Composer Steve Mayer Values Mackie XR824’s Honesty

Oct 23, 2017
Composer Steve Mayer in his studio with the Mackie XR824 studio monitors

Between composing and sound design for television and games, Steve Mayer is a busy man. He has composed theme music and underscores for such television shows as ABC’s High School Musical, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and multiple shows for HGTV, MSNBC, and the E! Network. His game credits include titles for Leapfrog, Disney, and Ubisoft. Mayer even designs the sounds gamers hear when they click on an object or drag it across the screen. Between music and sound design, he is working with a wide range of frequencies and sonic textures, and he has to be able to hear even the most subtle details.

Mayer has to think about sound in ways many composers rarely consider. For example, he relates, “for game projects, I have to be careful that there isn’t a lot of low-frequency information that is going to cause gaming devices to discharge their batteries too quickly because they’re working to reproduce low frequency information that the user isn’t even going to hear. It’s amazing the transients you can produce just by snapping your fingers in front of a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. A monitor that is responsive to these frequencies and reproduces them accurately is necessary for the kind of things I do.”

Mayer relies on Mackie XR824 high-resolution active studio monitors to hear the good, bad, and ugly in his projects. But his first session with the XR824 occurred as the result of an equipment failure. “I had some monitors that I used for years,” he recalls, “and one of them went down in the middle of a really busy project. I went down to the music store, and I had to get something that day. I chose the Mackie XR824s because they were at a really good price point for a powered monitor with an 8-inch woofer.”

Once Mayer started working with the XR824, he quickly became a devotee. “When I got home and started working with the XR824s,” he explains, “I was in the middle of a mix, and I found that a piece that I thought was done really needed a lot more sorting out. My old speakers had been too forgiving, where the Mackie XR824s felt more honest.” Equipped with the more accurate Mackie monitors, Mayer was able to make the necessary adjustments and deliver a project that met his high standards.

Mackie’s XR824 powered monitor features a 1-inch black anodized aluminum tweeter and an 8-inch Kevlar® woofer. A logarithmic wave guide provides acoustic alignment for balanced sound across the frequency spectrum, while Mackie’s ELP™ Bass Reflex System delivers superior output capability and extended low-frequency response. The result is extremely accurate, reliable monitoring across the frequency spectrum, which is exactly what Mayer needs.

“I’ve been really impressed with the Mackie XR824s,” asserts Mayer. “I can monitor with confidence, knowing I’ll hear what’s right in my mixes but also what needs to be improved. I have a feeling they will be sticking around my studio for a long time.”