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Universal Music Group Chooses SSL C200 Console for New Studio

Tal Herzberg (left) and Ron Fair

Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) label will install a Solid State Logic C200 digital production console in its new in-house studio facility, which will open in 2007. IGA will use the 48-fader, 216-input C200 to record and mix top artists on a roster that includes Black Eyed Peas, Pussycat Dolls and Mary J. Blige.

“We chose the SSL C200 because of its powerful recall functions and our ability to switch effortlessly between massive production setups in seconds,” says Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair. “We found the sound to be absolutely comparable with analog SSL consoles, and we expect to make many hits with a seamless transition.”

Tal Herzberg, co-producer and engineer for many of Fair’s productions, explains that the C200 was the logical choice for the label group’s large and diverse schedule. “We debated for some time what would be the best solution for the way we work,” says Herzberg. “Working for the largest recording corporation in the world, we will address 10 different songs from six different artists in an average workday. Previously, there was a huge amount of time spent every day just on recalling the console.”

The team considered mixing entirely within the digital audio workstation environment, but quickly abandoned the idea. “All of us are accustomed to—and want to work with—a control surface and something that sounds great,” says Herzberg. “The C200 gives us that, as well as the familiar SSL sound and the undeniable comfort provided by the instant reset of a digital board.

“The C200 not only restores levels within 10 seconds of loading a project,” Herzberg adds, “but brings back all EQs, compression settings, headphone blends and any kind of stemming and sub-grouping. You’re back to where you were a week, a month, a year ago, in 10 seconds! It’s unbelievable. We realized that even if we save an average of one hour a day on recalls, that’s six to seven hours per week. We can squeeze in another workday per week just by saving recall times. It didn’t hurt that the console really sounds magnificent, too.”

“My production crew and I grew up on SSL consoles,” Fair concludes. “All the engineers we work with can’t wait to get their hands on the C200—we could sell tickets!”

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