While many studios have either converted to digital consoles or opted for a workstation-compatible control surface, Chapman Recording (www.chapmanrecording.com) in Kansas City, Mo., decided to revert back to the analog format, purchasing a Studer A827 2-inch 24-track machine and replacing the Yamaha O2R in Studio B with a tried-and-true SSL 4056 E/G console. They're not completely old-school though; the studio still has its 56-input/output Pro Tools HD Accel 3 rig, which they use in tandem with the SSL/Studer combo.
Chuck Chapman (front) and chief engineer Rob Rebeck at Chapman
Recording’s “new” SSL
“Our business changed,” explains studio owner Chuck Chapman. “We still bring in a lot of corporate and ad agency work, but we've developed more band business, which wasn't as prominent two to three years ago.”
With an increase in full-band tracking sessions, Chapman upgraded Studio B “at the highest level we could afford.” They bought the Studer first, and then acquired the SSL. Their 16 channels of Neve mic pre's, which previously served as a sidecar to the O2R, remain on hand, as well as the studio's Tube-Tech, Avalon, Summit and Focusrite pre's; EMT stereo plate reverbs; and a wealth of microphones. Chapman also purchased a Rupert Neve — designed Legendary Audio Masterpiece analog mastering system. Clients who prefer to work on a digital desk can record or mix in Chapman's smaller, but identically equipped (save for the SSL), Studio C.
Chapman also added about 800 square feet to the Studio B live room, nearly doubling its size. Ben Harris of Nashville-based Southeastern Design oversaw the expansion, which includes the addition of a large drum booth, a guitar booth and two amp closets. A new Formula Sound Cue 10 headphone system was also installed.
Most of Chapman Recording's music clients are local artists of various genres, although the studio does host a fair amount of regional talent from Detroit, Chicago, and other parts of the Midwest and Southwest. Rapper Tech N9ne wrapped up his latest album on the SSL, as did Grant Rice with producer Seven. Major-label acts such as Jewel and John Hiatt, among others, visit Chapman Recording if they need to cut a quick vocal while on the road, for example.
Most of Chapman Recording's music clients hail from Kansas City, although they do bring in a fair amount of regional talent and touring national acts.