As a producer, mixer and songwriter, Keith Ross is part of the fabric of the South Florida music production universe. His credits include work with Jill Scott, Fifth Harmony, The Roots, Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Boyz II Men, Timbaland, Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke, J. Balvin, Nelly and numerous other major recording artists. Part of what’s kept Ross’s sound consistently successful is a longtime reliance on the superior accuracy of Genelec monitoring solutions. Whether working in some of the country’s elite commercial facilities or in his own personal studio, Ross has made Genelec his go-to choice for critical listening. Most recently, Ross just powered up his latest personal studio, where he’s installed a pair of Genelec 8350A Smart Active Monitors™ and a 7380A Smart Active Subwoofer™. “I’ve been using Genelec for over a decade — the last set I had were the 8340As and I’ve owned several previous Genelecs,” he says. “But this studio is the most custom room I’ve ever had; it’s a top-of-the-line build-out in a new home, so I wanted the absolute top of the line for monitoring here, and that’s the 8350As. They are amazing.”
The 8350A speakers, which were sold through Scott Katz at ScitScat Music in Miami, were installed as part of a studio design by Shane White of Legacy Acoustic Designs. “I’m not such a fan of booths,” Ross explains. “I like to be able to interact with artists as they’re recording. So we designed a section of the room for microphone placement that keeps us in the same creative space and not separated by a plate of glass.” Customization of his workspace is why Ross also likes Genelec’s unique Smart Active Monitor features, such as the proprietary Genelec Loudspeaker Manager™ (GLM™) network and software, enabling users to build a highly flexible and reliable monitoring system. “I absolutely am taking advantage of the smart features,” says Ross. “Tuning the speakers to the room was a piece of cake because once the room curve showed up in the GLM software, I could see visually exactly which frequencies to adjust. It was so accurate that when I listened after visually compensating on the EQ, they sounded perfect. I didn’t have to make any other adjustments. It has also been shocking how well mixes translate from these speakers to other systems.”
Interestingly, Ross has never regularly used a subwoofer in his monitoring array. “I was always concerned that the low end would be hyped using a separate sub and my bass would sound wimpy on other speakers,” he says. “Scott at ScitScat Music is the one who suggested I add a Genelec Smart Active Subwoofer; he said I’d never notice it was there but that I’d feel the impact like never before, and he was right. The 7380A is totally transparent as part of the monitoring system. From one end of the spectrum to the other, it’s all one fantastic, accurate, cohesive image.” The first project the new Genelec 8350A monitors were used on is a single for Republic Records artist Bria Lee, joined on the track by guest artists Pitbull, a longtime collaborator of Ross’s, and Fat Joe. The track, “One Shot,” was just released April 5 and is currently featured on Billboard.com as it gains traction at radio. When the audio first came through the new speakers in the new studio, Ross knew he had the right ones. “That was the moment I realized just how great these speakers are,” he says. “My mind was blown. These are my favorite speakers of all time to mix on.”
Photos by Josh M. Photography.