An API Legacy AXS analog console has been installed in a Sam Toyoshima-designed recording studio at the Tokyo College of Music, part of a new campus dedicated to student performances at the establishment.
It’s the second API Legacy AXS to be installed in Japan, the first going into the main control room of the all-API facility, Studio Tanta, in central Tokyo.
The Legacy AXS at Tokyo College of Music (TCM) was supplied by Mix Wave, API’s distributor in Japan of more than 15 years. Headed by Hirokazu Saika, Mix Wave has established API in broadcast and recording facilities in Japan, including two API Vision consoles at the two largest scoring stages of national broadcaster NHK as well as two 16-channel 1608 consoles and a 16-channel expander unit previously sold to the Kyoto Seika University.
The oldest private music school in Japan, TCM was founded more than 100 years ago, contributing significantly to the development of Western classical music in the country. Now, students on the classical music course have a new, purpose-designed campus with the Legacy AXS in the midst of it. Performances can be recorded from multiple spaces around the campus, including the 806-seat 100th Anniversary Hall and a live room with a baroque style pipe organ.
TCM’s 48-channel console, customized to suit the college’s requirements, has been supplied in a 64-channel frame, leaving extra space on each side for future expansion when needed. In the middle of the desk is a 15-inch center section which includes 5.1 surround monitoring, offering a full complement of features for monitoring, talkback control, three sets of stereo monitor playbacks, studio loudspeaker and 5.1 surround monitoring. Above the center section are six stereo echo return modules, an important element of the AXS design.
In addition to their function as stereo echo return modules, they also offer a 12-channel automated fader stem mixing platform. In addition, the returns can function as simple routers for parallel bus compression without needing to access the patch bay. To the left of the AXS center section is a customised 24-inch DAW workstation. API supplied a monitor mount as well as a custom API 550 VPR Rack and an API L200 Rack, both housing various API 500 Series and 200 Series modules. The AXS also includees API’s Final Touch motorized fader automation for the 48 main faders, four stereo master faders and two dedicated group masters, as well as the six stereo faders for the echo returns.
The studio is operated by recording engineer Tatsuo Umetsu, who started his career in 1968 at Tokyo’s Victor Studio, and frequently worked on API consoles that would now be considered vintage. “We decided to go for an API because it is really rare to find a proper analog console these days, especially in an educational facility,” he says. “We listened to the sound of the console over at NHK, and from what we heard, we knew that putting together classical music with API was a great combination. I really like the microphone preamps; the sound is really natural, warm and rich.”