A small but perfectly formed live room. From a world-class drum sound to the perfect 'BBC' voice-over, and everything in between
We have a main live room which belies its modest size. Perfectly formed, seriously soundproof and acoustically neutral it's excellent for the loudest of live drums and yet the quietest of vocals. Situated remotely from the control room, 2-way CCTV allows visual communication and full interaction between musicians performing together. We have a beautiful old Hammond C3 with Leslie 122R and a Yamaha piano as well as other keyboards, guitars and amps, all available for use during sessions. A toy box full of miscellaneous percussion instruments often helps provide the finishing touches to a track.
It goes without saying, you’ve got to have Pro-Tools these days. It’s a personal choice, but currently Dave primarily uses his Pro-Tools system for interfacing between his preferred SSL Soundscape system and the outside world. Combining the two systems, compatibility is achieved with pretty much all commonly used recording systems.
Why SSL Soundscape? Because it’s a high-end hardware/DSP based system, it records and plays back with virtually zero latency. It boasts superb converters with extremely natural sound, and furthermore, it largely only uses its computer as a front end controller…the computer’s barely ticking over. The upshot of all this is the system sounds magnificent, is extremely reliable, and crashes are almost unheard of. Compare/contrast with some other well known DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) systems…and don't even bother trying to compare with lower spec systems often found in budget or so-called 'project studios'.
Yes, we still regularly use the classic analogue 2” 24-track format. Not so many studios still have their 2” machines these days, but we’ve kept ours, and of course it still sounds fantastic. Some people argue that it still sounds best.
Dave’s Newcastle based Face Musical Productions Studio achieves the best of both worlds, combining a formidable Soundscape SS32 96-track recording/editing system with the more traditional analogue 2" 24-track tape format. A classic British 32-input analogue recording desk (it's the size of a small aircraft carrier) routes sources to either the 24-track analogue tape machine, or the Soundscape recording system. The studio also boasts excellent microphones, superb Genelec tri-amped monitors and some cool vintage valve (tube) equipment. No wonder then that Sound On Sound magazine volunteered such high praise, saying that you can't tell the difference between stuff done here, and stuff recorded in top state of the art residential facilities.
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