Bravo Ocean Studios, a multi-room hybrid facility in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood that offers services for both music production and audio for film, has launched its new Ocean Suite, a flagship room equipped with a Solid State Logic ORIGIN 32-channel analog in-line mixing console.
Since opening, the room has hosted projects with Amazon Music, Adidas, Netflix, Legendary, Rolling Stone, RapTV, HBO and Jordin Sparks as well as ADR sessions for the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta.
Nick Chahwala, a producer, musician and songwriter whose years in the recording industry include working with the likes of T.I., Mariah Carey, Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry, with whom he was Grammy-nominated for Album of the Year in 2011, established Bravo Ocean in 2014, and wasn’t initially aware of the ORIGIN when selecting a mixing console for the Ocean Suite, he says. “But as soon as I saw it, I said, ‘That’s the one!’ I’m a marketing guy as well, so design is a big thing for me, and it’s such a sleek and beautiful design. ORIGIN is very modern but still has a very analog, old-school soul – and that met with what we wanted to do at the studio.
“I’ve worked on a lot of SSLs,” he continues. “SSL has always been my favorite and I felt like ORIGIN was made for me and my younger self. The functionality is great, and these are my favorite EQs. I’m always busing out or inserting the EQs when I’m in Pro Tools.”
The center section of the Ocean Suite’s ORIGIN houses a 500 series rack. “There’s so much customization I can do,” he notes. “Some days I’ll be mastering, so I’ll put my mastering modules right into the rack and they look like they’re part of the SSL. Other days, if we’re doing live sessions, I’ll move those out of the way and fill it with the SSL 611DYN E Series dynamics modules, so it matches the EQs. But the next guy might want something else, so he can bring his rack, we can disconnect ours, and put his in.”
He also points to ORIGIN’s power consumption: “Bravo Ocean is a zero-waste studio facility. We try our best to be sustainable and worry about our carbon footprint. ORIGIN has a sleep mode; it uses 900 watts when it’s on and 40 watts when it’s asleep. So that checked all the boxes for us.”
Bravo Ocean hosts a lot of live sessions and events, he continues, from full bands to orchestra sections to podcasts, so having 32 channels of identical PureDrive mic preamps across the board has proved to be invaluable. “We also do a lot of things where people are filming while they’re recording, so the SSL acts like a live board for us. We have plenty of channels and plenty of preamps to make sure that everything sounds great. It might be a live show, but we want a studio quality recording.”
The new studio expands Bravo Ocean’s physical footprint, which previously extended across three production rooms, collectively known as Suite I, outfitted for music, ADR and voiceover work as well as some podcasting. “They live together in a communal environment,” Chahwala explains. “We wanted more people to come in and collaborate, especially on the music side. Record labels will often take all three rooms at once, with three engineers.”
Chahwala analyzed the data from past years at the facility and recognized a need for a larger, dedicated studio that could handle both music and film work, a relatively unique offering in the city. “We understood where the market was heading, what our demographic was asking of us and what was needed in Atlanta, so we started building that room. The decision to install an SSL ORIGIN came down to it being a purpose-built, no-frills type of board that I could use in my flagship room.”