A Sharp Recording Studios, the oldest independent recording studio in Sydney (Australia) and birthplace of countless albums and EPs of all musical genres, has installed a Solid State Logic (SSL) AWS 948 console as part of a comprehensive upgrade and redesign.
With its renovation and new equipment, A Sharp, which opened in the late 1960s, matches its creative legacy with technical facilities that are top notch.
The purpose of the studio’s renovation, says Richard Lake, an engineer and musician who bought the facility in 2014, was to create an environment in which artists can achieve the best possible results.
To that end, “we hired some of the best people in the Australian industry to redesign the studio’s architectural, acoustic and technical aspects,” he says. “With a sophisticated, ergonomic workflow in mind, we chose the AWS 948. Because of the console’s reliability, reputation and ease-of-use, we knew it was the only way forward within our chosen workflow.”
Richard uses the AWS, which replaced an aging console, with his Avid Pro Tools | HDX system, providing the best of both the vintage analogue and new digital formats, with a seamless workflow between the two.
“We particularly like the integration of Pro Tools via the dual-layer notion of controlling the analogue source and Pro Tools source via simple selection,” he continues. “This saves quite a bit of time, especially when writing automation into Pro Tools on the fly, or navigating and editing complicated mixes consisting of many audio stems. It is also useful to be able to instantiate and control plug-ins via the console center section, allowing a more natural and precise approach.”
The AWS, Lake adds, also allows integration and routing of A Sharp’s outboard equipment (the studio also boasts an SSL XLogic X-Rack loaded with eight E Series dynamic modules), and its comprehensive monitoring section controls multiple loudspeakers and monitoring. “Reputation, and therefore success, is built on results, so the console is all-important as the controlling factor in the studio,” he says. “Sound quality is something you expect with an SSL. It’s something the clients observe straightaway; they love hearing their music through the console.
“Having this desk has also proven a bonus to us in terms of guest producers and engineers who can immediately sit and use it, whether because of the console’s user-friendly simplicity or previous experience with SSL consoles,” he concludes. “We have been extremely busy with new and existing clients since the upgrade; everyone is impressed with the sound of the AWS. You can hear the quality: clear and crisp, with loads of headroom. We are delighted with our choice.”