Troye Lilley Mastering, a custom designed mastering studio in Cape Town, South Africa, has upgraded its monitoring system to incorporate a pair of PMC IB1S speakers.
Based around a high-end analogue-digital hybrid setup, the facility was established in 2005 by mastering engineer Troye Lilley. Formerly a DJ, producer and engineer, he had previously owned a recording studio but moved into mastering after discovering a passion for it.
“A client asked me to master a song of his, and up to then I had only mastered my own work and didn’t consider it to be something separate from the process of tracking and mixing,” he explains. “I said ‘sure’, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I soon realised that my heart was in mastering, not recording, so the studio became a mastering suite.”
Initially, Lilley had a pair of B&W speakers but after deciding it was time for a change he approached PMC’s distributor Benjamin Pro Audio who recommended an IB1S system.
“I was looking for a monitor with a great low end response, critical in the midrange and detailed in the highs,” he says. “The PMCs did not disappoint! If something is unduly harsh in the midrange, the PMCs will let me know.”
Mastering engineers are renowned for working long hours, and Troye Lilley is no exception. He wanted monitors that wouldn’t make him feel tired and the PMCs perfectly fitted that brief.
“With my last monitoring system, I was suffering fatigue sooner than I would like,” he explains. “The PMC IB1S monitors allow me to work longer hours without getting as tired and that was not just an added bonus but also a major factor in my decision to buy them. They give an accurate representation for critical and fine decision making, as well as allowing me to hear what’s happening in the bass region even at lower SPL levels. However, If I need to crank it, the PMC IB1S have oodles of power.”
Setting up the PMCs required some experimentation, Lilley says, in order to find the correct height for the tweeter in relation to his ears.
“The placement was initially a little bit tricky as my first impulse was to position the monitors in the same way as I had all my previous systems,” he explains. “But I found that the speakers benefit from not being toed in. Instead, pointing them directly forward resulted in the best imaging because of their wide natural dispersion in the highs and midrange. The fact that the PMCs can be placed close to the boundary wall also allowed me to utilise the somewhat diminutive floor space to its best advantage.”
Since taking up mastering, Troye Lilley has completed hundreds of projects from many different musical genres and for client all around the world. The international artists on his list include Jullian Gomes, Kid Fonque, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Charles Webster, G-Family, Bah Samba, Zaki Ibrahim, while closer to home he has also mastered tracks for Kalawa Jazmee, DJ Kent, DJ Fresh, Euphonik, Liquideep, Mi Casa, Deborah Fraser, DJ Shimza, Black Motion, Uhuru, Big Nuz, DJ Syndicate and Rocco.
He is currently working on a techno EP for Deep Souls on Deep Suite Records, albums for the 999 stable and projects for Kalawa Jazmee.
“The PMC speakers make doing what I love so much easier,” he says.