A new 24-channel Audient ASP8024-HE console was recently deployed as part of a complete refurbishment of Studio I at Electric Bear Studios (EBS) in Mansfield, England, replacing a 1980s mixing desk that was previously owned by Sir Elton John.
EBS has been steadily evolving since it was opened by owner Simon Hopkinson back in 2012. Building the facility within a warehouse from the ground up, Simon and business partner Jared Harding constructed a second production studio with a vocal booth to the rear of Studio I that opened in November 2019.
They’ve worked their way through a fair number of consoles in that time too, including one “with a power supply that I can only describe as a nuclear reactor,” Simon notes, referring John’s old console and adding, “It was our first inline console and one of the best investments we made as a studio to improve workflow.”
When it came to finding a replacement, he says it was important that it too be an inline design: “During the refurbishment we were looking to improve and futureproof the console. Our weigh-up included price, preamp quality, EQ versatility, routing options and technical support from the manufacturer. For us, Audient topped the chart on all of these.”
Since the install, Simon and his team have had a variety of solo artists and bands through the doors. The new ASP8024-HE has also been encouraging him away from the computer. “I’ve had more delight mixing on this console than others,” Simon explains. “I feel like I want to push each channel back through the long faders to actually mix the track out on the console, rather than in the box. I trust the console and know that if I send something down channel 14, then it’s there without any noise or issues ready to be printed back through the mix.
“I’ve already tracked/mixed several projects on the console and have had clients show their excitement of how the mixes are sounding. Having a great console to work from is certainly motivating me to improve my output.”
The EBS desk comprises 24 channels, a producer’s desk, patchbay and extended meter bridge to allow monitoring to sit on top of the console. “After using the ASP8024-HE for a few months and comparing it to previous setups, I’m most impressed with how quiet the desk is at all stages. The PSU is fantastic and practically unnoticeable. You get no residual noise from any part of the desk, including faders, pots and switches.
“I was amazed at how different, clean and musical the channel EQs are. If you want to crank the high shelf, go for it. There we go: we have a smooth top boost with plenty of headroom for more.”