Thanks for letting me know because the gentleman is WRONG! All distributors have been informed and all are willing and more than happy to sell single/mono MixCubes, either in Butter Cream or the new Black color. (We will soon have the Passives in Black also).
We expect our first arrival of MixCubes in New York in about 10 days. Allowing a few days to check them out, fulfill lots of orders, and get them on pallets to Europe; I would say that we're at the end of the month!!!
Regarding other companies products; we never ever comment on them, but I can tell you about ours
MixCubes were designed from the ground up to be deadly accurate TOOLS FOR PROFESSIONALS. We spent over 3 years before we found the right combination of speakers/and fiber cone material alone (which comes from New Zealand). We roll-off our MixCubes at 90 Hz for a reason, and we are almost perfectly linear throughout the remainder of the 90 Hz to 17k frequency response.
I hope you don't mind, but let me explain how MixCubes are supposed to be used and why they work correctly. Please don't think that I'm "preaching at you". I know that many of you are professionals and I respect everyone here on the forum... OK, here goes
MixCubes have a frequency response of 90 Hz to 17 kHz (that's not much bass end is it!), but here's the deal.
Everybody who is mixing music now-a-days, all have killer speakers to mix on. That's all well and good, but it doesn't give the engineer any idea as to what their mix is going to sound like when listened to through IPOD stations, portable music players, computer speakers, (like when you run into someone at an airport and it happens to be a producer, so he opts to listen right then and there on his computer speakers cheap earphones,Television sets, and any other number of media that are being used today. ANYBODY WHO IS MIXING ON BIG MONITORS AND NOT CHECKING HOW THEIR MUSIC IS GOING TO SOUND FOR ALL THESE OTHER TYPES OF MEDIA ARE NOT BEING VERY SMART! The reason is because it will almost always sound horrible and he/she will come off as amateurs.
Here's why: The great bass thump and the super sparkling hi-end that your killer speakers can reproduce just can't be heard on or as you expect them to on these other playback systems. For example, a 60 Hz kick drum sound coming through an IPOD docking station will either be a splat or it just won't be reproduced because the tiny diaphragm can't produce it. Coming through computer speakers? FORGET IT! It's just not there... Like-wise, the same for super hi-end sounds. Mid-range sound that often sounds great on big speakers CAN be heard just fine on most of the various media speakers, but guess what happens when the bass and super hi-end sounds aren't there? All of a sudden, the music sound completely "mid rangey" and completely out of balance. This is because the mid-range reproduces just fine but when the bass and hi-end didn't translate to the speakers, it sounded like a terrible recording. ENTER THE MIXCUBES.
Today's Studio Monitors are almost always 2-way, 3-way, or even 4 way systems. That means that they use crossovers to send specific audio frequencies to specific amps and then on to specific drivers. That's all well and good. But don't let anyone tell you that during this process, that a certain amount of cancellation of frequencies occurs, because it does! Let me repeat that. When crossovers are involved, there is ALWAYS going to be some cancellation, smearing and other possible anomilies inherent with the audio that is output. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER BECAUSE WE WILL RETURN TO THIS IN A FEW MINUTES...
So What Do The MixCubes Do and What Makes Them a Professional Tool Vs. Other Powered Mini-Monitors? If you have followed along so far, then this will make total sense to you... The engineer has a great mix on his main monitors and then he switches to his MixCubes. Immediately he wonders where his bass is! Well, he is actually getting an accurate listen to what it would sound like in a docking station, computer speakers, etc. All sound is based on what is known as the Harmonic Series. For those that familiar with this, just a quick lesson:
1. All sounds are made of multiple frequencies, this is called the Harmonic Series.
2. The main sound that you hear when you pluck a guitar string, for example is the Fundamental Frequency
3. But, the real sound is made up of a series of other sounds that are progressively lower and lower in volume.
4. Lots of guitarists actually tune their guitars all the time by using the Harmonic Series by reproducing the 1st Harmonic which is always the same for ALL Sounds and it is located exactly 1 Octave higher Sound familiar GREAT!
