Streamlined Studio Based Around Dangerous Music Equipment Offers Artistic Freedom & Quality Sound
Duncan Sheik at his Sneaky Studios in Upstate New York
EDMESTON, NY – September 30, 2011 – Renowned recording artist and composer Duncan Sheik has outfitted his Upstate NY studio with Dangerous Music’s analog summing, monitor control and DAC, installing the Dangerous 2-Bus, Monitor ST and DAC ST. Sheik and his long-time engineer Michael Tudor now get all the key ingredients of an exceptional analog signal path, but without the constant console maintenance, thrills of surprise downtime, unknown noises and creativity-ending problems often associated with older analog console-based studios. Now it’s all about clean, clear signal where they can control the sonic flavors with choices of mics and outboard gear. Through careful design and the ease of use of Dangerous Music equipment, Sheik’s studio is always, and instantly, ready to record a new song, or music for a Broadway-bound musical, and always at the highest quality.
“Using the Dangerous Music setup is cleaner and faster – a lot less to do, and a lot less worry,” says Sheik comparing his former vintage analog console. “You turn the Dangerous gear on and it sounds great. In a certain way it’s a simpler and nicer world.”
Most recently Sheik released Covers 80s with acoustic rearrangements of Sheik’s favorite synth-oriented hits from the 1980s. “The entire album was recorded with the Dangerous Music equipment and it was a ‘friction-free’ experience!” says Sheik with a laugh. His 1996 self-titled album on Atlantic Records spawned the hit “Barely Breathing” and his composing led to success with the award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening. Sheik continues to release critically acclaimed albums and compose for the theater, with an electronic music score for the stage version of American Psycho, and an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, The Nightingale, both in production.
Sheik’s talents as a producer have accelerated with joining Global Positioning Services, a producer management firm based in New York and Los Angeles. He has produced albums for Holly Brook (aka Skylar Grey), Samantha Ronson, Chris Garneau, as well as many of his own records. The Spring Awakening cast album that Sheik produced won a Grammy(r) for ‘Best Musical Show Album’ in 2008. He continues to seek outside production projects.
“The Monitor ST with the DAC ST is my standard for listening now,” adds Sheik. “It’s a really smart and well-configured piece of equipment where I can go between the Focal speakers and the NS-10s and whatever else we want to put up there. The Monitor ST is very fast and the levels are always matched. It’s another great way of making sure that mixes are what they should be.”
Sheik has worked with engineer Michael Tudor for over 13 years, and at Tudor’s own studio in Woodstock, NY he utilizes the Dangerous Monitor ST as well. “Having the Monitor ST to integrate all the elements of my rig gives me great peace of mind. With the ST I am confident that I am hearing the true output of the system. The ST is accurate, transparent and dependable. In addition, the agility of the ST’s control surface is a pleasure to experience,” says Tudor.
When Sheik had sold his loft and studio in NY, the large analog console had to go into storage while he was building a new studio in upstate NY. He was living temporarily in a smaller apartment, but had to continue to work, “I needed something with a small footprint to work with my Apogee and Logic system, so I got the Dangerous D-Box -which sounded great and worked great,” he says.
“When I moved upstate and the studio was finished, the Calrec console, tragically, was stolen-this 2,000 pound object was completely gone!-so we decided to continue on and use the Dangerous Music equipment, and we got the Dangerous Monitor ST speaker switching set up with the DAC ST and the Dangerous 2-Bus analog summing-the whole setup. Now I have the console in a rack, and I don’t need this huge board with this giant footprint. Since having the Dangerous Music rig, I haven’t missed having the console at all. It’s a very new world out there when you’re set up this way. It’s efficient, clean, and really nice.”
Sheik’s engineer, Tudor concurs, “When I introduced the Dangerous gear in to Duncan’s studio, it created a commonality between our two studios. The Dangerous designs are a new standard of excellence and performance. Even though I am running an old school analogue console in my studio, Duncan’s 2-Bus will replicate the analog summing, so that I can bring projects back and forth and not loose anything in translation. This is a huge time saver. Dangerous gear has an impressive list of design aspects and useful functionality. Perhaps most impressive is that it all works flawlessly, it’s trustworthy.”
Liking the clean, clear sound of the Dangerous Music equipment, Sheik offers his take on coloring a mix, “I know there are people who like to have an intensely strong color on everything and maybe they want to use a super old NEVE broadcast board or whatever, because it has a very particular sound, but for me it’s safer to have something that’s very clean like the Dangerous 2-Bus, and then I can do the coloring of the sound using mic pres or compressors or microphones on the front end. So if I’m trying to get something to sound like the 1940’s or 50’s or whatever it is, then I’ll try to do that in the initial part of the chain as opposed to the output.”
Tudor comes to Sheik’s upstate NY studio and records and also mixes there with the Dangerous 2-Bus, Monitor ST and DAC ST. Because the Dangerous Music equipment is so integrated with the computer-and easily recallable-their production process is streamlined, “We have a good ‘short hand’ at this point in terms of how we work and what we do,” says Sheik. “Michael did a great job setting up this particular configuration of the studio. It’s really evolved over the last ten or eleven years since I was in my Tribeca studio. Now it’s at this place where you kind of turn on one switch (laughs) and you boot up Logic and every synthesizer, an acoustic guitar microphone, a pair of piano microphones and a vocal microphone and we are ready to go. And that’s really brilliant because, there’s not that thing of ‘Oh, I want to record this song’ and then three hours later you start. It’s like: ‘I want to record this song’ and three minutes later you start and that’s a huge difference – the Dangerous gear makes it possible.”
About Dangerous Music
Dangerous Music, Inc. designs and builds products that are indispensable to any DAW-based recording environment. Dangerous Music electronics designer Chris Muth has spent over 20 years working in and designing custom equipment for top recording and mastering studios. Muth and company founder Bob Muller pioneered the concept of the dedicated analog summing buss for digital audio workstations with the Dangerous 2-Bus in 2001. Today the company offers a wide range of products for recording, mastering, mixing and post-production facilities, all designed and built with mastering-quality standards and a practical aesthetic. Key products include the Dangerous 2-Bus and 2-Bus LT, Dangerous Monitor ST-SR and its Additional Switching System expansion units, Dangerous D-Box, Dangerous Master, Dangerous S&M, Dangerous Monitor and Dangerous Bax EQ.
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