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L.A. Studios, Timbaland Install SSL AWS 900+ Consoles

In Los Angeles, Westlake Recording Studios and Chalice Recording Studios have installed Solid State Logic AWS 900+ Analogue Workstation Systems to upgrade their DAW-based rooms. Westlake Recording Studios has installed two AWS 900+ consoles, housed in Production Rooms 1 and 2, which are used for overdubs, pre-production, writing and mixing.

“We’ve heard such good things about the console,” says Westlake Recording Studios co-owner Steve Burdick. “Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’s production facilities have five AWS 900 consoles. We have a lot of history with them, and if they felt it was a good console, so do we. But we did a lot of research and it seemed like a good fit.”

Chalice Recording Studios ordered an AWS 900+ for its new Studio F. “We wanted to have a console in the room that was usable for more than just controlling Pro Tools,” explains studio manager Stacey Dodds. “Solid State Logic consoles have a sound about them. We have three other SSLs and wanted to maintain that sound. The AWS 900+ is an amazing sounding console—it wasn’t a hard sell.”

Chart-topping producer Timbaland, responsible for hit albums by Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, installed an AWS 900 in his private facility in Virginia Beach, Va. A workstation controller had been planned for the studio, says engineer Jimmy Douglass, who has worked extensively with Timbaland. “The AWS 900 was a much better choice,” he recalls. “We needed some of that analog touch, as well.” A DAW controller, he adds, was not an acceptable choice. “You’re really limiting yourself with that,” he says. “You can have DAW control with any kind of user interface, anyway. The AWS 900 has enough workstation control to serve my needs.

“There’s nothing like this console,” Douglass adds. “It crosses both platforms. If you’re an analog man, it gives you the feel and the flavor of that. It gives you the unique SSL sound and features. If you’re a digital man, you can play with it that way, as well.”

Recent projects in Timbaland’s studio include Timberlake’s release, FutureSex/LoveSounds, and mixes for Nelly Furtado. With the AWS 900 installed, Timbaland is now working on his own album, Douglass notes, which is expected to see a March 2007 release.

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