Pictured at Ardent Studios in the shell of the new Studio C control room, from left: chief technical engineer Chris Jackson, founder John Fry, and studio manager/Big Star drummer Jody Stephens.
As part of its 45th anniversary, Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tenn., completely gutted its Studio C control room in preparation for the installation of a Solid State Logic Duality console. The studio decommissioned its Neve V 40x40 console, which will be converted for use as a classic sidecar to accompany the Duality, giving Ardent the best of both vintage and new.
"It was time to bring Studio C into the highly competitive 21st century world of recording," says John Fry, Ardent founder and the studio's first engineer. "This room has a legacy that includes landmark work by Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down, R.E.M., and B.B. King, among so many other great artists, and we are keeping that traditional acoustic tracking space alongside our new control room with SSL's flagship console."
Studio C's control room is adjacent to a 32x26-foot tracking room with three isolation booths, and will house an SSL Duality SE 48-channel console with in-board patchbay (RHS). The SSL I/O package comprises one Delta Link HD-MADI unit and two Alpha Link converter units for a total of 48 analog channels. The Duality's hybrid approach combines a traditional analog path and signal processing along with DAW control, all within a single hardware surface.
Chris Jackson, Ardent's chief technical engineer, decommissions the Neve V 40x40 console in Ardent's Studio C control room.
Ardent Studios started off recording early classics by Sam & Dave, Led Zeppelin, Al Green, and the Staple Singers, continuing in the '70s and '80s with ZZ Top, REM, George Thorogood, the Allman Brothers, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Ardent continues today with artists such as Sir Cliff Richard, Jack White, Huey Lewis and the News, Smashing Pumpkins, Montgomery Gentry, and Klaus Voorman. Of significant note is John Hiatt's "Master of Disaster," produced by the late Jim Dickinson in the studio he embraced for more than 30 years.
"We're flexible and we've always strived to adapt to the changes in the technology and recording industry," Fry says. "We've also been fortunate to have so much talent on our staff, and long term relationships with successful artists and producers. Also, having a production company, a record label, and a publishing business has allowed us to be one of our own best clients. We expect our new Studio C will be a perfect fit for our continued momentum."
Visit Ardent Studios at ardentstudios.com.