Photo: Richard Wilson
Le Mobile Remote Recording Studio, based in Carlsbad, Calif. and a leader in the mobile recording industry for more than 30 years, recently installed Avastor hard drives in its truck. “Thanks to Avastor, we now feel totally confident without a tape back-up,” says remote recording engineer Guy Charbonneau (pictured).
“We took the last Studer multitrack out of the truck two months ago,” Charbonneau continues. “It was a little spooky for me, but now it’s Pro Tools as the main recorder and strictly Avastor hard drives. On request, we still offer analog multitrack and DASH recording. Our first dates with Pro Tools only were for Lily Allen for Capitol Records, and our second was MusiCares’ [tribute to] Don Henley with Elliot Scheiner engineering.
“We now run two Pro Tools rigs simultaneously, each with 96 channels and Apogee converters,” explains Charbonneau. “But we still have our classic Neve 8058 console and that is going to stay. We’ve looked at all the storage options and after thorough testing, Avastor was our resolute choice.” For the upcoming three-day Coachella Festival and the Stagecoach Festival, Charbonneau has ordered more than 40 of Avastor’s HDX-800 250GB triple-interface drives. “All the Avastor drives are identically formatted for our truck and for Design FX and Seattle Music. We provide dual recordings: one for my client and we keep one for them in my vault as a back up.”
Charbonneau cites Avastor’s EIC AC connectors as an advantage. “If somebody moves the power supply or the wall-wart plug gets disconnected, we have a big problem,” he says. “Avastor drives have the proper internal power that is far better regulated, an internal fan to cool them off and the Oxford chipset.”
He adds that Avastor drives come with interface cables, file documentation labels, and are packed in the rugged HDX lockbox for ease of handling and shipment. “We use FireWire 800, but we really like the Avastor triple interface with USB 2, and FireWire 400 and 800 so that the client has all the options. The hard briefcase packaging is the best around, much better than shipping your masters in a cardboard box!”
Le Mobile also adds a bright yellow warning sticker to master drives. “For a major project,” Charbonneau says, “We might have a number of original masters and back-ups, plus a separate drive for edited material and then a final mix drive and a master that goes to the label. If the original take is erased and you want to do a remix, you have a problem. Believe me, it has happened.”
Charbonneau is currently constructing a new studio at his headquarters in Southern California that will house equipment storage, workshops, a machine room for his analog machines and a control room for editing, copying and transfers from analog to digital and vice versa.