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SSL Duality Expands Horizons at Legendary Robert Lang Studios in Seattle

“With SSL in our studio, we look forward to a bright future as a leader in music production and education in the Northwest”

SEATTLERobert Lang Studios is a living legend. This two room facility serving the Seattle and North Western U.S. creative community has a storied history as a creative space for groups, such as Nirvana, the Dave Mathews Band and legendary producers Butch Vig and John Goodmanson. As part of its ongoing commercial development and delivery of advanced education in collaboration with local colleges, the facility has upgraded one of its control rooms with an SSL Duality console.

A perfect illustration of the studio’s deep connection to the Seattle music scene, Robert Lang Studios recently played a role in The Foo Fighters’ new album Sonic Highways, “a love letter to the history of American music” set for release on November 10. The LP, which was recorded in eight different cities and features songs about a ‘local legend’ from each. Using the studio’s fully-restored SSL 4000 E Series console, the group recorded one of the songs for the LP.

“While working on the album, Dave, Butch [who worked with Grohl on Nirvana’s best-selling Nevermind] and I decided to use 24-track analogue recording driven by the legendary SSL 4000 E Series console,” says Lang. “Prior to Dave’s arrival, we’d just opened up a sound stage room, which made us fortunate enough to work with the band on the HBO miniseries Sonic Highways. This was all done in our large live studio room that can be serviced by either the E Series or the Duality control rooms.”

Airing on October 17, the docu-series focuses on the making of the album and the stories behind the songs, making Robert Lang Studios an ideal location for one of the shoots. Also home to Scott McKinley’s Seattle Music TV (SMTV) programs, the sound stage is driven by the E Series, twin Studer A827 24-track and two-inch tape machines or the Duality that takes on both analogue and digital recording and mixing. A recent addition to Robert Lang Studios, the Duality has opened up new business horizons as Lang and the local Shoreline Community College develop plans to collaborate in teaching the latest generation of engineers.

“The Duality room is a game changer for our studio complex,” adds Lang. “I’ve been doing a student education program here for several years and we added the Duality to not only serve commercial clients in the North West area, but also to attract more students in the school’s advanced courses. There are plans to add Duality to the curriculum for students in the Music Tech Department’s Continuing Education program, providing them the opportunity to work some of the industry’s top gear. Both Shoreline Community College and the City of Shoreline have approached us to solidify partnerships that will bolster the entertainment industry in the greater Seattle area.”

A key element of Duality for high-end music production is the hybrid workflow design that bridges the gap between analogue and DAW workflows. “The flexibility of Duality is amazing,” states Lang. “You have the digital audio workstation control that seamlessly correlates with the analogue side. My hat goes off to all the SSL engineers as they really developed something that is far beyond just another console. Being able to have that connection between analogue and digital, with a Pro ToolsTM control set up on the console and the ability for artists and producers to bring a hard drive in and almost instantly start mixing is just unique. The VHD mic pres are also very powerful to create a wide pallet of sonic colours. With SSL in our studio, we look forward to a bright future as a leader in music production and education in the Northwest!”

For expanding horizons, Lang is in the process of creating a student center as the newest addition to the studio complex as well as building a second studio/musical getaway called Studio Litibu, just around the bend from Punta de Mita, Nayarit, Mexico.

Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of James Starlin

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