Bridging the gap between the large and smaller studios Rimshot Productions recording studio took delivery of an Audient ASP800 8-channel microphone preamplifier recently, and it fits in a treat sitting alongside a 1960s valve Decca recording console and SSL AWS900+ mixing console.
Describing the Audient mic pres, Rimshot studio owner Mike Thorne says, “They offer loads of headroom, capture transients really well and are very pleasing on a wide range of sources.”
He highlights the unit’s retro channels in particular, which feature two variable harmonic color controls per channel: ‘HMX & IRON’. “I really enjoy using them on overheads and vocals as they have a weight of sound to them that I love.” The units are designed to emulate tones often associated with 1960’s tube designs and the coveted ‘transformer zing’ of British audio in the 1970’s.
“They all have different strengths, and picking the right tool for the job is a shortcut to getting the sound you want, although of course it’s secondary to the musician, instrument and room,” he says. “It’s another choice, sonically, which is always useful. Having a DI always accessible in the rack is also great.”
With a Studer A827 2-inch tape machine and ProTools HDX with Burl converters, when it comes to his gear, Thorne appears to have one foot in the past. “A lot of sessions start on tape and move to the computer for overdubs and mixing. It can be a great way to work and offers the best of both worlds.”
He explains his thinking: “Recording to tape brings with it a certain discipline – if the artist wants to re-record a part, they know we’ll be erasing what they’ve already done – it helps musicians step-up and give their best because they know there aren’t unlimited playlists.”
It’s working, as Rimshot is nicely booked up, with lots in the pipeline. He’s just finished mixing a live album for blues artist, Roger Hubbard. “We are about to start mixing his new studio album. It has some great musicians on including a guest appearance from keyboard player Jon Cleary who won a Grammy last year for best Roots album.
“Another recording session I’m looking forward to is with drummer Andy Newmark (John Lennon, Sly Stone) and bass player Jim Leverton (Steve Marriott, Caravan). It’ll be the band live in the room with live vocals and probably lots of first or early takes – should be an exciting one.”