Hollywood, CA (February 22, 2023)—Hitmaker Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds has upgraded the mixing console in the A room at his private Brandon’s Way production facility in Hollywood with a new 48-fader SSL Duality Fuse.
The new SSL Duality Fuse is outfitted with angled producer’s bays at each end, matching the footprint of the 9096J previously installed in the facility’s A control room. The new console also includes SSL δelta-Control to integrate SSL’s analog console automation with today’s DAW-based workflows. The two-room private complex, which opened in 1996, also houses an SSL Duality in Studio B.
“We had a 96-fader SSL 9000 J Series in Studio A, one of the first,” reports Paul Boutin, who has been chief engineer at Brandon’s Way for more than two decades. “This replaced the SSL 4080 G+ that was originally installed.” Studio A eventually became a writing room, with Babyface favoring the B room for most of his production projects, so the 9096J was used less frequently, Boutin says.
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“I have a Duality in my room, so I know the board,” Boutin says, so he suggested a second Duality to replace the aging J Series desk. The recently installed console in Studio A is SSL’s newer Duality Fuse version, which features a Fusion analog processor integrated into the center section. Fusion offers six analog coloration tools for adding tonal character, weight and space to stereo stems.
Boutin had been working on a project with Babyface at Record Plant for about six months when he was invited to take a full-time position as an assistant at the new facility when it opened in 1996. At Brandon’s Way, he has collaborated with Babyface on two-dozen Gold records, 15 Platinum records and 16 multi-Platinum releases, and has participated on three Grammy-winning albums while garnering a further 18 Grammy nominations.
Babyface, an 11-time Grammy-winner—four of them for Producer of the Year—a Recording Academy Trustee Award-winner and a 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, has worked with a Who’s Who of pop and R&B royalty, including artists such as Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Bobby Brown, Aretha Franklin, Katharine McPhee, Vanessa Williams, Celine Dion, Phil Collins and many, many others.
The very first production completed in Studio A at Brandon’s Way, which was named to celebrate the birth of Babyface’s first child, was a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, “How Come, How Long.” The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Most recently, in November 2022, Babyface released his 11th solo album, Girls Night Out, a 13-song collection featuring some of R&B’s most iconic singers, including Ella Mai, Kehlani, Ari Lennox, Muni Long and Queen Naija, which was written and produced at Brandon’s Way.