KRK is proud to have been one of the sponsors that presented this year’s Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) Discovery Award. Each year, this award recognizes up-and-coming artists that possess unique talent and an original sound. This year, the winner of the LAMC 2021 Discovery Award goes to maye and Pachyman.
Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, singer/songwriter maye writes lyrics that reflect the romantic nostalgia of Billie Holiday, with hints of Sade and a sultry pop sound that references Miami heat. Puerto Rican artist Pachyman is based in Los Angeles and his music is influenced by classic dub/reggae sounds. Both maye and Pachyman received a prize package that included KRK studio monitors and headphones.
“The 22nd Annual LAMC has been yet another exciting event with the conference going fully virtual for the second year in a row,” says Sterling Doak, Director of Marketing for Gibson. “Referred to as ‘the Sundance of Latin music,’ the LAMC serves as a continuous indicator of what is up and coming, and each year recognizes artists that show original talent and sound. With their unique music and exceptional talent, maye and Pachyman stood out from the crowd and are extremely deserving of this award. We wish this year’s Discovery artists much success in the next steps of their careers.”
Whether In-Studio or On Set, KNS Headphones are the Top-Choice for Educated Ears
KRK has been behind great music for over 30 years. KRK defines superior clarity and accuracy in professional monitors for better sounding music, and are the top choice for music engineers and producers around the world. Great music is made with KRK.
KRK headphones, which include the KNS 6400s and KNS 8400s, provide an accurate and high-quality listening experience that is trusted by music producers, audio engineers, and production staff around the world. Whether mixing tracks in-studio, behind the scenes on production sets, or looking to obtain unaltered sound for any listening application, KNS headphones are fit for the job.
With KRK’s headphone offerings, there’s a solution for every listening need. When it comes to home/project studio applications, podcasting, or on-the-go track evaluations, the 6400s provide a precise listening experience. For those looking to take things to the next level, the 8400s are an ideal choice for critical listening and can be found in commercial studios and on production sets.
From songwriters to producers to production crews, KNS headphones are trusted by audio professionals around the world. Some recent users include Producer/director Riley Bray, Singer-songwriter Alex Cuba, Artist/producer Danny Fornaris, Producer/engineer Jacquire King, and Singer-songwriter Daniel Rene. With nearly a century of industry-experience between them, these pros are accustomed to deploying high-performing production equipment, and with KRK’s KNS headphones, they can obtain the realistic sound they desire.
GRAMMY Award-winning Producer, Engineer, and Mixer Jacquire King has worked in countless commercial studios throughout his career, making him accustomed to working with the best studio gear available. “I’ve been using the KNS 8400s for a long time now, and it’s a headphone I totally trust. They make sense to me and they relate to my KRK ROKIT 5s, which is a massive plus.”
Producer of the Bigfoot Collectors Club podcast, Riley Bray also plays bass for the Spindrift quartet and is a content creator for Gibson TV. “I’ve been using KNS headphones for years on set, in the studio, and when producing my podcast,” he says. “I can honestly say, of any headphones they are my favorite. They have the perfect amount of separation and detail so that they’re not fatiguing on the ears, and they’re very comfortable to wear for long sessions.”
Daniel Rene rose to fame as a member of Latin crossover boy band Menudo/MDO. The Miami-based singer-songwriter is a renowned vocal producer who has worked with artists including Whitney Houston. He’s also a host on “A Tiny Audience,” an intimate music show, currently airing on HBO Latin and HBO Max. “I have become obsessed with using the KNS 6400s,” he says. “The sound is perfect for me, clear and honest every time. They’re my favorite pair, even above other headphones I’ve purchased that cost hundreds of dollars more.”
