Producer/songwriter Paul Dackombe has taken delivery of a 16-channel Genesys Black G32 console from Neve for the main mix room at his new purpose-built, well-appointed facility – YellowRattle Studios, located in the farming countryside of Moreton, Essex.
Dackombe has spent much of his 35-year career as a drummer/songwriter/producer for 80’s pop band Explained Emma. During that time, he has built and run several studios, focusing on development and small label projects, as well as establishing his own label, Wire-Sound, with Dave Formula from Magazine/Visage after working with him on his solo album ‘Satellite Sweetheart’ in 2010.
Spending many years in and out of studios, both as a musician and a producer, meant that he was clear in his vision for YellowRattle. “I’ve used, and owned, various outboard pres, EQs, and compressor units over the years and have been lucky enough to have worked on many consoles, including the Neve 88RS at Abbey Road and also at La Fabrique in France,” he notes. “However, for this studio build I wanted to return to a single ‘hybrid’ desk layout… although there are still some outboard units I will not give up.”
Having become accustomed to the analog sound of the 88RS, Dackombe turned to Neve to replace his SSL desk. “I looked at a variety of what I would call ‘hybrid desks’ — a blend of analog front end with DAW control and functionality, as I prefer to mix in a hybrid manner. The Neve sound made the Genesys Black a leading contender, and coupled with the modular structure and DAW capabilities, it was a clear winning choice,” he states.
“I don’t think anything else came really close when all those factors were considered,” he continues. “The ability to choose between classic and modern pres and eqs is pretty unique outside of a 500-series set up, although I went for all the classic choices in my Genesys Black set-up.”
While admitting that Genesys Black had been a learning curve for him, he adds that it didn’t take long for him to become ‘in tune’ with the desk: “The flexibility [of the console] is great. There are any number of different workflow options and always a solution for different set-ups. And of course, the legendary Neve sound — so big and open — it really sounded fantastic from the first moment we hooked it up.”
Dackombe is is currently working on a writing project for a jazz/pop album, drawing on references from swing, be-bop and jumping jive, which is set for release at the end of April 2017. He’s also putting Genesys Black through its paces revisiting older projects. “I am now blocking out time slots in the studio to re-mix completed projects, as the finished product on this desk is so much better than my last set-up,” he concludes.