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Seattle Producer Gets Serious With His Mackie HR624 Active Monitors

Chris Wehba's Mackie Gear
  Chris Wehba's Mackie Gear

For nearly half of his life, Chris Wehba has been an active member of the Pacific Northwest music scene and a self-proclaimed audio junkie. Working from his Seattle-based Metratone Studios, Wehba has engineered albums for the band Left Hand Smoke and more recently, the Henry Cooper Band—he’s the bass player for the latter. Wehba also spent a brief time running live monitor mix in the late ‘80s for the band INXS.

In his many endeavors through the years, Wehba has used a wide variety of studio monitors including KRK and B&W. But recently, when he was asked to record and engineer a project for the band King’s X, he decided to put the Mackie HR624s he had recently acquired to the test.

“I recorded King’s X on my Mackie MDR24/96 and did the mixing exclusively through my Mackie d8b,” Chris noted. “Obviously, I’ve always been a Mackie fan, but have never paid much attention to their monitors. What I immediately noticed about the HR624s was their pinpoint accuracy, incredible imaging and excellent separation. I’ve always wanted to hear all the subtleties of the music that my MDR was able to capture during the recording process. But, until I acquired the HR624s, I was never able to detect that level of detail in my studio. I was even able to get a really nice balance of the bass guitar without it sounding too boomy.

Wehba continued, “King’s X is a power trio and all three harmonize really well together. I wanted to capture that in my mix. The problem with my B&Ws was getting an accurate balance between the harmony vocals and the lead vocal. With the HR624, I could immediately hear a noticeable difference in the balance of all three vocals. This allowed me to create a much more accurate vocal mix overall.”

“The HR624s have some really useful customizing features,” Wehba commented. “For example, I found it really useful to dial in the range of dispersion with the acoustic space control. I have never been able to achieve this level of accuracy in my studio with any of the monitors I’ve used in the past. I also appreciated how quiet these speakers are. With other active speakers, there’s usually a lot of amp noise. The HR624s were absolutely quiet. I’ve gone through several pairs of monitors that were very noisy and things like that really detract from the recording.”

So how does this die-hard audio nut sum-up his experience with the HR624s? “Bottom line, I was able to make a more superior mix with HR624s than I have ever been able to achieve with other monitors I’ve used. Wherever I listen to this project; at a friend’s house or in the car, I get really consistent results. I had no idea monitors of this quality were out there.”


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