Multi-talented independent artist, producer, songwriter, performer and programmer Klayton, popularly known as Celldweller, uses a Solid State Logic AWS Hybrid Console/Controller as the centerpiece of his private Detroit-based recording studio, Celldweller Studios.
Since creating his own space, all Celldweller projects, a combination of electronic tracks with rock and metal elements, have been mixed through the AWS. Recent work includes multiple iTunes charting album releases as well as custom tracks for TV shows, feature films, video games and movie trailers, such as Robocop, Brick Mansions, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Dead Rising 3.
As testament to his versatility, he recently released a bundle of audio samples entitled Sonix Producer Pack Vol. 01. For Klayton, the AWS delivered the quality and power of an SSL console with the additional capacity to simultaneously control his Cubase DAW.
“I finally got to a point in my career where I could afford bigger and better things, and my first target was an SSL console,” says Klayton. “I felt that I needed something more compact than a large, vintage console for my space. It was at that point that my friend Mike Strange, Eminem’s engineer, introduced me to his AWS and that sealed the deal.
“My space is a total mash-up of organic and synthetic sounds, created through a bunch of modular synths and a lot of outboard gear ranging from high-end audio processing to distortion boxes and weird effects. I play many other live instruments as well, such as guitar, bass and drums. Occasionally, I use stringed instruments, which I have no formal education in, so I use them to make fantastical noises.
“The AWS made perfect sense to me because it gave me the analogue sound and workflow of an SSL while bringing all the elements I use together. The AWS was a perfect fit for me.”
While the Celldweller studio complex is not a commercial for-hire facility, Klayton uses the AWS room and his B Room, featuring an SSL modular analogue X-Rack system alongside his DAW, to work with artists signed to his label, FiXT.
“The core of what I do, the heart and soul of my sound is the AWS,” continues Klayton. “I have multiple rooms that are used for composing and tracking, with the main two rooms driven by SSL. The B Room also has the master bus compressor, which is super important to get the sound that I completely love, and channel strips, with EQs and output modules. It was very important to me to maintain sonic consistency between both main rooms.”
AWS bridges the gap between the analogue world and DAW control and the solution has proven invaluable for Klayton.
“I very often flip into the DAW layer on the AWS where I might be doing EQ sweeps, for example, while I’m writing that automation into Cubase,” says Klayton. “It’s so much more musical, intuitive and human to grab a real fader and adjust a level. With the AWS, I can close my eyes and listen as opposed to clicking on a virtual knob, dragging up or down and reading a number.
“With the AWS I am always working with the sound, not the computer. SSL has created a great console with the AWS; the company and staff are amazing to work with as well.”
Solid State Logic