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Perfect Sound, a creative boutique recording enclave with studio and living quarters, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 900+ SE as its mission control console in place of a controller. The AWS 900+ SE brings together the extensive studio outboard resources and vintage microphones at Perfect Sound, while providing control for the resident DAW systems. It also presents familiar ergonomics for outside engineers, recall and fader automation, 5.1 surround capabilities and a greatly sought after sonic signature.
"When we named the studio Perfect Sound, we knew that we needed to provide our clients with a full range of sonic tools to handle any style of music," says Norm Kerner, co-owner of Perfect Sound. "We quickly realized that the controller for our Pro Toolsâ„¢ rig simply wasn't doing the kind of job we needed it to do to fulfill our mission. We opened the doors here with great outboard gear, super microphones, a wide variety of instruments and amps, and even a small vintage, re-built Neve console to accommodate all tastes in sound, but the AWS 900+ SE really was necessary to bring everything together."
The entire concept behind the studio complex at Perfect Sound is to provide a quiet, comfortable and stress-free location where the creative process can grow, yet still offer proximity to downtown Hollywood. Since the doors opened almost nine months ago, the studio has been booked solid with projects such as Band of Horses on Columbia, Sum 41 on Island and the Murderdolls on Roadrunner, but it needed to go to the next console level to improve the overall workflow.
"We quickly got to the point where we were very busy, but felt the need for something more in a console over a controller," says Jason Donaghy, studio engineer. "We looked at a bigger controller, what I call a glorified mouse, but the SSL really gave us the best of all worlds with regards to analogue with digital control of our Pro Tools and Logic systems. The AWS 900+ SE has all the bases covered from a technology standpoint, but the biggest thing for me was the comfort issue with the clients. Producers/engineers come in that are familiar with SSL 4000 Gs and 9000 Js and Ks, and they feel right at home on the AWS. On the other side, the engineers that are used to working in the box with a controller come in and they are comfortable as well."
Another problem solved by the AWS 900+ SE is the console's ability to literally become the technology core for Perfect Sound. "We had a lot of individual pieces performing different functions that we were now able to get rid of because the AWS 900+ SE functions as our mission control, as we call it," says Jake Rodenhouse, co-owner of Perfect Sound. "With the AWS, everything is right there in front of us. We no longer need to patch things together, or try to recall the settings because we now have one item that does it all. Clients can now select equipment from classic high-end outboard mic pres and dynamics to a vintage Ampex tube mixer, but using this gear does not interfere with the overall technical workflow. The AWS 900+ SE has really streamlined the way we need to work and we are very happy with our choice."