Four years ago, Charleston Sound set itself apart with a 32-channel 1608 analog console with API’s P-mix automation and additional custom 500-Series expansion slots.
Acclaimed studio designer Wes Lachot ensured that the facility’s sonic signature is technically balanced and subjectively stunning.
As examples, the live room and isolation booths employ modern conveniences and construction techniques to generate a classic, inviting feel. At the same time, the control room offers creature comforts and an honest, accurate rendering of the auditory work at hand. But the core of Charleston Sound’s success is the 1608.
“The 1608 has been great,” said Jeff Hodges, chief engineer and owner of Charleston Sound. “We have a ton of API 550A and 550b equalizers, and they sound fantastic.
“The 1608 is also tremendously practical. Its bus architecture is easy to use and flexible, as is the patching. We have, to my knowledge, the only 1608 with sixteen additional 500-Series expansion slots [beyond the sixteen slots afforded by a stock 32-channel 1608].
“We’ve loaded those slots up with API modules and a huge range of third-party processors. And there’s still some room to spare.”
Charleston Sound was also the first studio to have automation installed on its 1608.
“We love API’s P-mix automation. We rarely do anything in Pro Tools these days,” said Hodges. “It’s so much more intuitive and inspiring to do the fader moves right there on the analog board. It’s actually fun.”
Recently, Charleston Sound attracted country superstar Darius Rucker, American Idol contender Elise Testone, and R&B singer/songwriter Ashanti to lay down some tracks. Many of these are already topping the charts, such as Ashanti’s “Never Should Have” and Darius Rucker’s “True Believers.”
Apart from the console’s sound and functionality, Hodges has also been impressed with the service he has received from API.
“They’re fantastic,” he said. “We can always get API service technicians on the phone and they always take care of us… We feel like we’re part of a family, not just a customer.”