Solid State Logic in Oxford, UK, announces that Precision Sound Studios in New York City has been using a 48-channel SSL Duality δelta Pro Station SuperAnalogue console in its Control Room A. The studio, headed by producer/engineer Alex Sterling, is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, close to the City's American Museum of Natural History in Central Park.
The studio upgrade, specified by Sterling and implemented by Malvicino Design Group, also included a comprehensive new wiring scheme, a large video screen for film and TV post-production work, and overall layout adjustments and refurbishment. Sterling specializes in recording, film and television work, as well as electronic music, pop music, and hip-hop mixing and production. The studio's live room can host up to 15 musicians and includes a library of around 3,000 books. "Believe it or not," says Sterling, "they have an acoustic value as well as an aesthetic value.
"I have always wanted to create a working space for music production that has the comfort of a person's home or living room but with the technical and professional capabilities of a larger commercial facility,“ explains Sterling. "During my console search I carefully researched and demoed several other modern consoles, many of which did have some substantial sonic attributes. However, the Duality has the most developed functionality for a modern workflow and its sonics are nothing less than spectacular!
"The integration with the DAW was very important to me, as was the high channel count, and having a full complement of processing available on every channel. I could be spending twice as much to get full filters, dynamics, and EQ on every channel with another console and I still wouldn't be getting any of the DAW control functionality that Duality offers."
Precision Sound has used the console for several months. The very first session on the new console was a TV scoring session for composer Michael Bacon. "That was a good first test," says Sterling. "Everything was flawless, everything sounded great.
"I've used the console's channel preamps for most of the tracking that I've done through the desk. I was not expecting to like the preamps as much as I do. For tracking, the SSL preamp is as transparent as any of the esteemed, clean boutique preamps, and it has extremely low noise, which some other preamps just can’t claim.
"One of the things I've been experimenting with is using the console's mix bus to give me volume and level for a final mix print, but without having to use peak limiting. By driving the console mix bus with a lot of level, I am able to get a much more aggressive full and forward sound, without needing to lose or cut off transients with a dynamics processor for volume.
“I've been shocked how rich and full I can make things sound by essentially ignoring the VU meters and letting them pin completely into the red, just completely brutalizing the capture chain. The desk can really take it. You can clip the channels a bit, but the mix bus itself is pretty much un-clippable [sic]. At least, I haven't managed to do any damage with it yet.
"To my ear, signal processing is generally superior in the analog domain," he continues. "But some of the creative things that people are doing now really only exist within the DAW environment. To not become disconnected from the DAW while working on the console was very important to me because I'm working on modern productions that have modern production requirements. This console really has set the professional standard for this decade."
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