In this studio interview we chat to Charles Moon, from the impressive Texas-based Orb Recording Studios…
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MusicTech: Give us a run down of the gear at Orb?
Orb Recording Studios: An SSL 6048 G Series Console; Allen Sides Ocean Way HR2; Genelec 1037s and a pair of Yamaha NS-10 monitors; Sony C-800G, vintage Neumann U67 microphones; Tube-Tech CL 1B Compressor; Neve 1073 preamp and various outboard compressors, preamps and EQs.
MT: Which DAW do you use at the studio and why?
Pro Tools is our DAW of choice, mainly because it is the industry standard and is what we find easiest to navigate when it comes to working within our group and the outside clients that bring their projects to us.
MT: What is your favourite gear at the studio?
The Ocean Way monitors, 100 per cent, because it’s always fun to sit back and enjoy the work that was just put in on such a monstrous set of speakers. Not only do they help you enjoy super-clean, high-quality music, but they are also designed to provide a true stereo listening experience, regardless of where you’re located in the room.
MT: How much time do you get to spend in the studio each week?
Easily 60 hours. When we’re not running sessions for clients that come in, we use the free time to keep the studio in the best shape possible, as well as work on in-house production projects as well.
MT: How do you use Orb Recording Studios?
Is it mainly for recording bands, projects or music for TV and film? We are a fully functioning recording studio that is open to the public.
We spend most of our time working with local talent as well as touring musicians when they’re coming through town for tours or festivals. We mix records in-house, and we love what we do, so every day is fun around here, and that‘s the culture we like to maintain.
MT: What’s next on your shopping list gear-wise, and why?
It will either be more UAD plug-ins because they are the best-sounding plug-ins on the planet at the moment and we’re also taking a look at some keyboards. Gotta love the sounds of the Juno-60 and any of the Nord Lead keyboards.
One of the owners, Matt Noveskey (Blue October), also has an awesome collection of bass guitars and is adding the Pink Flea Jazz Bass to the collection that will be a great add to what we already have.
MT: Does anything annoy you about Orb Recording Studios?
Nothing that we can think of, off the top of our heads. We’ve been blessed with the vision of a great studio designer, Mark Genefan, who ensured we’d have the easiest workflow when it comes to navigating the studio.
MT: What is your dream piece of gear and why?
Even though we have this piece of gear, it’s more like a dream come true. The go-to has to be the Tube-Tech CL 1B, because we can throw almost anything through it and it sounds amazing.
MT: What advice would you give anyone starting a studio?
Really, the best advice to anyone, we think, is to learn how to use what you have to the best ability you can. The amount and price of the gear you have doesn’t really matter. What it comes down to is… innovation, and the most important question: ‘Does it sound good?’. So with that, build on what you have – but knowledge and creativity trumps technical skills.
MT: Any studio anecdotes from Orb Recording Studios?
Even though some teachers may not agree with me here, we like to clip some instruments from time to time in the tracking stage, to give a sound extra character. We love breaking all the rules here. There are rules of thumb, of course, but at the core, there are no rules.