Multi-Grammy-winning engineer Gabriel Castañón has installed a Solid State Logic X-Desk in his Mexico-based home studio, noting that the SSL AWS 900+ has been a big part of his Grammy success.
Castañón has won three Latin Grammys. The first two were in 2010, including “Record of the Year” after the success of single Mientes by Latin rock band Camila, with 2011’s awards seeing Castañón scoop one more for his work with Puerto Rican hip hop duo Calle 13.
“After working on SSL consoles for most of my career X-Desk seemed like the logical choice for me,” Castañón states. “The sound quality is second to none – there simply are no better sounding consoles out there on the market. Add to that the design and the immensely powerful functionality of the desk and you have the perfect heart that beats at the center of my studio.”
“Everything I do goes through X-Desk,” he adds. “Fundamentally it allows me to connect all of my equipment together when I’m working on mixes, but I choose X-Desk for many reasons. The most important reasons are two-fold – the sound it gives me, and also the vast flexibility it offers when it comes to the signal path.
“Specifically, I love that X-Desk allows me to easily compress a signal with my XLogic multichannel compressor – which is strapped across my master mix bus – and run it in parallel to my original uncompressed signal. This is a very important aspect of my sound, and with the clarity of the X-Desk’s signal path it creates a sound like no other.
“And the fact that I can set up different sub-groups and process them differently is an incredibly powerful feature for a mixer of this size. Before acquiring my X-Desk it wasn’t as fast and easy to group and apply signal processing to two sections of mixes that would ultimately be heading to the same master outs, so in that way X-Desk has made my workflow much, much quicker.”
“SSL is now and always has been a part of the way I work. After working in the studios of Sony Music, as well as many other studios that have large consoles, I’ve realized that my X-Desk can successfully substitute for a large console in terms of sound quality and the way you can work,” Castañón concludes. “This allows me to give a lot of sensibility and authenticity to the project I’m working on, no matter what it may be. For me these qualities are fundamental if you want to gain presence in today’s music industry.”
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