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Indiana's 77 Recording studio upgrades with API 1608 console

Adam Savage
Indiana's 77 Recording studio upgrades with API 1608 console

A 48-channel API 1608 console with 32 channels of automation – one of the largest 1608s manufactured to date – has been installed at 77 Recording.

In less than a decade, the studio has developed into a 3,500 square-foot facility in Evansville, Indiana, and recently hired Nashville recording, mixing, and mastering specialist Jimmy Dulin as its chief engineer.

A 24-track Sony MCI JH24 two-inch tape machine interlocks with Pro Tools HD via Endless Analog CLASP synchronisation, and the whole rig is now piloted by the API 1608 console.

“When I first started out, I was recording and mixing with little more than a Digi 002 and a computer,” said owner and recording engineer Brett Mulzer. “After adding some gear to the front end, I ventured outside the box with a summing mixer. I liked the results so well that I purchased a mid-sized analog desk, but ultimately its capabilities were limited and its automation was frustrating and of poor resolution.”

Mulzer explored his alternatives, and the API 1608 emerged as an obvious candidate. “I wanted a board that was geared toward rock, and API is legendary in that regard,” he continued. “API is especially well known for its drum sound, and drums are our forte at 77 Recording.

"The live room is huge and warm, and I really wanted to play to that strength. The API 1608 delivers on everything I had hoped for – a classic aggressive, punchy sound paired with a reliable, modern signal path and excellent automation.”

Mulzer expanded his stock 16-channel API 1608 with two 16-channel expanders. “I like having a fader for everything I record,” he said. In addition, he wanted a large count of high-quality preamps in order to accommodate the orchestras, choirs, and other large ensembles that frequent 77 Recording’s live room.

“Apart from the obvious improvement in sound quality and the ease of integrating outboard gear, mixing outside the box has a more subtle, but equally important benefit,” Mulzer revealed. “I find that when I’m mixing within the Pro Tools environment, I start to let the visuals guide my decisions. I start mixing with my eyes rather than my ears. In contrast, when I mix outside the box, my ears guide all my decisions, as they should.”

Acoustical design for the studio was carried out by Haverstick Designs.

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Tags: Studio, sony, api, pro tools, api 1608, endless analog, 77 recording, MCI JH24, Digidesign 002, haverstick designs

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