Juno and Latin GRAMMY Award-winning Cuban/Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Cuba is renowned for his unique musical style that reflects Latin and African influences with a mix of funk, jazz and pop. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Gibson guitars, so as soon as KRK became a part of the Gibson family, I immediately wanted to test out the KNS headphones,” he says. “They’re extremely realistic sounding, which helps me to make objective judgements when I’m mixing tracks. I know I can trust what I hear from my KNS 8400s—I love them.” Artist, Engineer and Latin GRAMMY Award-winning Producer Danny Fornaris is best known for his unique fusion of urban- and alternative-style production. “When I first unboxed my KNS 8400s, I put them on without playing anything, and I was surprised by how good they were at isolating external noise,” he says. “Plus, they’re extremely lightweight. More than once, I forgot I was working on headphones, which is an indicator of how good the experience is.”
From Gibson’s Director of Marketing Sterling Doak, “We are thrilled to share that there are plans in place to update the KNS line this summer. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more information about the official launch—you won’t want to miss this!”
Notes for Notes presents the first-ever Kreator Kontest, in partnership with KRK Kares and Gibson Gives, to inspire and recognize the next generation of musicians, producers and engineers! Submit your original track now for a chance to win a pair of KRK ROKIT 5 monitors! For more information and to enter, visit the Notes for Notes Kreator Kontest page.
Brand’s Studio Monitors, Subwoofers, and Headphones TakeJBlack’s Unique Finger Drumming Beats and Mixes to the Next Level
When Jimmy Stanford, professionally known as Beats by JBlack (or JBlack for short) began his career in music production a decade ago, KRK was the only brand he considered when purchasing his first pair of studio monitors. In addition to producing hit records with artists such as Two Chains, JBlack is also an innovator in the craft of finger drumming and the creator of the Finger Drumming Academy, where he has designed a curriculum that ensures students can master mixing tracks on a pad controller in less than six months. For all of his work, JBlack knows he can rely on his arsenal of KRK solutions including the brand’s V8 studio monitors, 8-inch subwoofer and KNS headphones to mix high-quality tracks.
Seeing the iconic yellow cones in the studios of his role-models over the years, KRK studio monitors were a “must-have” for JBlack when acquiring his first pair. “As soon as I was able to purchase my first pair of studio monitors, I knew I had to go with KRK,” he says. “KRK monitors have become a staple in my workflow. They really allow me to hear the depths of my mixes, which helps to keep me humble and embrace my creativity.”
JBlack finds that KRK studio monitors are the perfect companion to highlight his signature sound. “KRKs have a cleaner and better-defined bass response compared to other studio monitors I’ve worked with, which is especially important when it comes to more of a hip-hop sound,” he explains. “When I’m working on hip-hop tracks, I need a grittier beat where the kicks really punch through the track, and my KRKs are perfect for that bass-heavy sound.”
Since acquiring his first pair of KRK ROKITs, JBlack has upgraded to the brand’s V Series 8-inch studio monitors. “The KRK V8s have a very colorful sound,” says JBlack. “I like to pair my V8s with the KRK 8-inch subwoofer to really feel the bass in my mixes; the subwoofer compliments the V8s perfectly. I also have a pair of the KRK KNS headphones, and they sound amazing. Deploying the KRK studio monitors, subwoofer and headphones together has provided me with a truly enjoyable mixing experience and an ideal studio upgrade.”
JBlack is not only a longtime fan of KRK as a brand, but he is also a founding member of the KRK Kreator Alliance. “I’ve always been a massive fan of KRK, so now to be working with the brand side-by-side as a member of the Kreator Alliance is a dream come true,” says JBlack. “KRK is really active within the music community and I admire how the brand supports its artists and appreciates our feedback.”
Whether you’re brand new to finger drumming, or just looking to take your craft to the next level, JBlack’s lesson plan provides an interactive, learning experience, allowing users to move at their own pace and ask questions along the way. To participate in JBlack’s classes, all you need is a beat machine, preferably with 16 pads or more, a speaker source, decent internet connection and an open mind. To sign up for a one-on-one finger drumming lesson with JBlack, visit the Finger Drumming Academy website.
