William King, a founding member of funk/soul group The Commodores recently installed at Yamaha Steinberg NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System for his studio in Nashville. J Sound Services (JSS) completed the design and installation for King’s private studio.
With NUAGE as the studio’s centerpiece, King has a full hands-on production suite to use on many different type projects. While primarily used for songwriting, recording jingles, and soundtrack work, the new studio upgrades will provide him the quality needed to work on records, for both King and other artists.
The system consists of a NUAGE Master and NUAGE Fader along with a compact NUAGE workspace. “Mr. King wanted the flexibility of digital with the hands-on controls of an analog console like he had used for many years making records with The Commodores in Motown,” states Jason Spence, president of J Sound Services. “As a longtime Cubase user, the NUAGE system was the perfect choice for the project.”
The NUAGE Master is the heart of the system and offers full editing capabilities with ergonomic controls and a large touch screen multi function display, and the NUAGE Fader adds 16 channels of knobs, faders, and other assignable controls that integrate with Cubase. Both the Master and the Fader provide tactile control over most of the DAW functionality traditionally requiring a mouse and keyboard.
Processing for the studio is done via a new 2018 Apple Mac Mini with a 3.2 GHz Intel i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD running Cubase Pro 10. The Mac Mini is housed in a Sonnet Technologies xMac mini Server, a rack-mountable enclosure that expands the I/O capabilities of the Mac Mini.
“We selected the Dante protocol by Audinate to use for the audio network, not only for its integration with the NUAGE system, but for its stellar audio quality and low latency,” says Spence. A Yamaha AIC128-D Dante card is installed in the PCIe slot of the xMac mini server to handle I/O from the computer.
Inputs are handled by two Rupert Neve Designs RMP-D8s, along with a Dante-equipped 8-channel class-A microphone preamp with mastering-grade 24-bit 192kHz converters, for a total of 16 inputs. Outputs are handled by a Yamaha Ro8-D 8-channel Dante output interface that is used to feed King’s Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors and the headphone amplifier on the NUAGE Master.
Also on the Dante network are two Focusrite REDNET AM2 headphone amplifiers for cue mixes. All analog inputs and cue mix outputs were wired to a custom panel for ease of patching. In addition, RNDI direct boxes from Rupert Neve Designs were also incorporated; a RNDI-S stereo DI for King’s Korg Triton workstation and RNDI mono DIs for guitar, bass, and other instruments. “The RMP-D8 brings the beloved transformer sound Rupert Neve Designs is known for to a compact 2-rack space unit with Dante and AES outputs,” adds Spence.
All gear was housed in a desk custom-made by Sound Construction & Supply in Nashville based on the designs JSS developed for the space. “Mr. King had a hutch from his previous studio desk that he wanted to keep as part of his new studio setup,” notes Spence. “Sound Construction & Supply was able to incorporate the hutch into the new desk, including custom-matching the stain to make it appear as if the pieces had always gone together. They were also able to offer a quick turnaround on the custom desk, which was important to meet the project timeline.”
Spence says it was a privilege to work with King to revitalize his private studio. “We look forward to hearing the great music that Mr. King will continue to make with his new gear.”