Show Off Your Studio – Part Six

We ask for your studio shots through our social media channels and interview those that we think look the most interesting – whether they be pro or home studios. Here are the best this month…

Rain City Recorders

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Jesus, that ‘rack of doom’ is just the best thing we’ve seen in a studio for a while. The Lights – The Lights!

Interviewee: Stuart Mckillop
Contact: raincityrecorders@gmail.com

Home or Away?
Our studio is in an industrial building in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of East Vancouver in Canada.

Kit list?
An Avid HDX system with Lynx Aurora conversion, C24 console, SSL Sigma and Burl B32 Vancouver summing mixers, Crane Song Avocet, Focal Twins, B&W 802 Diamonds.
Racks of doom!

Which DAW do you use and why?
I use Pro Tools. I use it because I’m fast as shit on it, if I’m honest, rather than it being the best thing for the job. I don’t have time to learn a new DAW, unless it could read my mind and do things as I dream them up. I’m sure Steven Slate is close to releasing this technology.

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Favourite gear and why?
I’m really into the Empirical Labs Fatso. I love slaughtering the top end of my room mics with the warmth function.

How often do you use the studio?
I used to be in there 29 days of the month every month. But then last year I was fortunate enough to have Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung, Bison) move in when The Hive moved to Victoria. We now split the month and, after 13 years of slugging it out, I’ve finally achieved a more balanced life.

What do you use your studio for?
Professionally, we record a large chunk of the independent music scenes here in Vancouver. From Alt-Country to insane Death Metal.

Any good stories?
We decided to hot box the air gap between the sliding glass doors at The Hive. Three of our guys got stuck in there, high as hell, afraid that our asses were going to pop the glass! That’s probably the only one I can share publicly…

Perfect or room for improvement?
There is always room for improvement! There is always room for more gear! That said, we are very happy with everything right now at RCR. Everything is translating great and all our staff are really happy with their work.  We have a super efficient workflow with the C24 and the Sigma.

Next on your studio shopping list?
We just got the Slate VMR, and I’m itching to get cracking with it tomorrow. But I also want another Lawson Gold 47. We have an older one that doesn’t have the pattern selection, and I love it! I’m dying to find another.

What is your dream piece of gear?
I’d eventually like to get an SSL console or a Neve. Something that’s fun to slam. I’d enjoy playing the console like an instrument – the C24 is really fun for that too.

Any advice?
Avoid studio costs by building a small spot for overdubs and mixing. But go to a proper studio for tracking live beds or drums.

Fusion Mastering

Jasmin at the controls at Fusion

Interviewee: Jasmin Barbir
Contact: jasmin_barbir@yahoo.com

What are the key components?
Monitoring: Dynaudio 82, Adam A7 + sub 7 and Kurzweil speakers, Apogee Duet 2 DAC, and RME multiface. Analogue: SPL Mix Dream and Vitalizer, Aphex 204, G-SSL based compressor, custom made Vactrol tube bus compressor, TL Audio A2, class A stereo tube processor. Digital outboard: TC Powercore, Focusrite Liquid Mix.

Which DAW do you use and why?
Ableton Live. It’s great in every single aspect of music production and sound creation. It has a fast workflow and it’s simple to learn and use. It has a lot of features that I still can’t find in other DAWs. For mixing I use Logic. The mixer is better and it just sounds a bit different – it’s more open and detailed on some frequency parts. As I do more and more mastering these days I’ve also downloaded a demo of SoundBlade. The sound is perfect, so I find it best for I/O loop.

Favourite piece of gear and why?
Hard to say.  Each one has its own soul, and in songs I work with, they can find their soul mates. If I could say which one is present in all my projects, that would be Liquid Mix. I also like this pimped up old ART compressor in which we changed almost everything. It does add a full, warm and rich flavour to the music but then again I can not skip the SSL for punchy solid state sound.

Closing in on the mastering controls

Advice?
It doesn’t matter how it looks, the sound is what counts. So the advice would be : the more time you spend treating your room, the better music you’ll get out of it.

EMR Studio

The Toft is the centerpiece of EMR Studio

Interviewee: MS Music Corp
Contact: msmusic1@me.com

Main components?
Mac Pro, Pro Tools HDX 16 i/o, Avid C24, Toft ATB 16, two Vintech Audio x73, 2ch Universal Audio 610 and 4-710; Focusrite ISA 428, Avalon 737 and U5; Audio Technica 4033 and 4060s; Shure SM57, Sennheiser 424, Sub Kick, Electro Voice RE20, Beyerdynamic condenser mic, Sontronics ribbon mic, Mackie HR monitors, Yamaha HS monitors, JBL LSR monitors.

Which DAW?
Ableton because of its flexibility and how it invites playfulness. We have been happy Logic users in the past.

Favourite gear?
Difficult one. Can’t live without the x73 and ISA for versatility.

Can’t beat a good Nord

What is your dream piece of gear?
SSL Console. It has a beautiful layout, great EQ and Dynamics. It really adds a nice character to the mix.

Any advice for setting up a studio?
Your room is the best plug-in. Make sure the control room and live room sound great, and everything else can wait. Good rooms will make it sound great from scratch!

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