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APRS board member Wes Maebe on working ‘inside the box’


Finger Food from the Sonic Cuisine


SO, CAN mixing in the box be as exciting as mixing on a large format console? The answer is very nearly, if you have the right gear to hand.


I must confess that I’m most at home behind a big analog board being fed by a 16 or 24-track two- inch tape machine. If it were up to me, I’d send all my clients to one of our amazing studios to record all the material, pick a mix room suitable for the job and master it at one of our many top facilities. But we live in a rapidly


Rooms: Control room, live room Consoles: Studer 902 Mics: Neumann, AKG, Røde, Electro Voice Outboard: Vintech, Manley, TL Audio, Tube Tech, Universal Audio Monitoring: Dynaudio, Adam


Kallaghan, French Riviera


IN BUSINESS since 2005, Kallaghan Studios is a full service (recording, mixing and mastering) studio located in the French Riviera at the foot of the alps, just 20 minutes drive from Nice airport. The studio building is situated right next to the Mediterranean Sea, giving it a highly desirable location for long periods of recording. For this reason, it also provides accommodation facilities, which include a swimming pool and garden. Kallaghan Studios was founded by 28- year-old Charles ‘Kallaghan’ Massabo, who decided to build his own facility after several years spent working in virtually every studio on the French Riviera, while touring with two bands as a musician. He initially used the studio to record his own metal and funk bands Sikh and Really Addictive Sound, but as external demand for use of the facility escalated, he eventually decided to turn it into a fully fledged commercial business. Kallaghan attracts bands from various European countries, however the studio also undertakes work for companies such as Madwaves and NewWave Labs.


Some of these projects have been quite substantial and the studio has been known to partner with other studios in the area, such as Solid Sound, Electric and Coxin Hell. Recent clients have included labels such as Sony ATV, Sony BMG, Sensory Records and Aperture Music. Another high-profile client was Google, which


commissioned the studio to produce music content for the Android system. Kallghan’s control


room is based around a rare Studer 902 console with 24 mic pres, 24 eqs and 16 compressors. At the


core is a Pro Tools HD system using Apogee


Rosetta 800 and Digidesign 192 converters. The studio also lays claim to a ‘massive’ collection of plugins. Over in the live room, empty- handed musos won’t be caught short for an instrument or amp, with a Mapex drum kit, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Telecaster, Mesa boogie dual rectifier and Ampeg SVT4 among numerous pieces. These are complemented by an assortment of pedals, including the Maxon eq, Radias Overdrive Red, DOD Gonkulator Modulator, Boss GT5 and Electro Harmonix Big Muff.


Telephone: Not Listed Web:www.myspace.com/kallaghanstudio


changing technological world and we have to deal with it. With the drastic change in the buying behaviour of our end users as our creative industry struggles to get paid for music, our clients can’t always rely on the framework and ‘safety net’ the record labels used to provide. This means that production budgets aren’t as large as they used to be, as we all know. With all these challenging budget cuts we find ourselves, more often than not, in a position where we’ll have to mix ‘inside the box’. All this will put you on an almost endless search for the best sounding plugins, the most flexible DAW and the most tactile control surface.


Some may disagree, but I think that nothing beats the feel of a fader or the response of a rotary controller. We don’t need to be convinced that mixing is an extremely creative and tactile process. Personally, I feel that using the mouse to make fader moves, and especially rotary functions such as compressor thresholds, takes away all the fun. Clicking a mouse and dragging it round the various controls seems to take a flash more time to complete the operation. Intensive mouse mixing can cause repetitive strain injury and it appears that most of us tend to draw in the automation parameters rather than making ‘human’ fades, taking


the human and creative touch out of our modern day mixes.


So why not put a touch of old school mixing into our digital world? There are plenty of controllers around. Check them out and find the one that works best with your software.


My Euphonix MC Mix and MC Control are permanently set up in the studio. The MC Mix offers you eight faders with pan control and, with a simple press of a button, you can access all your plugin parameters, making mixing in the box pretty much as tactile as in the analog world. The MC Control gives you an extra four faders to play with. And since Euphonix released Version 2,


One of the key upsides of controllers is that they take your eye off the screen and focus your ears on the music.


there is improved touch screen data access and full transport, zoom and scroll control, providing a lot more versatility.


On top of all this control, one


of the key upsides of all these wonderful DAW controllers is that they take your eyes away from the computer screens and encourage you to focus your ears on the task at hand.


But enough lecturing from the sonic chef. I know most of us know the feeling of a good fader, but this is mainly aimed at those who have grown up in the digital world, controlling everything via a mouse and staring at waveforms for hours.


Get out there, speak to your peers, try out the controllers, enjoy the feeling of having faders under your fingertips, mix your heart out and have some fun.


Wes Maebe is a multi-skilled engineer involved in all aspects of the studio and live sectors. While spending a great deal of time touring with artists such as Sting, he freely admits that his first love is is studio work and he is most at home either recording, mixing or mastering at his own facility or several top UK rooms. Recent clients have included Alexandra Burke.


www.audioprointernational.com audioPRO October 2010 47


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