Oxford, UK (May 24, 2019)—Mark Gardener, frontman and guitarist for 1990s UK shoegazing band Ride, who reformed in 2014, has opened OX4, a new multi-room facility in Oxfordshire, England, featuring an SSL AWS 948 console.
Gardener had worked a lot in the box, but found he was taking a long time to create and find the sort of space and depth he needed in his mixes. “I started using a summing mixer at home, and suddenly the width and depth helped speed up my mixing process,” he says. “But it got me thinking that I really wanted a console, something I could be fully hands-on with and wouldn’t have to work my way through the layers of. That’s what first drew me to the AWS console.”
After a meeting at SSL HQ, says Gardener, “I quickly realized that SSL had totally nailed it in terms of understanding how people work today; in minutes, you’ve got a full recall on this desk, which is phenomenal. And I am back to using channels, so the whole space and width thing is right there. Plus, it’s way more fun when you can be tactile. I love how you can flick between the E and G EQs instantly, and it makes perfect sense, as before I got the console, I was using plug-in versions of the SSL E and G channels—now I have the real thing.”
Gardener continues. “I am also astounded by its preamps. I have a lot of cool outboard kit, but recording directly from the SSL is amazing, as it’s just an incredible sounding console. I love the old boards, of course, and a lot of Ride tracks were mixed on old SSLs, but the AWS is so much more efficient than an older console. The DAW integration utilizing the delta-Control automation is also brilliant; I’ve got my console keys set up for Logic, and I’ve got all my transport stuff right there at the push of a button.”
Sessions are already underway at OX4. Singer-songwriter Susie Stapleton was first through the doors, accompanied by Jim Jones Revue’s Gavin Jay, and Stranglers’ drummer, Jim Macaulay. The Stranglers themselves have been in the studio, too, recording new material last month.
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