Audeze gets a love letter from engineer Oleg Yershov in Ukraine

November 23, 2023

We received a very special email from Oleg Yershov in battle-torn Ukraine. 

Oleg Yershov wearing Audeze LCD-X Headphones

We'll let Oleg speak for himself below...

Dear Audeze,

My name is Oleg Yershov. I'm a mixing and mastering engineer and pro audio educator from Ukraine. I've spent the last decade building a bridge between the Western world and the ex-USSR countries, by helping people gain knowledge and hone their skills in various audio-related professions through countless educational videos, articles, live streams with Grammy-winning engineers, etc. But it all went downhill when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. My hometown Konotop is located in the Sumy region and we were besieged by the Russian army in the first hours of the invasion. So, I had to dismantle my studio, hide some of my most valuable equipment and go to a shelter with my family and friends to deal with survival issues during the occupation. I was only able to take a few things with me, including my laptop and LCD-X headphones, and listening to some music helped me not to go mad with all the terrible circumstances around me.

After about a month, my wife and I, using a green corridor and driving through mined roads and under the constant threat of shelling, were able to move to a safer part of Ukraine. It was extremely dangerous, but being under occupation was even worse. Anyway, to make a long and devastating story short, we managed to get out of the direct war zone and settled closer to the EU border, but still remain in Ukraine because it's still forbidden for men to leave the country.

The first year of the war was so difficult mentally because I lost my beautiful studio and because my family, friends and people all over the country were trapped in an endless cycle of suffering. I wasn't able to mix music, make educational videos and do the creative things I used to do. It was really hard and still is.

But a positive turn of events happened at the beginning of this year when my mate, Erin Devenish, from Perth, Australia asked me to help him mix a new Rick Steele single "To The Grave". I used to work mostly with studio monitors in a well treated room. But now, with nothing but a laptop, a Zen Go audio interface and LCD-X, I jumped into the project and found myself really comfortable working just with headphones, and I was able to finish the mix and get very positive feedback from the artist.

Oleg Yershov in his workspace wearing Audeze LCD-X Headphones

Around this time, my long-time mentor, Friedemann Tischmeyer, invited me to join one of the online mixing courses at his Mastering Academy to help distract me from the war and lift my spirits, while spending meaningful time with people who love working with music as much as I do. During these sessions I found that with the LCD-X I could clearly hear every mixing decision that was streamed into my headphones over the internet from their excellent studio in Hamburg. I started to feel more confident in my own mixing decisions based on what I heard in the LCD-X, and I've found that using them without any EQ correction gives me a really balanced reference sound. I have never experienced this with any other headphones.

A few months later, my dear friend, Jeff Bloom, former MD of Synchro Arts (now part of LANDR) sent me a link to a digitised recording that he and his college band, The Same As Last Week, had made in 1969, while playing outside for a college fraternity party dance in Cleveland, Ohio. I immediately proposed that we should try to resuscitate this recording, which had originally been recorded using a couple mikes and a feed from a PA mixer onto a two-track 1/4-inch tape, never properly mixed and, of course, never released to the public.

I had only an LCD-X as my monitoring system, but I started working on the recording song-by-song, first by restoring and fixing the audio, then stemming the two-track into the individual instrument groups (drums, bass, organ, guitar, vocals, sax and vibes) and then remixing each stem and the two-track together with tons of automation and a variety of digital tools to get to a mastering stage. I then put the entire recording back together. LCD-X was my monitoring tool throughout the whole process and, after over 200 hours of work, the album "The Same As Last Week" was finally released on 27 October 2023. 

The guys in the band are all around 75 years old now. But they were finally able to release a 14-song album 54 years after it was actually recorded.

They never were quite sure that the album would be released, but thanks to your excellent LCD-X headphones, I was able to make these “youngsters” (as I call them) really happy and I can see how much more life and energy they have gained because of the release of their album.

And yes, these few months working on the project have helped me to remember why I fell in love with mixing in the first place – to give people joy, happiness and a sense of purpose. And I've gained some positive energy for myself, while still living in the war.

Thank you very much, guys – your headphones have given me a lifeline. As Tolkien wrote: "I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay." You're indeed changing the world for the better and dispelling the darkness for folks like me. I hope one day I'll be able to afford an LCD-5 for even greater precision in audio monitoring. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy the LCD-X.

Thanks again, you're the best!
Warmest regards,
Oleg “Yorshoff” Yershov

PS: Here is a fresh educational mixing article I recently wrote for Sonnox, using LCD-X as my only monitoring. And you can check out one of the educational videos with LCD-X that I released before the war, when my studio was still intact.

Audeze LCD-X Headphones and Antelope Audio Zen Go and Oleg's system