London-based mastering specialist Fluid Mastering has purchased a pair of PMC twotwo.6 nearfield monitors to supplement its existing pair of BB5-XBD Actives. Fluid co-founders Tim Debney and Nick Watson have been PMC users since their days at The Townhouse, where they also used BB5s, and they bought a pair of the mighty BB5-XBDs when they set up as Fluid in 2006, dispensing with The Townhouse's soffit-mounted approach and placing the speakers free-standing in the Fluid mastering suite.
“When it comes down to it, the BB5s are the best speakers in the world for mastering,” avers Debney. “If there are areas of the mix that need enhancement, you can really hear it on these – they're very unforgiving, which is exactly what you want from a speaker in a mastering suite. We're making the masters here – this is the last chance to iron out any remaining issues with a track, so you have be able to hear what's wrong and make it right.”
“And once it's sounding good on these, it'll sound great on any system, in any room, at any volume,” adds Watson. “The effect of even small tweaks made on these can sometimes be quite audible on low-end systems. Sometimes I make adjustments that you might not expect to have a significant effect on a track, and the artist will come back to me saying, ‘Wow, you've totally transformed that… you've really fixed it!’”
Nick Watson and Tim Debney with their new PMC twotwo nearfield monitors
Having had a pair of twotwo.6s on loan for a few weeks, Fluid has now bought a pair as a second listening reference. Nick Watson: “The twotwo.6s complement our BB5s really well. It's really useful to hear music on something that's a little bit closer to what people are going to hear it on at home, and that's what the twotwos do for us; they give us another perspective. It's like having an aural pallet-cleanser; we'll have a quick listen on the twotwo.6s to confirm the decisions we've taken on the BB5s.”
“People have asked us, 'don't you want any other kinds of speakers in here to compare with?'“ continues Tim Debney, “but we always say you can have too many choices. It's better to have two things you know really well.”