Internationally Acclaimed EDM Duo Relies on KRK forReference and Playback Monitoring
With numerous worldwide hit singles to their name, support from the biggest artists in EDM and pop music, as well as a history of performing at the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals, Sick Individuals continues to set new boundaries. Having relied on KRK and its products in-studio for the past eight years, Sick Individuals has acquired an arsenal of the brand’s studio monitors, including the V8S1s, V8S2s, ROKIT 6 G3s, and VXT6s.
Meeting at the Conservatory for Music in the Netherlands, Rinze ‘Ray’ Hofstee and Joep ‘Jim’ Smeele were first introduced to KRK in their Education for Composition & Music Production program in 2009. The KRK V8s were deployed in the school’s main studio, and the duo was immediately drawn to their iconic, realistic sound, and pristine representation of bass-heavy tracks.
“KRK studio monitors are an extremely useful tool when mixing dance music,” says Rinze “Ray” Hofstee of Sick Individuals. “They create the perfect amount of tightness and roundness to kick sounds and basslines up a notch, leaving listeners feeling as if they’re actually in the club. Some brands tighten up the speakers too much, resulting in a reduced ability to use them for creating purposes. We want to feel free while producing, instead of directly focusing on how an individual part sounds, and KRKs definitely provide that creative freedom.”
For a midsize studio like theirs, Sick Individuals finds their V8s to have the perfect amount of power to fill the room. “We’re currently deploying KRK V8s in our studio for playback and also as reference monitors,” says Joep ‘Jim’ Smeele of Sick Individuals. “Over the years, the classic sound of KRKs has remained constant in all the brand’s studio monitor offerings, and our ears have come to trust their sound. It’s always a lot of fun to create music with KRK.”
Additionally, Sick Individuals is a founding member of the KRK Kreator Alliance, a new initiative from KRK that allows the company to re-imagine how to leverage its iconic past and lean into its innovative future, all while working alongside its leading artists. “It’s an honor to be a part of this talented group of artists and producers,” says Hofstee. “As long-time KRK users, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the brand and we’re excited to take part in its continued innovation.”
Watch Sick Individuals mix in-studio with their KRK V Series monitors in this video.
Way Deploys KRK Studio Monitors and Subwoofers to Achieve High-Quality Surround Sound
Dave Way, a four-time GRAMMY Award-winning engineer/producer with dozens of gold and platinum records and countless chart-topping hits, relies on KRK to mix all of his tracks. Having worked with artists such as Pink, Christina Aguilera, Ringo Starr, Shakira, Michael Jackson, Spice Girls, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Gwen Stefani, Foo Fighters, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, and many more, Way is no stranger to producing high-quality mixes. Way recently took his engineering skills to the next level by outfitting his studio, Waystation Studio, with several KRK V Series studio monitors and powered studio subwoofers to achieve Dolby Atmos surround sound for music and film soundtracks.
“I have used a variety of high-end speakers over the years, and the first time I listened to the KRKs, I was immediately impressed,” says Way. “I found myself noticing things I wasn’t hearing from my previous monitors. Within two weeks of mixing on the KRKs, my mixes were coming fast and easy, and I just really liked the sound of them.”
When it came time for Way to set up his studio for Atmos, KRK was the only brand he considered. He currently deploys seven V8s, four V6s, and two 10-inch subwoofers in a 7.1.4 Atmos array with speakers surrounding him from the front, back, and above, and two subs pushing the low end from below his desk. “With my KRKs, I can really get inside the mixes—there’s a three-dimensional quality to them even when they’re not in an Atmos set up. I knew they would perform phenomenally in a surround sound application, no matter the genre I’m working on. The speakers also have an extremely precise low-end, so I’m able to really feel those bass-heavy mixes. With the KRK subs, I can push the bass even further—it’s incredible. Deploying KRKs in Atmos has truly taken my mixes to the next level, allowing for a completely immersive experience.”
Not only does Way find his KRKs to be extremely accurate, they also make for a super enjoyable tracking experience. “I was tracking a band recently, and they came in for the playback. As we were listening to the mix on my KRKs, everyone was blown away by the clarity and detail. When I’m tracking, I truly appreciate being able to easily hear everything in the arrangement, and I find that I don’t need to EQ or compress as much.”
