Composer, Producer and Rap Star SantaflowFinds the Perfect Balance with ADAM Audio S2V MonitorsADAM Users
Producer Santaflow about his expectations towards studio monitors and the perfect mix
Whether he’s burning up the charts with his solo tracks, producing and beat-making for such contemporaries as Porta and Santa RM, or throwing down alongside MCs Norykko, Aitor, Dyem in the Magnos Team artist collective, Ivan Santos Ortiz, better known as Santaflow, is one of the premiere forces to reckon with in Spanish-language rap and hip-hop. He recently added ADAM S2V monitors from the new flagship S Series range for mixing his hard-hitting sound.
“The first time I heard ADAM Audio monitors was when I tested a pair of A7Xs in another home studio, and they sounded really good, especially the highs”, he recalls. “Very clear and very comfortable.” This experience combined with ADAM Audio’s reputation touched off the quest for a pair of his own.
“ADAM Audio had so many awards, and amazing reviews from many experts I trust”, says Santaflow. “I was first interested in how the SX range builds up on the virtues of its younger siblings as well as the upper-range ADAM stuff, and shares with them the X-ART technology. I began to check out the S2Vs. As I hadn’t tested them before, it was a big bet, but they don’t disappoint at all.”
“The ADAM Audio monitors give you all the accurate information of the raw material, so they are perfect. If something sounds good, you know it, and if it sounds bad, they’ll tell you!”
Asked what strikes him in particular about the ADAM S2Vs, Santaflow points to that all-too-rare combination in studio monitors: accuracy and pleasantness to the ear. “A good mix sounds just beautiful. This concerned me at the beginning because I thought that if they sound as good as a hi-fi system, maybe they’re not appropriate to mix on, but I was completely wrong,” he says. “The ADAM monitors give you all the accurate information of the raw material, so they are perfect. If something sounds good, you know it, and if it sounds bad, they’ll tell you!”
Going into more depth, he explains how ADAM fulfills his critical requirements for a studio monitor: “First, balance. Some other monitors have excessive bass, which is very lush to hear but in the long term, you have to do many listening sessions on different systems so you don’t miscalculate. Second, the ADAMs offer detail in the very important midrange, which allows for better control over subtle changes to EQ and compression. And equally important, they offer clear and present highs that don’t cause ear fatigue. I’ve worked with ‘gaudy’ monitors in the past and I was forced to take frequent breaks. Luckily, I now have the S-ART tweeter in the S2Vs, which shows me everything without the tiredness.” Santaflow plans to add a Sub10 MK2 subwoofer to his setup soon.
Sonic honesty and an audiophile listening experience
The new ADAM monitors have made a difference not just to Santaflow’s own music, but also when he hosts clients in the room. Again, he points to the fact that his S2Vs provide both sonic honesty and an audiophile listening experience. “Good monitors are the best way to show your work. The more details clients can notice, the more they’ll appreciate you,” he advises. “My previous monitors were ok for mixing hip-hop, but the problem was that for auditioning final mixes, they sounded more ‘ugly’ than the hi-fi speakers of normal users. So, I used to change speakers to show my clients the finished songs. Now with the S2Vs, I keep my monitors, as they are perfect for a listening session with an artist.”
“Raw or unbalanced material shows on the S2V”, he elaborates, “but as you come closer to a good mainstream and a balanced mix, the S2Vs sound beautiful — no resonance problems, no uncontrolled sub-bass, no excess or lack-of. It’s like being a painter who can finally see the colors clearly. I’m so in love!”