Michael Helpern (standing) and Jason Finkel
New York resident Michael Helpern has opened Voxonic, a firm using patent-pending software to replicate any human voice into any language at his new studio, Vox Studios. The compact 700-square-foot recording facility was designed by David Ares of Jigsaw Sound with acoustics by Ken Harrison of Longbow Acoustics. The control room is centered on an API DSM 48 Console in a Rack.
"I had to take the studio to the next level and find the right engineer," Helpern says. "And we were lucky enough to get Jason Finkel from Right Track to join us. Jason was used to mixing on 96-input SSLs and Neves. As we were not in the position to purchase a large-format console yet we wanted the analog sound, I remembered reading some information about API's DSM system. I then called Sonic Circus' Brian Charles, who I had worked with for a long time, and asked about it. He told us it was the coolest thing in the world, and he was right. Everything about DSM made it the best option for us."
Helpern's dual goal of getting a great analog mixing system and hiring Finkel from Right Track worked. "I never had any interest in mixing in the box, period," Finkel insists. "So, obviously, this system is really great. I love its headroom. I find that I can hit the 2-bus compression really hard, and it doesn't sound bad like a lot of stereo compression can sound. I would say that the 'API sound' is a blend of an SSL and a Neve: It has the punch of an SSL, but the smoothness of a Neve."