Wide Hive Studios in San Francisco’s Bay Area re-opened its doors earlier this year after a number of recent renovations and updates.
A decade ago, veteran producer, engineer, and musician Gregory Howe folded his costly studio in San Francisco for a cozy, less expensive space in nearby Albany, CA. He centered the studio around a 16-channel API 1608, which he later expanded to 32 channels through a 16-channel expander.
Now, with his most recent round of upgrades, Howe has added another 16-channel expander to create a 48-channel API 1608.
“I’ve been working with API gear for a long, long time,” Howe says. “I love the API sound. To me, it walks the perfect line between cleanliness, straight-up rock, and audiophile fidelity.”
The recently-expanded 48-channel 1608 unifies the studio’s sound, streamlines its workflow, and also allows clients to tap into Howe’s huge collection of outboard gear with ease. “The new 16 channels primarily serve as returns from the equipment racks. We now have the flexibility and sound to do whatever we want,” he says.
Wide Hive books jazz, funk, hip-hop, and soul artists exclusively. Since the console’s expansion, Howe has used it to record several tracks, which are receiving airplay, brisk sales, and profuse blessings from critics. Of note, swing jazz guitarist Calvin Keys cut Electric Keys with the help of the 1608 and the Wide Hive Players, an in-house collective group of jazz musicians.
Reviews of Wide Hive releases often comment on their excellent sound quality. “I’m a huge believer in analog summing,” he notes. “Digital summing involves a massive calculation that necessitates sacrifices. I can hear those sacrifices in the music. I’m looking forward to the cohesion we’ll have when the whole console is API.”