Prior to transitioning his studio to Atmos, Way was accustomed to testing out his mixes on various brands’ speakers—but with Dolby Atmos, having one set of reliable studio monitors is crucial. “Since I was no longer able to reference alternative speakers, I was a little nervous for my first Atmos track,” adds Way. “However, as soon as I took that track to Capitol Studios, it sounded just as great there, and I knew I could rely on my KRKs for accurate playback from then on. For engineers, speakers are like our favorite pair of jeans—they fit perfectly and make you feel comfortable, and that’s exactly how I feel about my KRKs.”
Additionally, Way is thrilled to be a founding member of KRK’s new Kreator Alliance. As an avid fan of the brand, he is honored to take part in the important conversations surrounding product updates, new product launches, brand development, and much, much more. “I’ve been so happy with KRK as a brand that becoming a part of its Kreator Alliance was a natural progression. For years, I’ve been recommending KRKs. Not only are they super high-performing and dependable, but they’re also extremely affordable. With KRK, you simply cannot go wrong.”
Initiative Brings the Power of Music to Schools and Non-Profit OrganizationsAround the World
Gibson, and its charitable arm Gibson Gives, which makes music matter to more people, in more ways, one guitar at a time, is proud to launch KRK Kares. KRK Kares’ giving initiative will provide top-performing studio gear to schools and other non-profit organizations to promote learning through music creation using KRK solutions.
For 127 years, Gibson has shaped, partnered, and supported the music industry across generations and genres. Today, Gibson Brands recognizes its obligation and opportunity to support future music makers through valuable donations. Similar to Gibson Gives, KRK Kares aims to make music matter to more people in more ways.
KRK understands that studio monitors and headphones are some of the most crucial pieces of gear when producing music. In November, KRK shipped 46 ROKIT 5 G4 studio monitors and 46 KNS headphones to Music Has Healing Power. These KRK solutions are to be deployed in Shriner’s Children’s Hospital’s in-house studios, which are currently being built. KRK is also currently working on additional giving opportunities with organizations such as the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and Notes for Notes.
“The bright yellow cones of KRKs are instantly recognizable,” says Phillip Gilley, CEO and Co-Founder at Notes for Notes. “When youth walk through the doors of any Notes for Notes studio, they know we have the tools to help them make their music, and they recognize the partners that have supported their dream to do so. We are so grateful for the support of KRK Kares and Gibson Gives, which has helped outfit our N4N studios around the country and believe in our message of ‘Producing Tomorrow’s Musicians®.’”
In addition, KRK Kares, through the Gibson Gives “Play it Forward” program, recently donated a pair of KRK ROKIT 5 G4 studio monitors and a pair of KNS headphones to Buck McCoy, a prominent Nashville-based artist who tragically lost his home and all his studio gear in the blast that rocked downtown Nashville on Christmas morning. This donation will help Buck McCoy to get back on his feet and making music.
“The entire team at KRK Systems is committed to giving back to the community through the KRK Kares giving program,” says Sterling Doak, Director of Marketing, Gibson Brands, Inc. “Music has the ability to bring people around the world together, to educate, to entertain and much more—music truly has no bounds. With KRK Kares, we are thrilled to be able to help organizations with the wonderful experience of music creation by providing top-performing KRK studio monitors and headphones. Through the power of music and high-quality recording solutions, let’s keep making great music together.”
Schools or non-profit organizations that have a music-based mission and would like to be considered for the KRK Kares giving program, please visit Gibson Gives’ Give Music page. Select the “Request a Donation” button to complete the online form and indicate KRK Kares. For those looking to subsidize the program, please select the “Donate” button—100 percent of all donations go to KRK Kares and Gibson Gives to give the gift of music.
