Truth Audio: The Homegrown Company That Married Art and Technology From Truth Audio and Blacktie It wasn’t in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t in New York or L.A., or even Nashville. It was a couple of guys in Do than, Alabama, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, who seem to have come up with some of the most accurate studio sound monitors ever made. This hightech speaker system, for lack of a better term, has pretty much transformed the recording industry, winning one accolade after another. “It was possible to pinpoint where the first violinist sat, that the French horns were sitting behind the flute, and to hear the delicate distinction between low oboe and high English horn without reading along with the score,” Recording Magazine wrote in a review of some of the earliest versions of these monitors. The company is known as Truth Audio, Inc., because its founders believe the technology reflects the actual, recorded sound better than any other system. The breakthrough was born out of sheer frustration. Musician and studio owner Shannon Wallace said he was unable to find a speaker system that would reflect “accurate” sound, not just “good” sound, which can be misleading to the musicians and sound engineers. He had been struggling along, using multiple sets of speakers to accomplish one simple task: “To deliver an accurate studio mix that translates sound the same way on all speakers systems,” he said. After more than a year of experimentation, research, testing and development, using non echo sound chambers and computer guided software, Wallace and fellow studio guru Michael Boyd in 1998 came up with two different systems. “We could not decide which set we liked best so we did a blind taste test, using only our ears,” Wallace recalled. Finally, Wallace and Boyd settled on what they called the TA-1P Near- Field Monitoring System, and launched Truth Audio. The reviews and awards came pouring in. “A studio monitor should be a tool, not an entertainment device,” Recording Magazine’s Bob Ross wrote in his review. “If your monitors make those noisy, distorted, unbalanced, flat recordings sound ‘better’ than they really are... it’s doing you a disservice.” The TA-1Ps quickly became famous for unvarnished, spot on reproduction. “Our first year was far more successful that we could have imagined,” Wallace said. “Four of the top five major recording publications tested our products and gave rave reviews.” “Don’t get me wrong, it has not been easy,” Wallace said. “In fact, it is the hardest thing I have attempted in the business world, and if I did not believe the product was a valuable tool worthy to be used by the professional recording community, I would have quit long ago.” Truth Audio products are now used in the Jimi Hendrix studio known as Electric Ladyland, Oprah Winfrey Networks’ production facility, and other well known studios. Wallace is now the sole owner of Truth Audio and lately has been working with Ron Wolverton, who owns a computer numerical control machining shop in Fort Walton Beach known as Emerald Coast CNC. The new design is carved out of a solid slab of aluminum. The aluminum enclosure has hardly any acoustic characteristics of its own, so it isolates the speaker components and true sound without introducing the resonance characteristics of wood or other material, the company said. This is the first glimpse of what Truth Audio calls its “Reflexion.” And they’re not just for the recording industry, Wallace said. “These speakers can also be used in a home, if you are just a serious sound enthusiast or audiophile,” he Said. It wasn’t in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t in New York or L.A., or even Nashville. Where is it, you ask? It is where art meets sound and it took couple of guys in Dothan, Alabama, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida to come up with some of the most accurate studio sound monitors ever made. This high tech speaker system, for lack of a better term, has pretty much transformed the recording industry, winning one accolade after another. “It was possible to pinpoint where the first violinist sat, that the French horns were sitting behind the flutes, and to hear the delicate distinctions between low oboe and high English horn, all without reading along with the score,” Recording Magazine wrote in their review of the earliest versions of these monitors.
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