Musician Bob Jabour (pictured), owner of one of the country’s most extensive collections of vintage instruments, amplifiers and recording equipment, has taken delivery of the first Solid State Logic AWS 900+ Analogue Workstation System. The AWS 900+, featuring new control protocols for a wide range of digital audio workstations including Nuendo, SONAR, Digital Performer and Logic, will serve Jabour’s combination recording studio/museum of vintage gear.
Lee Jackson, integrator for Jabour’s studio, reports that the AWS 900+ was put to work upon its arrival from Guitar Center in Austin, Texas and its professional division, GC Pro. “We immediately set up the console and started cutting,” says Jackson, founder of the Metaltronix, Perfect Connection and Lee Jackson Amplification companies. “Mark Andes, the bass player from Heart and Spirit, came in to lay tracks on a project. We used the instrument input and it just sounded amazing.”
The AWS 900+ is housed at Lee Jackson Mastering Labs in Austin while Jabour finalizes plans for his studio/museum. “The AWS 900+ is absolutely transparent, it’s beautiful,” says Jackson. “Being able to touch back and forth between the DAW and analog is absolutely great. It’s the same to go from record to playback—just effortless. With many consoles there’s a lot of patching, whereas with the AWS 900+, all the patching is pretty much preset for you. Plus, you can set up all kinds of templates, which is really great.”
An analog console, says Jackson, is indispensable to DAW-based production, be it Pro Tools or Digital Performer, which he also uses. “We wanted to get away from just having a bigger controller and controlling more of the inside of the computer,” he explains. “Mixing internally, it’s cluttered and there’s no definition. We had already been tracking, so we could pull up large mixes on the AWS 900+ immediately, and everybody in the room said ‘Wow!’ We hadn’t even started mixing—everything was flat, just coming through the board—and it sounded much better. It’s definitely a wonderful unit.”
Jabour seconds that statement: “Lee is interested in the interface between analog and digital,” he says. “He raved about SSL because of the success it has had in this area with the AWS 900. As a vintage and analog guy, being able to capture the warmth of analog and work in a digital medium is critical. That’s what led us to SSL. I really trust Lee’s judgment, and he put me right onto the best equipment.”