Reference Laboratory Looking Ahead in Pro Audio
Reference Laboratory - HOME STUDIO CABLE PACK interview in Disma Magazine 59 issue

DISMAMUSICA Magazine: Big news from Reference Laboratory
Interview with Angelo Tordini on the Home Studio Cable Pack



In issue 59 (December 2010) of Dismamusica Magazine, an interview with Angelo Tordini (CEO Reference Laboratory) on the new Home Studio Cable Pack:


Big news from Reference Laboratory

The official launch is foreseen between December 2010 and January 2011, but this didn’t stop us having a close look at the first examples of a product that’s sure to get people talking next year. The item in question is the Reference Laboratory Home Studio Cable Pack, which combines technological innovation and marketing and is thus in the running to have an important role as a key player in its sector of the market. There are four cables in the pack: an XLR M/F for vocals (RMCS01), a jack for instruments (RIC-01) and two cables for balanced signals (RMCS01), available with both  XLR and jack connectors. All gold-plated and very high quality. 
The payoff on the blister clearly says “Make your sound professional” and, in fact, the manufacturers’ intention is to drastically improve the quality of Home Studio recordings. To better understand the philosophy of the product and the marketing aims, we interviewed Angelo Tordini, managing director and driving force of Reference Laboratory.

The Reference Laboratory brand has always been associated with an idea of professional applications, with everything that this means as far as the technical experience, reference standards and purchasing motivation of end users are concerned. Why the decision to concentrate on the home recording sector?

A.T. “It’s hard to sum up how the idea occurred. It definitely arrives from a distance - from the thirty-plus years’ experience in the field, from observations gathered directly from the musicians and trade members and from ideas that occurred on the most unlikely occasions! I could mention those extraordinary moments in which we were key players last July at Umbria Jazz during the recording of the concert by Sonny Rollins, at the end of which sound engineer Richard Corsello said some really extraordinary things about our cables, to the point that he states he would have had a hard job matching the earlier recordings using standard cables with those done using Reference cables... Or, yet again, the case of senior engineer Shantanu Hudlikar of YRF Studios ( in Mumbai – where great artists such as Herbie Hancock record. Not to mention the feedback from the cable tests that we began in 2007 at the MEET expo. At trade fairs, we offer visitors the opportunity of personally testing the differences obtained by replacing standard cables (economic or not) with Reference cables, using the same setup. We began with electric guitar, then extended to include bass guitar and double bass, drums, acoustic guitar, keyboard and solo vocals. An objective datum thus emerged: Reference cables really could transform the entire character of a Studio! Also because, thanks to the collaboration of numerous sound engineers – to whom my heartfelt thanks go – we carried out an intense campaign of reappraisal of cable’s role in the audio chain. With the right cable, it’s possible to immediately position the sounds correctly in the mix: the vocals in front of the backing track, the details in the right place and the correct dynamics. In short, the time had come to also express ourselves in an authoritative manner as far as Home Studios were concerned.”

Reference has always been in favour of searching for quality without cutting corners. Do you think home studio prosumer market will adopt this philosophy?

A.T. “I believe it’s above all a question of time and the news being spread by word of mouth. Plus the key support of two channels - retail and the media. As far as dealers are concerned, we’ve been committed for years, with training programs, workshops and seminars. We realized that even top quality products need a sort of evangelization and therefore decided to award the title of Ambassador to retailers who complete our training course. We mustn’t forget the role played by music schools either. In Italy there are really top grade schools; organizations with which we came into contact at seminars, expos and demos. In short, we’re optimistic, as we’re finally managing to convince musicians that their ‘wires’ are cables: objects to be handled carefully, which - for example - must always be wound up in the same way, in order to ensure the coils they have when bought remain unchanged. Lastly, there’s something else: home studios are extremely representative of musicians’ personalities; they are places that are, so to say, also formed by personal details - a DNA that only a good cable is able to transmit.”

Are retailers responsible for the choice made by end users? What can retailers do to positively influence them and what advantages do they obtain from doing so?

A.T. “Retailers can do a great deal. Professionalism and competence are the natural - I’d say even constituent - elements of a retailer’s personality. If I can use an example, going to a retailer is rather like going a tailor or a doctor: the final choice is without doubt taken by the client, but we give him all the information to receive precise accurate indications. In other words, retailers build their credibility and success on the quality of the products and information they offer; and this is where the Reference philosophy comes into play... On the subject of cables, where there’s no widespread documentation and the criterion with which purchases are made is often just that of the price, there’s a great deal of room for growth. On the other hand, the difference between an economic setup and a good quality one can be clearly heard: and if you manage to convince end users it’s stupid to waste the thousands of euros they spend on instruments and equipment by saving a few cents on the cables, the rest is a wide-open road. In conclusion: we’re convinces that cables must be tested, tried and listened to. This is why we encourage retailers to set up a test corner: It will be the best proof of their professionalism, clients’ esteem will increase and it will help the success of our initiatives for wider diffusion of quality products.”

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