Grammy-nominated music producer, mixer, remixer and mastering engineer Sascha “Busy” Bühren recently added a Solid State Logic UF8 DAW controller and UC1 hardware plugin controller at his new home-based facility, which is located just off the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, Germany.
The relocation came after Busy and his partner Laura, who together own and operate TrueBusyness Musicproductions, left their former two-story studio facility in the city due gentrification. The previous TrueBusyness complex housed not only Bühren’s mastering room and production and edit suites — not to mention the couple’s private apartment — but also a music production and mix room equipped with a 48-input SSL AWS 948.
“My dream was always to have my own SSL board,” he says. “The day it arrived was like 45 years of birthdays and Christmases all in one.” The room soon attracted a lot of business, including major hip-hop artists such as Waka Flocka Flame and Swizz Beatz, he reports.
Bühren says he missed having faders available to him when working in his mixing room at the old facility. He had to sell the AWS 948 when he and Laura moved into their new apartment, which was built in 1899 and has 13-foot ceilings and original parquet floors. “What I always needed was a control surface to dive into the SSL world again,” he says. “It’s just an amazing piece of gear that I’ve really missed through all the years.”
The UF8, which he purchased from Audio Pro, SSL’s distributor in Germany, bridges the gap between his former separate mastering/mixing and production rooms, he explains. “Now I have one studio with everything in the center of the room. I have my Sterling Modular studio furniture with outboard. Everything is reachable from where I’m sitting; I don’t have to move.”
Bühren, who started as a DJ in the late-1980s, is a longtime hip-hop fan and began mastering when he took an early major label band project to Tony Dawsey at Masterdisk in New York City over 20 years ago. He has since garnered Gold, Platinum and Diamond certifications for his mastering projects across multiple music genres for a long list of clients including Seeed, Paul McCartney and Helloween.
With his focus now on mastering and mixing, Bühren also purchased a UC1 when it became available. “It’s really changed the way I mix in-the-box. Now, I can go on location and just pack my Macbook, my interface, some nice headphones and the UC1 and UF8,” he says. “I just need these little boxes and I’m free.”
Most importantly for his workflow, Bühren says, the SSL controllers are his gateway into the mix. “I just press the 360° button and the mix pops out. I have all the channels in view and I’m sitting in front of a real desk. Just like on a board, you put your compressor on the master bus, the new Channel Strip 2 on each channel, and you’re good to go. And it’s almost latency free.” The UF8 and UC1 run under a single instance of SSL’s new 360° software; the UF8 stores all pertinent information, user setups and preferences.
Bühren also has an outboard SSL XLogic rack outfitted with a variety of E and G series EQ modules in addition to an SSL Fusion multi-processer, racked within arm’s reach, both of which he purchased with his AWS 948 console. “I have always loved the E series EQ,” he says. “There’s nothing comparable. It was a surgical EQ from the first moment.”