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To say Chicago Recording Company (CRC) is in demand is more than a bit  of an understatement. “I’ll see my work at least once a night watching  TV,” says senior post engineer, Eric Cauwels, “and that doesn’t count  other rooms producing national spots on a daily basis here.” If Chicago  is the production hub of the Northeastern United States, CRC is the hub  of post work in Chicago.

Founded in 1975, CRC is the largest independent studio in the nation.  With nine full post-production suites and a list of high profile clients  including Kawasaki, SC Johnson, Sears, Miller, Coors and Philip Morris,  and film credits running the gamut from ‘Black Swan’ to Pixar’s ‘Toy  Story’ franchise, it’s clear that CRC is also one of the busiest and  most successful.

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Maintaining that success requires an unerring commitment to consistency  across the board, in terms of service, technical staff and the  technology they employ day in, day out, says general manager Chris  Shepard. And that’s one of the key reasons they’ve recently outfitted  six of their post rooms with Tannoy Reveal 501 and 601 near field  monitors. For Shepard, a major driver in the choice is the Reveal’s  accuracy and management of the midrange. “Tannoy has always been known  for that,” he says. “We like the Tannoy Reveal as part of our CRC  standard. It's all about being able to make creative decisions quickly.  That’s why we chose them.”

In all, forty Reveal’s are employed in various setups in the post  department alone – as Mains, as well as in full 5.1 and Precision  configurations – All used for projects ranging from radio and television  spots to dialogue replacement for high profile film projects. In studio  one, Cauwels’ primary workspace, the system is comprised of three  Tannoy Reveal 601s as his front LCR, two Tannoy Reveal 501s as surrounds  and a single Tannoy sub. “I use them for my surround sound and as my  near field monitors,” Cauwels explains. What I like about them is they  really translate well to the end format. One of the biggest challenges  of being a mixing engineer for television and radio is that ultimately  your work is played on a variety of speakers. My job is to make it sound  as good on TV as it did in here. Then I know that my speakers are doing  a good job, and that’s  the case with the Reveal’s. I also like that you can tailor them to a  specific room using the EQ adjustment on the back,” he adds. “That’s  definitely an attractive feature.”

As for what attracts people to the studio? “Talent and experience,”  says Shepard succinctly, who’s been with CRC for twenty-four years  himself and stresses that CRC engineers earn that experience the  old-fashioned way: “It’s an apprenticeship. Beginning at the bottom of  the ladder is the only way to get in.”

“When folks have a project on the line and their name is going on it,”  he continues, “they want to work with talented people who’ll work to  their timeline.” And by folks, Shepard means A-List celebrities  including Jennifer Hudson, Vince Vaughn and Oprah Winfrey. With a client  list like that, there’s no room for messing around. “We tested a bunch  of speakers. But what CRC has done in the last few years is to  standardize our rooms and the Tannoy Reveal’s are a part of our template  – We not only picked Tannoy as our monitors, we picked them as the  reference for our company.”

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