Daniel Saiz in Estudio Sacramento with his 48-channel SSL Duality δelta console.
Estudio Sacramento in Alicante, Spain, founded by Daniel Saiz, has been operating as a commercial recording studio for 20 years. Saiz still owns and runs the facility and has recently installed a 48-channel SSL Duality δeltaSuperAnalogue console.
“It is like an injection of adrenalin for my business,” says Saiz. “I’m receiving a lot of calls just because I have changed the desk. The clients love it.”
Saiz recalls that when he first started the studio, it was rare for a high-end facility to be located so far away from the traditional centers of music production in Spain such as Madrid and Barcelona. “I fought to keep the studio in Alicante, my hometown,” he says.
Eventually he proved that great service, great equipment, and the lure of the Alicante harbor area and beaches was a winning combination. Saiz says that when he first opened Estudio Sacramento, a large format analog console helped to attract clients from outside Spain and outside Europe. After a while he switched to a large format digital console, an SSL MT Plus, which again revitalized the studio and kept the clients coming.
Now with the Duality, Saiz has returned to analog but with all the advantages of the console’s hybrid technologies, including comprehensive DAW control and the new workstation-based automation system, δelta-Control.
“I’m using that a lot,” says Saiz. “You can easily and quickly save everything, edit it. You can copy and paste automation really quickly.”
With δelta-Control, the plug-in automation system in the DAW is used to record and playback control data from the faders and switches on the console as an alternative to using the built-in legacy automation system. With the Paste Special function, existing DAW fader automation can quickly be turned into Duality console automation, which is ideal for a busy control room.
“I wanted the analog SSL sound,” Saiz adds. “In the past I have worked a lot with the 4000 G and E consoles, as well as the 9000. In my opinion the Duality has more of the 9000 sound about it—very clean, but of course if you want to dirty the sound up a bit, you can do it with one button: VHD.”
The SSL VHD circuit (Variable Harmonic Distortion) uses rich, analog, harmonic distortion to introduce varying amounts of second or third harmonic distortion for anything from tube-style warmth to fierce grunge.
Estudio Sacramento has several purpose-built live recording spaces: The large main space and smaller room, both with sight-lines to the control room, plus a live room and additional booth. The Studio Lounge is a comfortable space for clients to relax in.
Saiz notes that his studio needs to remain competitive, and the Duality is part of that strategy. “With record company budgets getting lower, even for the bigger artists, we need to fight for the right budgets for the best productions. The SSL is a major influence in that.
“It’s about how you feel when you’re working with something like this. There is no struggle. It is real [and] truthful; you’re not going to get anything that you’re not expecting from the Duality.”