Updated Line of Subwoofers Deliver Tight, Accurate, and Defined Bass forLow-End Precision
KRK announces the latest addition to its range of studio gear with a new generation of powered subwoofers. Coming spring 2021, the new series of KRK Studio Subwoofers will be available in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch variations: S8.4, S10.4, and S12.4. Building on KRK’s legacy of sonic accuracy and performance, the new KRK subwoofers deliver tight, accurate, and defined bass, while the highly efficient Class D power amplifiers dramatically increase transient response, control, and punch. The redesigned cabinets feature a more compact profile compared to their predecessors, allowing for improved placement flexibility and a timeless design that provides a more professional aesthetic.
“KRK’s redesigned subwoofers don’t just deliver precise bass and a rich feature set; they’re the next dimension in subwoofer performance,” says Sterling Doak, Director of Marketing for Gibson. “When mixing tracks for bass-heavy genres, it is especially important for producers and DJs to integrate a quality subwoofer solution into their studio set up. Our new generation of subwoofers are perfect for reproducing the low end of your mix—ensuring that you’re giving your tracks the exact amount of bass you desire.”
The new KRK Studio Subwoofers feature a wealth of connectivity options with XLR, 1/4″ TRS, and RCA inputs and outputs that interface with just about any manufacturer’s studio monitors, mixers, and/or audio interfaces. With an exclusive bypass control feature, users can send full-range audio to their monitors at the click of an optional footswitch without having to move out of the monitoring sweet spot to turn off the subwoofer. This allows for instant comparisons with (and without) the subwoofer’s contributions to the sound. Additionally, polarity and input sensitivity controls allow for phase coherence and level-matching to enhance the quality of your mixes.
Additional refinements to the KRK subwoofers include modestly improved low-frequency extension, improved porting for enhanced low-frequency phase response and less port noise, as well as a four-position crossover frequency selection switch, making it easy to adjust the subwoofer’s settings to optimally match existing monitors. Designed with an inverted dust cap and removable all-steel grille option with reinforced MDF enclosure, KRK’s latest generation of subwoofers offer a durable solution with excellent driver protection. Additionally, the woven aramid composite woofer provides a rigid and lightweight driver for optimal sound quality and a front-firing port allows for placement near walls without interference from a rear-firing port, increasing the subwoofer’s overall flexibility.
“With studio subwoofers, users are looking to achieve the most balanced, tight, and pure sound—and with KRK subwoofers, what you hear is what you get,” adds Doak. “Pairing a KRK subwoofer with any KRK studio monitor will deliver an optimized listening and mixing experience with extended low end.”
Musicians, Engineers and Producers From Around the World Join Forces to Discuss Industry Trends, KRK Equipment, Product Launches, Brand Initiatives and Much More
Music has the power to bring people together, connecting at every level and genre across the globe—whether it’s in-person or virtualized. KRK is celebrating the power of music with the launch of the KRK Kreator Alliance, comprised of artists, engineers and producers that have been influential in the growth of recorded music. With this initiative, KRK is re-imagining how to leverage its iconic past and lean into its innovative future alongside its leading artists.
“We are spreading the message of positive change and cultural integration through the KRK Kreator Alliance,” says Sterling Doak, Director of Marketing for Gibson. “KRK is synonymous with creating, shaping, partnering and delivering the ‘share of sound’ across generations and genres of music. The members of our Kreator Alliance have all played a major role in building our iconic status, and by bringing them all together through this initiative, we can have the open and important discussions that will help shape the future of KRK.”
The KRK Kreator Alliance launches with an influential group of artists and producers, including AB Quintanilla, Camilo Lara, Dave Pensado, Herb Trawick, Steve Marcantonio, Tina Guo, Ali Stone, Jblack, Chingy, J. King, Mosty, Javier Garza, Cut Chemist, Maria Elisa Ayerbe, GianMarco Zignago, Sick Individuals and Dave Way.
