Solid State Logic reports that Parkhaus Studio in Köln, Germany, has installed an SSL AWS 948. Parkhaus was originally a low-key haven for songwriters and producers that has become more commercial in recent times, though it still retains the original spirit, driven by a regular core of visiting artists and an expanding roster of new and converted customers.
Much of the studio's current growth is down to recent renovations, including both acoustic and technology upgrades. Albert Gabriel, recording and mix engineer and Chief Tech at Parkhaus, moved in and extended the range of services on offer, bringing an AWS 948 to the facility as part of his own move to a more analog outlook.
"I had been working 'in-the-box' for the 10 years before I bought the AWS," Gabriel says. "One day, a friend asked me to work on something, something that couldn't work without analog gear. I realized that what I did in back the '90s on an analog console was way more natural than everything I had done after that."
Gabriel acquired a 2-inch multitrack tape machine and eventually found the SSL AWS 948, a hybrid console with SSL SuperAnalogue architecture and sophisticated DAW control.
"Now Parkhaus is growing particularly fast,” he says. “With an SSL in the studio the old customers are coming back, and telling more customers to come too!"
Gabriel describes Parkhaus as a "musician-friendly studio," with plenty of space, and a relaxing environment. Facilities include a large central live room connected to two control rooms, each of which have their own vocal booths that double as production rooms, stocked with synths, guitars, and more. The main control room has the AWS 948 and an assortment of original analog gear.
"I know the SSL computer and the automation from the older consoles, so I found it really comfortable to switch to the AWS. Sound-wise I think it's pretty close the K Series, and I never had a better feeling in a studio than with the K Series!
"The bus routing options, the Stereo Mix mode, and the opportunity to insert the dynamics wherever you want them are all features that are great for mastering," Gabriel continues. "If there was an 8-channel version of the AWS, it would be called a mastering console!
“The plug-in control is awesome. I often turn the DAW screen off when I'm mixing because I get access to all the plug-ins using the AWS screen. That’s better than the DAW control because you can concentrate on the centre of the desk and the center of the control room. That's always been an important concept for SSL consoles."