Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—May 2018… If you’re a fan of the musical artists at Paranormal Records in Malaysia, you’ve probably heard John Jeevasingham’s work. Jeevasingham got his first break as a guitarist, arranger, and music director for popular singer and YouTube star Elizabeth Tan, which brought him to the attention of Paranormal Solutions founder Prashan Chitty. Chitty hired the young up-and-comer as Paranormal Records’ music director in April 2015, and Jeevasingham has been arranging, recording, producing, and mixing music for Paranormal artists ever since.
In addition to playing guitar, piano, organ, bass, and drums since childhood, Jeevasingham holds a BA degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and worked for 3 1/2 years as a consulting engineer, giving him a potent combination of musical and technical skills. He relies entirely on Mackie studio monitors in the studio but his love for Mackie gear goes back to an earlier experience onstage.
“I remember very clearly the first Mackie product I ever used, back in 2004.” he reminisces. “There weren’t enough guitar amps onstage at church, and one of my mentors, Yin Sern, suggested that I plug my amp modeler/effects processor directly into a Mackie SRM450 floor monitor instead of a guitar amp. I was amazed at how much better my guitar tone sounded through the full-range, flat-response Mackie floor monitor rather than a guitar amp. I’ve used that floor monitor ever since!”
In his earliest recording work, Jeevasingham monitored on headphones but then he discovered Mackie’s MR6mk3 6.5-inch powered studio monitors, and his world changed for the better. “The MR6mk3s were my first pair of proper studio monitors,” he recalls. “The MR6mk3s helped me to adapt to mixing on studio monitors and made my mixes translate much better than before. I mixed several major projects on them, including “Kita Manusia” by Daiyan Trisha, “Supernova” by Charis Ow, and “Bunga” by Altimet.
With the release of Mackie’s new XR-series powered monitors, Jeevasingham jumped in with both feet. “I use a pair of Mackie XR824 8-inch monitors at Paranormal Studios, and I have XR624 6.5-inch monitors in my home studio,” he reports. “It was really easy to adapt to the XRs; it took about a week to settle in with them. As much as I like the MR6mk3s, I’ve noticed even more clarity overall. The move from the 6.5-inch MR6mk3s to the 8-inch XR824s especially revealed a lot of detail in the lows and subs that made dialing in a lot more instinctive. My car tests are more consistent, which is a good sign!”
Although he does his critical listening on XR-series monitors, Jeevasingham often likes to create rough mixes on a pair of Mackie CR3 3-inch multimedia monitors, as well. “The CR3s are a great companion to the XR,” he advises. “I use the CR3 to craft rough balances that will translate well to commercial systems that most people will be listening on and then use the XRs to zoom in on the details and finish the mix.”
Jeevasingham manages his dual monitoring system with a Mackie Big Knob Passive 2×2 monitor controller. “The Big Knob Passive is my favorite because it’s so simple to use, and everything fits under one hand,” he explains. “I’m always switching back and forth between the CR3 and XR824 speakers, hitting the Dim switch to force myself to mix at lower levels because it’s way more accurate, checking my mix in mono with the Mono switch, and patching collaborators into my rig with an aux cable into Input B. The Big Knob Passive is a super useful and transparent tool that makes my work really easy and fast.”
With his responsibilities at a popular Malaysian record label, it’s imperative that Jeevasingham get his monitoring rig right. Of course it starts with high-quality products, but Mackie also earned his loyalty with support. “Mackie is a great company to work with,” he professes. “The Malaysian team at Systems E&E have always been supportive of my endeavors and offer their assistance whenever I need it. When I started using MR6mk3s, and again with the XRs, they came in to perform SMAART analysis and help me get the best speaker positions and tuning for my room, so I know I’m hearing exactly what’s in every recording. You can hear the results on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and all the other major platforms. And there’s more to come!”