“Appetite for Construction” Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Venerable Studio
Pictured at Ardent Studios in the shell of the new Studio C control room are (L-R) chief technical engineer Chris Jackson, founder John Fry, and studio manager/Big Star drummer Jody Stephens.
As an integral part of its 45th Anniversary, Memphis’ venerated Ardent Studios is celebrating with an “Appetite for Construction” and completely gutting the control room of Studio C in preparation for the installation of an SSL Duality console. The studio’s prized workhorse Neve V 40 x 40 console has been decommissioned and will be reborn as a classic sidecar to accompany the state-of-the-art Duality, giving Ardent the best of both vintage and new.
“It was time to bring Studio C into the highly competitive 21st Century world of recording,” stated Ardent founder
and the studio’s first engineer John Fry. “This room has a legacy that includes landmark work by Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down, R.E.M.,and B.B. King, among so many other great artists, and we are keeping that traditional acoustic tracking space alongside our new control room with SSL’s flagship console.”
Adjacent to a 32′ x 26′ tracking room with three isolation booths, Studio C’s control room will house an SSL Duality SE 48-channel console with in-board patchbay (RHS). Also, the SSL I/O package consists of one Delta Link HD-MADI unit and two Alpha Link converter units for a total of 48 analog I/Os. With consoles in place worldwide, Duality has established a new industry standard for professional audio production.
Ardent Studios started off with early classics by Sam & Dave, Led Zeppelin, Al Green and The Staple Singers, then racked up hits in the 70s and 80s by ZZ Top, REM, George Thorogood, The Allman Brothers, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Ardent continues today with recent triumphs by such artists as Sir Cliff Richard, Jack White, Huey Lewis and the News, Smashing Pumpkins, Montgomery Gentry, and Klaus Voorman. Of significant note is John Hiatt’s “Master of Disaster,” produced by the late Jim Dickinson in the studio he embraced for over 30 years.
The Solid State Logic Duality’s innovative hybrid approach combines a traditional analog path and signal processing along with exceptional DAW control, all within a single hardware surface. Duality has a diverse user base that includes many of the world’s most prestigious commercial recording facilities, on-air broadcast production studios, educational establishments, film & TV score specialists and a growing group of notable private owners.
John Fry cites several reasons for Ardent’s longevity in a recording world that has few survivors from the early days. “We’re flexible and we’ve always strived to adapt to the changes in the technology and recording industry. We’ve also been fortunate to have so much talent on our staff, and long term relationships with successful artists and producers. Also, having a production company, a record label, and a publishing business has allowed us to be one of our own best clients. We expect our new Studio C will be a perfect fit for our continued momentum.”