So This Is What The MixCubes Do: The engineer has a great mix on his big monitors and then he switches to the MixCubes and immediately he wonders where his bass is. Well, he is getting an accurate listen to what it would sound like in a docking station, a pair of computer speakers, etc. We know that the fundamental bass frequency IS NOT REPRODUCED in most of the speakers that are used such as computer speakers, etc. So, we purposely, rolled off the fundamental bass frequency, and you are basically going to be reinforcing the bass frequency exactly one octave above (a secret known by only a few of the best producers) READ ON!
Now, what he wants to do is EQ the sound so he can hear the kick, bass, maybe back out a bit of the mid-range and add just a touch of sparkle. The cool thing is that he won’t be doing an additive thing at the same frequencies because the frequencies that he’ll be boosting for bass will be in the 100-250 Hz range, so it most likely will not influence his mix at all. Here’s an almost step by step procedure:
1. Get a great mix happening on your preferred monitors then switch over to the MixCubes
2. You’ll immediately miss the bottom end… but instead of trying to add low-end at 60-100 Hz, (since MixCubes don’t reproduce those frequencies); to bring in the kick, and bass, you will have to start by adding a dB or two in the 100-250 Hz area, just until you can hear your kick, bass, etc. Once you hear it like it is supposed to sound in your mix, STOP! What you have actually done is reinforce the FUNDAMENTAL BASS FREQUENCY 1 OCTAVE HIGHER! (AND NOT EATING UP LOTS OF ENERGY IN THE PROCESS EITHER)!
3. Now, make any slight adjustments in the mid-range and high end as necessary. You might notice that the background vocals are a little louder than you thought they were, or the acoustic guitar is “sticking out” a bit. Remember me talking about the crossover points in multi-way monitors? That’s because of cancellation in possible critical ranges. Because MixCubes are virtually flat from 90 Hz to 17 kHz, you can make multiple adjustments as you see fit. (Just exactly where a speaker might have its crossover point(s) will vary from monitor to monitor, but now you've compensated for it! Just a dB or two back and you’re right in the groove.
4. Now switch back to you main monitors.
5. You’ll be amazed to find that unless you’ve got super incredible ears that these extra “db’s or two” doesn’t seem to affect your mix hardly at all...
Why? Well, think about it for a moment:
1a. You reinforced the Octave ABOVE the fundamental in the bass which only reinforces the bass.
2a. All of the places that you rolled-back most likely were at crossover points. When you switch back to your main monitors the crossover points once again mask what you've done there!
6.NOW, you’ll have a mix that is going to sound great on all of those IPOD docking stations, car radios, computers, and all the other alternate playback systems that is prevalent in today’s music world.
How Do You Figure Glen?
That’s because when a producer grabs your MixCube adjusted Mix and decides to listen on his cheap computer speakers, you already know that you have:
1. Added Bass in the important octave above the fundamental (so you know that the bass section will be heard)and that the fundamental on his computer speakers won't reproduce.
2. Checked and rolled back on any crossover points so there isn’t going to be any super-bright, annoying out of perspective mid-range/hi-end levels. (Again, you rolled back on any “too loud” sections called by crossover cancellations. Even if his speakers are not flat at least you're not adding additional mid-range and hi-end to certain frequencies inherent in his system!
Instead, you have a perfectly balanced mix and (here's the best part), when he plays that same disk on a pro system, everything still sounds amazing because the bass below the fundamental wasn't taken out of your mix. We never touched it! And the crossover points which we backed out if they were a bit too loud, won't hurt anything because he probably has a multi-way system also and if it doesn't crossover at the same places, then you gain by the improvements that you made on the MixCubes.
MixCubes are PROFESSIONAL TOOLS. The 60 watt RMS power rating is vastly under-rated, (that rating is a true AUDIOPHILE RATING), (60 watts @.005% Total Harmonic Distortion @ 1kHz). We wanted them to have tons of headroom, not just volume. Detented knobs, (no guessing how to set the levels up), Class A/B Amp, Signal to Noise -113 dB, and one special consideration that we all used to take into consideration and I urge you to consider it for this type product...WEIGHT! It's important here: Each MixCube weight 7 lbs. 5 ozs. That's a very substantial box and it's because it is made of thick, dense MDF board which gives it very high rigidity and inherent low-resonance characteristics, and that translates to the accuracy of the boxees. In addition the boxes are built to exacting standards, no rumble, "false frequencies" generated, or other additive tones to "jumble up" your concertration when you're trying to fine-tune a mix.