This alliance of select icons and innovators will work with KRK to shape the future of the brand and lead with innovative sound solutions. They will engage in strategy sessions to discuss how to evolve the brand for the next generation of musicians, producers, and engineers. Additionally, the KRK Kreator Alliance will be a part of the conversation that discusses how KRK can support music education and philanthropic endeavors through the KRK Kares Foundation, a new giving program, part of Gibson Gives, that highlights Gibson and KRK’s commitment to “giving” studio gear to schools and other non-profit organizations in need.
“We are looking forward to a brighter new year for 2021 and we are excited to embark on this journey alongside the Kreator Alliance,” adds Sterling Doak. “Uniting our leading artists and producers in order to focus their energy on what matters most to their musical vision will help us to gain their innovative perspective, ultimately shaping our overall brand strategy. We are excited to have such an esteemed group of founding members for this alliance.”
“Looking towards the future of our industry and shaping the knowledge base available to our next generation of music creators, I’m honored to participate as a founding member of the KRK Kreator Alliance,” says Dave Pensado, GRAMMY-winning mixer and co-founder of Pensado’s Place. “I’m excited to collaborate with fellow members to drive initiatives forward and support innovation across the product portfolio to help music makers push the boundaries of creativity. There is real value in collaborating with partners like KRK, allowing us the opportunity to ‘peek behind the curtain’ in order to improve the products we know and love.”
Maria Elisa Ayerbe Turns to KRK Systems’ V Series and Subwoofer toMix High-Quality Tracks for Music and Film
Colombian-born Audio Engineer Maria Elisa Ayerbe has been bringing her Latin music expertise to the U.S. market for more than a decade. Through it all, she has been relying on a range of KRK Systems’ studio monitor and subwoofer offerings to mix her tracks. Whether she’s working with an award-winning recording artist or mastering soundtracks for film, Ayerbe knows she can always trust her KRKs as accurate reference monitors. Having evolved alongside the brand over the years, Ayerbe has graduated from its ROKIT line to its V Series studio monitors. She currently deploys the KRK V4 Series 4 Powered Reference Monitors and 8s Powered Subwoofer in her home studio.
Although Ayerbe works from home, her studio surely qualifies as professional, making her V Series monitors complement the rest of her equipment perfectly. “Having spent a great deal of time in recording studios from a young age, I’m no stranger to high-performing, professional studio gear—and my KRKs definitely fit the bill,” she says. “Despite the smaller size of my KRK V4s, the low end of the monitors is super accurate and pairs really well with my KRK 8s sub. All the of the elements feel in place. The stereo imaging is excellent and the Kevlar® tweeter makes a huge difference as it has a ton of detail without being annoying—an issue I’ve ran into with studio monitors that cost four times the price of KRKs.”
In addition to her KRK V4 studio monitors, Ayerbe has also relied on KRK Systems’ ROKIT 5s, V8s and V6s over the years. “KRK will always be a reliable choice,” she says. “If I want accurate playback from a reference monitor, I know I can depend on KRK for everything I mix. Whether I’m tracking for music or film, KRK is the way to go. Plus, the monitors are super easy to calibrate to your environment and have an extremely wide range of options for EQ.”
Now more than ever, having access to high-quality equipment at home is crucial. “Over the past few years, especially as music production equipment has become more accessible, we’ve watched many commercial studios close their doors as more and more producers transition to a home studio setup,” explains Ayerbe. “Many artists prefer working out of producers’ home studios. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no longer a preference—it’s the only way to work while remaining safe. With manufacturers like KRK, it’s easy to deploy high-quality gear and master tracks at home.”
Ayerbe has always been a fan of KRK, remembering how highly desired they were to artists and producers while growing up in Colombia. “It’s perfectly clear to me why recording studios all around the world are choosing KRK,” she adds. “Any time I’ve had the chance to deploy KRK monitors throughout my career, I’m always impressed by their pristine audio quality. I continue to be wowed by all of the company’s product offerings. For years, KRK has been a massive part of my daily workflow. I’m excited to see how the brand continues to enhance its product offerings while remaining accessible to audio engineers, artists and producers of any level.”