Flow Studios recently acquired a 32-channel Solid State Logic ORIGIN analog in-line console for its new recording facility based in the Loire Valley, France that was designed by John Brandt and took three years to complete, involving the modification of an old town hall into a modern commercial residential studio.
Studio owner Luke Aaron Clark states that what appealed to him most about ORIGIN was the flexibility of its inline mixer and the ability with Pure Drive to select between preamps with different sonic signatures. In fact, he actually built the studio control room to accommodate ORIGIN, allowing him to to select outboard gear that would provide increased flexibility and help to create an effective workflow for visiting artists when tracking and mixing.
Flow Studios offers 120 square meters of climate-controlled studio facilities. including a control room, piano room, small and large isolation booths and a double height live room. “What I love about the ORIGIN is that it gives me the ability to work with one artist in the control room, or to have a band or larger group spread out throughout the studio, with all instruments recorded simultaneously,” Clark says. “As a commercial studio owner, I wanted to create a beautiful space where an engineer or producer can get to work quickly. Thankfully, the engineering and design behind ORIGIN is very intuitive.
“The SSL ORIGIN is set up as fully patchable, which provides a highly flexible workflow throughout the studio,” he continues. “We have 96 patchable audio lines accessed via wall panels located throughout the facility, while we also use the intelligent and intuitive bus routing on the SSL ORIGIN to manage our dedicated hearback system.”
It was important for Clark to create a comprehensive yet simple workflow: “For tracking, if someone wants to get a session up and running quickly, they can run everything through the desk and it all sounds harmonious,” he explains. ”After tracking, the desk, outboard gear or trusted plugins can be employed for mixing.”
However, if an engineer likes to mix or make decisions as they go along, they have numerous possibilities through use of the inline mixer and outboard gear. For those already coming into the studio with an existing mix, having the ability to use the 0 dB switch to give a fixed unity has proven useful. The low noise floor and headroom via the mix bus help bring breadth and space to mixes, while the centralised bus routing system has helped to further speed up the workflow.
“We’ve already had interest from artists wanting to book the studio because they know what to expect, know the quality is almost unrivalled and feel aligned to SSL’s history and values,” Clark concludes. ”For me, the thing I love the most is just how organic and musical the desk sounds through my ATC110 monitors. It produces an incredible result and I’m yet to meet a client who disagrees.
“As expected, the desk has performed without fault. Sessions have run smoothly and the quality of sound is truly amazing. It’s a very easy console to get a session up and running at speed, yet there are plenty of areas where you can delve deeper where appropriate.”