EDM Producer DaWoodBreaking Boundaries With ADAM Audio S3H monitorsADAM Users
David Dawood has forged an enviable career as one of the UK’s most sought-after EDM songwriters and producers, having worked with many of the leading grime producers and MCs.
In 2010, his work with grime collective “Roll Deep” also resulted in a Number One UK single, “Good Times”. Meanwhile, he has completed remixes for Lana Del Ray, Clean Bandit, Bakermat, Cheryl Cole and M-22. And if all that wasn’t enough, his impressive resume is peppered with names like Kelly Rowland, Jodie Connor and X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke. DaWood’s creative output also includes success under his “Sonic Matta” pseudonym, a handle he uses for his tech house productions and remixes.
“A problem I have faced is finding a speaker that can sound accurate when mixing but then also sound inspiring when being creative.”
Now, traditional wisdom would have it that the equipment musicians use when being creative is not the same gear that mixing pros use to craft a chart-ready mix. But for artists like DaWood, those boundaries have become meaningless. Because his work straddles the disciplines of songwriting and mixing, he places exceedingly high demands on his monitor speakers. “A problem I have faced is finding a speaker that can sound accurate when mixing but then also sound inspiring when being creative”, he explained in a recent interview with ADAM Audio. “The perfect studio monitor would be a monitor that is flat and true to the sound. But when I am making music, I want to hear the true source material so that I can choose the right synth sound or drum sample. This helps me save a lot of time when mixing as the instruments and samples sound good before I even reach for EQ or compression.”
DaWood’s first contact with ADAM Audio speakers came in 2010, when he decided to add a pair of ADAM A7X nearfield monitors to complement his main speaker system from another manufacturer. When a friend recommended that he should check out ADAM Audio’s S3H speakers, he decided to jump in at the deep end and purchase a pair purely on the strength of his experience of the A7X and online reviews.
Candidly, he admits that he “didn’t expect them to sound as good as they do”. But when he began working on his new S3H speakers, he reports, he quickly realized that the new speakers would lead to changes in his mixing approach and his gear inventory. “I can hear every detail in the low end, mids and tops,” he explains. “Everything just sounds very well balanced. The stereo imaging is excellent. Even at a loud volume there is no noticeable distortion and they are very comfortable to listen to. My mixes are translating on other systems very well, unlike before, when I was going back and forth tweaking. The S3H has made my decision-making much quicker and more precise.”
“Everything just sounds very well balanced. The stereo imaging is excellent. […] The S3H has made my decision-making much quicker and more precise.”
One question faced by many producers is how to best reproduce the bass frequencies. This is paramount for producers in EDM and other genres where the impact of a song in the clubs – and its low-end – is crucial to its success. Asked for his take on the “sub or no sub“ debate, DaWood now comes down firmly on one side. “I have owned a subwoofer for 15 years and now my sub isn’t even wired up. I just don’t need it. A monitor that has a big bottom end without having to use a subwoofer and can still retain a nice tonal balance between the mids and tops is my preferred choice. The S3H’s nail this for me.”