LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 2009: On any random day in any random city in America, knock on any random door and ask the person who answers what they know about Rick Springfield. Without fail, you will hear a reference to Springfield’s iconic ‘80s hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” but from there things become less predictable. Many people know that Springfield played the character Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime soap opera General Hospital in the early 1980s and then returned to the role a few years ago. What is perhaps least appreciated is the breadth of Springfield’s musical career, which began in the late 1960s in Australia, gained traction in the U.S. during the 1970s, and exploded in a riot of success in the 1980s before the singer/songwriter took a decadal break to help raise his two sons.
In recent years, Springfield has returned to the popular consciousness with a series of Billboard-charting albums released on his own label, Gomer Records. Together with Grammy-winning engineer Matty Spindel (Carlos Santana – “Supernatural”) Springfield is living a musician’s life of Riley, with a personal beachside studio stocked floor to ceiling with the best gear in existence. To ensure the success of their relaxed, but non-stop, recording schedule, Spindel and Springfield rely on a pair of ATC SCM50ASL nearfield monitors to highlight the good and root out the bad in everything they record.
The duo first heard ATC monitors while mixing a track for The Day After Yesterday, a cover record of all of Springfield’s favorite ‘80s hits – the songs that he wished he had written! “It was Rick’s version of Mr. Mister’s ‘Broken Wings’,” recalled Spindel. “We were both immediately taken with the accuracy and musicality of the ATC monitors. We absolutely loved them. We heard everything, from top to bottom, and that song turned out to have one of the best mixes on the album.”
The monitors made an indelible impression, and when the time came to outfit Springfield’s new beachside dream studio, there was no doubt that ATC monitors would be the centerpiece. “Rick has a tremendous collection of mics, mic pres, outboard gear, and the like,” said Spindel. “Every part of it is an engineer’s dream come true, culminating with the ATCs.”
They recorded all of Springfield’s latest effort Venus in Overdrive using the ATCs. “The whole record chain is important,” Spindel explained, “and us old guys still remember what it’s like to record real music. If something bad gets by you during recording – as can happen even with monitors that most engineers would recognize as top brands, then compromises will have to be made during the mix. In contrast, the ATCs are so truthful that nothing gets by, and we had a nearly perfect recording for the final mix.”
Spindel, Springfield, and a host of musicians make regular use of Springfield’s studio, often recording songs as they’re written. “We wouldn’t be able to do that without the ATCs,” he said. “With the ATCs, we get it right the first time. It’s not the sort of thing where you take a mix to the car and think, ‘what the hell were we thinking?’ Everything translates and so there’s no second-guessing to slow down the flow and the inspiration.”