I also want to tell you that this is not just a Chinese product even though it says "Made In China" on the back. If the truth be known, Avantone/Avantone Pro has a lot of reasons as to why our products like our CV12 & 28 tube mics, CK1,6 & 7 FET's, CR14 Ribbon, CK40 Stereo, New Drum Kits, MixCubes and honestly guys, the best pop filter in the world, the Pro-Shield, are garnering praise world-wide not only for our sound but for the quality vs. value.
MixCubes are not just a Chinese product. We have components that come from a number of places throughout the world and then arrive at one location in China for assembly. I've already mentioned that we went through 17 different materials until we found the right material for our paper cone. That comes from New Zealand. Our drivers are super-high-quality drivers from Japan, the amplifers are from Europe, Hi-quality caps from places like France, but we won't disclose our suppliers because as many of you know, there are always some people, maybe even other competitors who will spread information that might not be true. One case in point, a long time ago, there was a thread on a forum claiming that our CV12 was exactly the same as another microphone and they had photos of the insides to prove that they were the same. Gentlemen, not only did they not have the wrong factory, but they had nothing correct While lots of products and circuit boards can look exactly the same that doesn't mean a thing. We improve our products as part of our regular routine. When the BV1 bottle mic came out, as a result of new technology that we developed, (such as shortened signal paths and superior components), we didn't hesitate to update the CV12 Tube, CK6 FET, CK7 FET, CK40 Stereo Mic. In most cases, the sensitivity improved by 4 to 5 times better, and the SONICS when off the wall! This costs us additional cash, but as we have done many times, we have simply "eaten" the extra money. No one, in the US or World-wide received price increases. It's just the way we are. Musicians, Studio engineers (like you), and the belief that EVERYBODY deserves to have incredblie pro quality gear to work with. That was our goal from the beginning. Ken Avant and I had long talks about when we had our studios how we wished we could have afforded a U87, a AKG 414, etc. We wanted to give musicians and engineers throughout the world the ability to have the quality of those type mics but at a price that they could afford. We don't have big margins on any products. Our goal was never to get rich to begin with anyway. That's why we are so proud to know that with so many different microphone lines in the world, Avantone is one that is almost universally recognized not only by home studio users but by pro engineers/producers/artists.
We will continue to forge ahead with our same policy of making the best products at the absolute best price we can.
I mean, does anyone out there believe that a $6000 (put your favorite famous mic here), when taken apart, really even comes close to having $3000 worth of parts? $2000? $1000? What about $300?
I'm not attempting to insult any of the great mic companies because I love them and own lots of their mics also, but if you answer that question and think about it for a while, then why can't a company like Avantone produce SUPERIOR MICROPHONES that sell for $499, $599, etc? Especially if we have the know-how, the desire, the drive, and most of all the PASSION. And friends of this Sound On Sound Forum, believe me, I would not have spent the time, (me, the Director of Global Sales & Marketing for Avantone Pro), to sit down at my computer after a long day of work, only to see Martin's message (which actually showed up as a text on my cell phone), and write this entire post to all of you. It is now 3:51 AM Sat. morning (i accidently lost the entire post so I rewrote it again), and my day was over at 8:50 pm Friday.
I hope you all recognize that this was a sincere attempt to reach as many of you as possible. I will be happy to participate in this forum as much as I can. Avantone Pro IS MY PASSION and now you know maybe you understand why we used to say:
"Hey, We're Avantone Audio and We Hear You".... And Now, we say:
"Hey, We're Avantone Pro, Moving Forward & Always Listening, To YOU"
I certify that everything that I've stated above is the truth as I believe it and that I hope some of your "got something" out of my chattering
Good Morning SOS and Have a Wonderful Creative Day.
Glen Heffner Director of Global Sales/Marketing
Avantone Pro O. 828.523.4311 SKYPE: glen_heffner