John Dickson’s career encompasses film and TV scoring, music direction/arrangement, instrumental performance and orchestration for live productions and Grammy-winning albums. He is a multiple ASCAP TV and Film Music Award winner.
As a composer, John's current work includes most notably the USA network smash hit series, Burn Notice, and the forthcoming feature film, Miss Nobody, as well as other film and TV projects including SyFy's Mammoth and Sony's Who Killed the Electric Car? In addition, He has scored numerous national advertising campaigns and trailers for clients such as Disney, Mattel, GM, and ABC, and his compositions have appeared in everything from The Oprah Winfrey Show to General Hospital. As a composer and performer, Dickson has worked many of pop music’s biggest stars including Barbara Streisand, Liza Minelli, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Eddie Van Halen. He worked with jazz legend Chick Corea as an orchestrator on the 2000 Grammy Award-winning arrangement "Spain for Sextet and Orchestra."
While Dickson currently owns a set of KRK VXT 6's and a pair of the little Rokit 5's in a second writing room, he recently decided to upgrade his main studio with KRK’s flagship Expose E8B powered studio monitors. The KRK Expose E8Bs, in tandem with a V12S subwoofer, are John's primary monitoring solution for his main room.
“I ran across a few reviews of the Expose monitors in the trades,” he recalled, “and found a pair at GC Pro. Once I heard them, all other considerations—price, reputation, etc—were pretty much moot. I've done a lot of critical listening over the years to try and figure out what my ‘high-end’ monitors would be, and the E8B's stole the show. My ‘main’ monitors for years were really a pretty good pair of near-fields, but I needed a top notch monitoring solution and the E8B’s fit the bill.”
Initially, the sound qualities of the KRK’s blew him away, but once he delved deeper, he found more to love from the accuracy to the response. “I love the sound quality... obviously,” he mused. “The E8B’s have nice controls for shaping their response on the back. Their weight is daunting, but the inclusion of the high-density rubber on the bottom, along with the weight, mitigates a lot of vibration on my desk. They work as near-fields while being brilliant ‘mid-fields.’ But also, they are wonderfully transparent and uncolored. Their imaging is accurate, and their response is tight and smooth, and they function effortlessly at low volumes yet are capable of enormous output. I have found that perform equally in an orchestral context as well as in a rhythm driven pop context.”
In comparison to the other monitors on the market, Dickson says they have a transparent sonic quality that is uniquely their own. “While I have not compared a lot of the high-end competition in my room,” he expressed, “I have heard a lot of them. I think the KRK's are less colored and more neutral than many of the top speakers, which have a ‘sound’ of their own. They just give you back whatever you put in, whether you want them to or not!”
Dickson has used the E8B’s on a variety of projects he’s currently involved with. “I used them extensively on the making of Burn Notice, which has an extremely varied score and mix requirement, and we’re just getting rolling on the second season. Also, I just finished a feature film, Miss Nobody, which is almost an entirely orchestral score. The KRK's came through like champs. Vocals sound great on them, and acoustic piano, which I always work with, sounds transparent and lovely. I’m also gearing up for a trailer package for ABC/Disney, as well as a song project of mine, and I have a new orchestral feature starting in this Fall.”
Dickson has advice for anyone in the market for studio monitors, “Make sure and try to hear them in multiple contexts—preferably in your own room—before you buy Don't just go on reputation alone. Listen to them using material you know intimately so you won’t be distracted by new music.”
For more information on John Dickson, visit: www.johndicksonmusic.com