It took awhile to organize, but we finally had the first Rarefied Recording Workshop last weekend. We had 6 participants and had a blast recording/mixing a song for Matt Fowler (musician, music-teacher, and engineer/producer/studio owner in his own-right. See www.peregrinemusic.com ). The teachers were Brian Scheuble (http://brianscheuble.com) and Rarefied owner/chief engineer, Roy Silverstein. Day one was spent recording drums and bass. Day two was all about acoustic/electric guitar, piano/keys, and vocals. Day three was all about mixing with half of the day spent mixing Matt’s song and the other listening to mixes from the participants and offering feedback/advice.
We plan to do more of these and mix it up with some different focuses. So stay tuned and get in touch if you’re interested!
Photos by Ed Lucas:
I’m excited to announce that Rarefied has acquired a brand new mixing console. Say hello to our 32 channel AMS-Neve Genesys! It’s housed in a beautiful custom desk made by Tony Brett of Brett Acoustics (Tony did all the interior build out of the studio). The desk features a wonderful center section for computing purposes (monitor, keyboard, mouse). This keeps the engineer in the sweet spot for all of the mundane Pro Tools tasks that are inevitable in today’s workflow. You can see in the picture one large ultra-wide monitor and then another small screen embedded into the desk. The large screen is for Pro Tools and general computing needs. The small screen is actually a dedicated screen for the Genesys computer. Yes, it has a built in computer! Very fancy…
The Genesys is a giant upgrade from the Toft ATB, which was nice, but admittedly the bottleneck of quality in the studio. The Neve not only brings the famous sonics of the Neve brand, but also a host of modern features that will become very useful engineering tools. Although the Genesys is an analog console it actually employs digital control for most of the board functions. This allows for advanced features like Total Recall to be possible. Total Recall means that the board’s state can be saved and recalled at a later time with little effort. Prior to this I had to painstakingly write down the position of every fader, knob, and switch on the Toft if I wanted to recall a mix or tracking session. It was a time consuming process that was definitely prone to human error either on the documentation side or at the point of actually doing the recall. Things will be a lot swifter and accurate with the Neve!
Every mic pre is a 1073 style with transformer. Half of the console has a Neve 1084 type 3 band equalizer while the other half has a Neve 88RS style 4 band (the 88RS is AMS-Neve’s flagship console). Each channel has two inserts which can be moved between the recording path and monitor path of the console. The EQ can also be moved between the paths and ordered before or after the inserts. There are 4 mono and two stereo aux sends, 8 sub-groups, and 4 stereo reverb returns with a cool “width” feature to widen the stereo image of the reverb. A secondary set of ins and out allow for signal to be sent to our tape machine instead of our digital converters at the flip of a switch.
Besides Total Recall the board also has flying fader automation and a mode where the console can act as a control surface for Pro Tools.
Integrating this new board into the studio was a giant task. It involved moving the patchbays to the credenza and the converters to a new side table rack next to the couch. Many many thanks to my wiring guy, Thom Canova, who planned things out to re-use as much cable from the prior build as possible. And also tons of gratitude to the many volunteers who spent hours soldering and slinging cable- Bill Cosenza, Fabian Ortega, his brother Eddie and co-worker Anthony, Ramiro Cazares Jr, and Scott Lehman. It still literally took pulling an all-nighter to get things done in time for the first session on the books, but we did it!
For Rarefied this is a huge deal, but it’s also worth noting that for San Diego this is kind of a big deal. As of right now, the only Neve consoles I know of that you can work on down here are the 10 channel side car at Studio West and a Neve that’s part of the mobile recording truck known as Le Mobile (so not really even a studio you can go to). So as far as full sized Neve consoles to track or mix on, Rarefied seems to be it for San Diego. Come and get your Neve on!