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K-Pop Company Outfits New Studio

K-Pop purveyors SM Entertainment recently installed an SSL AWS 924 console in its facility, Blue Ocean Studio.

SM Entertainment mix and recording engineer Chul-Soon Kim with the new SSL console.
SM Entertainment mix and recording engineer Chul-Soon Kim with the new SSL console.

Seoul, S. Korea (October 26, 2022)—Multinational record label, talent agency, production company and music publisher SM Entertainment, a pioneer in popularizing K-Pop worldwide, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 924 AWS δelta SuperAnalogue mixing console with SSL δelta and DAW control at a new facility in Seoul, South Korea. GearLounge, Solid State Logic’s distribution partner in South Korea, supplied the SSL AWS 924 AWS δelta.

The SSL AWS console has been installed in Blue Ocean Studio, one of several production rooms in a new building to which SM Entertainment relocated in 2021. SM Entertainment was founded in 1995 by record executive and record producer Soo-Man Lee and is home to such artists as BoA, TVXQ!, EXO, Red Velvet, æspa, NCT and Girls’ Generation.

“For around 13 years since I started my career until I came to SM Entertainment, I used SSL consoles,” says mix and recording engineer Chul-Soon Kim, who works with the company’s vocal artists. Kim worked for many years on a variety of large format SSL desks at other studios. “The fact that I was used to using SSL consoles is the main reason that I chose the SSL AWS,” he says.

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Kim has mixed many tracks for SM Entertainment’s artists on the new AWS desk, although not all of them have yet been officially announced. With the AWS console, he says, “I can maintain the transparency of the vocal tracks while enjoying its huge headroom, so that I can make my track sound more harmonically full and rich while the vocals just sit nicely on the top of the instrument track.”

​The first track that Kim worked on using the AWS console was “Pilot” by NCT 127, he says, which was released in late-October, 2021. “There is a chorus part in the song where all the members are singing together. I originally used a summing mixer to process that chorus part, but somehow it didn’t sound clean. Later, I processed the same chorus part in the AWS console, and it sounded just perfectly nice and clean. The producers really liked how the vocal sounded and the track got released.”