AWS Replaces Two Consoles
MINNEAPOLIS, MN â€“ Wild Sound Recording Studios recently installed a Solid State Logic AWS 900+ SE console to upgrade the sonic signature and workflow of its control room. Wild Sound specializes in high level acoustic recording of classical, folk, ethnic and jazz performances and was using an aging analogue console coupled with a DAW controller. The AWS 900+ SE allows Wild Sound to have the best of both worlds by delivering sterling sound quality, internal summing flexibility and integrated DAW control.
â€œWe try to make ourselves the best place to come to record things that actually produce acoustic sound so we own a wide variety of classic outboard mic pres, dynamics units and great microphones,â€? says Matthew Zimmerman, owner of Wild Sound. â€œIn the past, we would patch together our outboard units to create a high level microphone input to capture to Pro Tools. We really needed to combine the DAW control with the analog console in one desk to improve our workflow. The AWS is the only console out there that really adequately does those two things so it was absolutely perfect for what we do.â€?
Wild Sound is comprised of one control room servicing one large and three smaller studio rooms. The AWS 900+ SE has had a giant impact on the workflow at Wild Sound because the console is used not only to track and control Pro Tools, but is also used for mixing, replacing the DAW control surface.
â€œI had been doing my work mixing in the box and I never achieved the results that I knew were possible,â€? explains Zimmerman. â€œBy using the summing system in the AWS and the analog workflow for my mixes, I am able to create the sounds that I experienced in the classic days of large format consoles. My mixes have clarity and depth. Iâ€™m just achieving superior results with this hybridized digital control/analogue set up over mixing with the controller.â€?
Beyond consolidating the workflow for Wild Sound, the intrinsic sound quality of the AWS 900+ SE sets a high benchmark for all recordings, obviating the strong reliance on outboard mic pres and equalizers. The Total Recall automation also enhances the workflow through the simple recalling of console settings to revisit a project. This was not possible by constantly relying on outboard gear.
â€œI find that Iâ€™m using my outboard very sparingly and in very targeted and specific activities now that we have the AWS,â€? states Zimmerman. â€œI just did a bluegrass record where I used only the AWS with no outboard gear and it sounded great. While I love the desk and I love the sound of the mic pres, the total recall function is kind of mind bending. In the past I would be documenting all my outboard settings for, say, a drum set. This took a huge amount of time at the end of a session and resetting that up was difficult at best. With the AWS, I have presets now that Iâ€™ve saved for specific drum sets. Things that were painstaking in the past are almost fun now in comparison.â€?
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