synth set-up. The Yamaha C7 was recorded in Jay’s beautiful marbled floor living room with its own video feed and monitor in the control room and the extensive keyboard rig was installed in The Wine Cellar, a production room in the studio complex with its own video feed. “ Everyone commented on how very comfortable the sessions were,” beamed DeMarcus.

Because veteran engineer, Justin Niebank has long relied on vintage Genelec 1031 monitors, they were set up in a flexible PhantomFocusTM System (PFS) array so that The Grip’s Dynaudio M1s could be switched out upon request and still maintain PFS imaging and accurate frequency response for either set of monitors when in place.

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: Engineer, Justin Neibank, Jay DeMarcus, Producer, Dann Huff at the Console in the Grip Control Room

Pictured: The Grip Control Room

Pictured: The Grip Control Room Rear

Pictured: The Grip Drum Room

Pictured: The Wine Cellar Production Suite in The Grip Studio Complex


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