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GAT3 Installs PMC Monitors In New Dolby Atmos Studio

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Charlotte, North Carolina audio facility, GAT3, has transformed a former stereo tracking room into a stunning 9.1.6 Dolby Atmos studio equipped with PMC Ci series monitors.

Established 27 years ago by Glenn A Tabor III and his wife Susan, GAT3 is renowned for its outstanding facilities and equipment. The facility has five studios handling a range of audio projects, from music recording, mixing and mastering to voice overs, ADR and post production for film and television. It also has two sound stages, two video stages and a recording academy, teaching the next generation of audio engineers the skills of their trade.

Each of the facility's studios are named after a precious stone (Opal, Onyx, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire), and take their interior décor colour palette from the colour of the stone they represent. GAT3's centrepiece, the new Dolby Atmos Sapphire Room, will soon be headed up by mix engineer and Dolby Atmos expert Richard Chycki, who is relocating from Toronto to join the company.

"We decided to upgrade the Sapphire Room to Dolby Atmos because many of our customers were asking for album projects to be mixed in this format and we needed a state-of-the-art facility that would allow us to satisfy these demands," said Glenn A Tabor III. "The decision to install a PMC monitoring system was an easy one to make. I'd heard PMC speakers in many other studios and had always loved them because they are so precise. As an audiophile who has been into HiFi from a very young age, I felt there was only one brand that could deliver the accuracy of a mastering room without sacrificing musicality, and that was PMC. It's a very fine line to balance, but PMC manages to achieve it perfectly."

Glenn adds that PMC's team in the USA were enormously helpful when it came to designing the room, choosing the right monitors for the space, and matching them to the right amplifiers. 

"Maurice Patist (President of PMC USA and head of Pro Global) helped with all these decisions and with the installation and setup, and his input was invaluable," Glenn said. "The Sapphire Room is by no means small, but space is still at a premium and I wanted to maintain as much of it as possible so that the room didn't feel claustrophobic. We stripped the room back to its bare bones and with advice from Maurice and Dolby, we rebuilt it to ensure the acoustics were absolutely right for a Dolby Atmos setup."

GAT3's PMC system comprises Ci140 monitors for the LCR, four Ci140 subs and 12 Ci65 monitors for the surround and height channels.

"We chose PMC Ci140 speakers because we wanted the entire front wall to look curved," Glenn added. "I'm a big fan of soffit-mounted monitors and what we have achieved is, in essence, a soffit-mounted look. The monitors, however, are actually floating inside the wall, on springs and in their own stand-alone cabinets."

The Sapphire Room's four PMC subs deliver exceptional dynamic range and give the room real impact. The entire system is cabled with high quality Shunyata cable - approximately 600 feet of it linking all 19 cabinets.

As Ci Series monitors are passive, choosing the right amplification was also critical. On Maurice's recommendation, Glenn opted for three of the new PMC power 750-8 eight-channel amplifiers, which combine exceptionally transparent and neutral sound with a massive power output of 750 watts per channel. GAT3 is now the first studio to install these amps and Glenn says he couldn't be happier with their performance.

"They are fantastic – we love them" Glenn said. "They are the perfect match for the Ci Series because they are accurate and also musical. They don't sound sterile or harsh in any way. I'm also a big fan of the fully featured DSP control, and the fact that it is really quick and easy to adjust EQ for each channel using System Engineer software. We've downloaded the software onto a tablet, and this means we can check routing and many other parameters very easily."

GAT3's Sapphire Room has been working non-stop since it opened in October, primarily with music projects but also with projects for television.

The success of the room and the popularity of the PMC monitors has inspired Glenn to look at other studios to see which will be next for a PMC upgrade. Currently he is focusing on the Onyx Room, which he aims to transform into a second Dolby Atmos facility early in 2024.

"We would also love to have PMC speakers in our listening room, which is part of the recording academy," he said. "By the time we have finished, this will be a serious PMC facility, but it will take a little time to achieve that!"

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