360 Media, a full-service, multi-room facility covering music, mastering and film projects in Beirut, Lebanon, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Hybrid Console/Controller in Studio A to attract high-level clients to the facility.
The AWS 948 gives 360 Media up to 48 channels of mix capability, SSL’s signature SuperAnalogue mic pres, eq and mix bus, combined with a sophisticated, integrated DAW controller. With the AWS in place, 360 Media has expanded its business horizons to include audio for film and video.
“We wanted to launch a studio where the client can come in and have access to equipment at the same level as studios in Europe and the United States,” says Jad Abouzeid, co-owner/producer for 360 Media. “With the growing film industry in the Middle East, it was essential to have equipment that could deliver the quality necessary for the international market.
“In choosing a console, the AWS 948 was the only option as it gives us the sound quality, flexibility and name recognition necessary to help increase our business options. As a lot of the local film projects are being shown in places like the Cannes International Film Festival, we wanted to be the first with the most in our region and the AWS has really put us on the map with our new setup.”
The 360 Media facility spans the 11th and 12th floors of a media centre in central Beirut. The 11th floor holds Studio A, with a recording room overlooking Beirut and Mount of Lebanon, Studio C, a mastering studio, song writing space and a film editing room. The top floor holds Studio B, which offers a recording space large enough for a 40-piece orchestra. Alpha-Link I/O.
The pathway from the AWS to the Pro Tools, Pyramix, Cubase and Nuendo DAW systems is through XLogic Alpha-Link units, while outboard gear is routed through X-Patch units. Both Studio B and C offer XLogic Alpha Channel mic pres and Alpha VHD four-channel mic pre units. Everything at 360 Media is designed for speed and consistency.
“Our production cycle for music goes very fast,” explains Abouzeid and his business partner / Mastering Engineer Tony Haddad. “We do the recording and need to produce the final mix immediately and then send it to mastering. We are typically under a lot of pressure from the artist to release songs straight away, so there is little time to play with a mix.
“With the AWS, we start each session with great sounding audio, so creating a viable track is straightforward. In the past, local musical acts would go to Europe or the United States to record and mix, with the AWS they can now stay at home.”
360 Media is currently being certified by Dolby for 7.1 surround production in Studio A, with 5.1 capabilities for now in Studio B. “As we are following market demand, the AWS 948 is the perfect console to meet our current production needs for 5.1 surround mixing. The AWS 948 definitely helps us to expand the horizons of our business.”
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