The B-52's recently booked Ardent Studios for a project. From L to R: Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, producer/engineer Tom Durack, Kate Pierson, producer/engineer Pete Matthews and assistant engineer Adam Hill
Producer/engineer Pete Matthews, a longtime client of the historic Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tenn., recently moved into his new private studio in the facility, which is “stuffed” with API gear.
"I'm really psyched about it," he says. "Among the API gear I have are 26 channels of 512C mic/line pre-amps, 25 550B four-band EQs, four 560 graphic EQs, six 525 compressors, and a 64-input 8200 summing mixing system with a master section and buss compressor. My goal for the studio is to take some of the financial burden off my development projects and make it a little easier on that end. Studio time costs money, and industry profit margins aren't what they used to be. As a result, record labels aren't developing like they used to, either. Now the responsibility of development falls to guys like me."
By having a 64-input 8200 summing mixing system, Matthews explains, he essentially has a complete API console at his fingertips. "For the 8200 system, master section and buss compressor, I had the tech here at Ardent wire up a patchbay," he illustrates. "I've have my own Pro Tools|HD Accel system with 48-outputs wired to the patchbay, which is normalled to the inputs of the API. So, along with all of my outboard gear, I basically have a console with the inserts and enough EQs and compressors to have an insert on every channel, not to mention plug-ins. As soon as I'm used to the room, I'm going to start mixing there."
Matthews originally arrived in Memphis to pursue a performance degree as a jazz trumpet player, but developed instead into an in-demand producer, engineer and mixer, working with acts such as the North Mississippi All-Stars. "During college I kept doing recording on the side, and in doing so, I started to realize the depth of musical history here in Memphis," explains Matthews. "This town is just seething with musical energy. Being here, in Memphis and at Ardent, is just great for me. A lot of people think that culture radiates from the coasts inward, but I happen to believe that it works both ways. I've lived in a lot of great towns, but there's an energy around Memphis that's been untapped. I'm trying to tap it."
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