Rafa Sardina pictured at the Record Plant in Los Angeles in front of an SL 9080 J Series console.
Engineer/producer Rafa Sardina (pictured), a winner of ten Grammy Awards known for his work with artists such as Luis Miguel, Macy Gray, Angie Stone and Alejandro Sanz, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 900+ Analogue Workstation System in his personal studio at After Hours. With this purchase, which also included an SSL XLogic X-Rack packed with eight Dynamics modules, Sardina becomes the first Los Angeles–based independent engineer to choose the recently introduced AWS 900+.
“I recently moved to a new house and wanted a very professional studio,” says Sardina. “I wanted to have a tool that would help me mix to the level I’m used to—I’ve been using SSL consoles for a very long time—and I find that mixing ‘in the box’ doesn’t satisfy my requirements, sonically speaking, especially in recording basic tracks.
“I asked my friends including Manny Marroquin, who mixed Alicia Keys’ live album on the AWS 900,” Sardina adds. “I wanted to get everybody’s opinion and they all loved the console. The turning point for me was the Total Recall and the AWSomation package. That’s necessary these days: if you’re a mix engineer, you’re going to be asked to recall and make slight changes. It happens all the time. I’m glad they upgraded it this way.”