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Snap studio manager Marco Pasquariello sits before the studio’s rare 1972 Neve 5316 console fitted with Flying Faders and 16 channels of original ISA110 pre/eq’s

Pasquariello explains. “We knew that the gear would speak for itself, but the vibe of the room was just as important to us. We made sure that we ran more services and tie lines than we’d ever need and went to great lengths to make the room sound right. The result is a comfortable, spacious control room that engineers and producers love to work in.” Because it is a premium tracking space, musicians and producers commonly hire it out to record instruments such as drums, pianos and guitars. “We have a great selection of vintage amps, a Hammond organ, and a Bösendorfer Imperial grand that lived in Air Studio in the 80s,” Pasquariello states. “Our mic collection is second to none, including rare gems such as an original Telefunken Elam 251 and other sought after vintage tube mics such as Neumann U47/U67 KM56s, and an AKG C12. All of our instruments are in top condition, so our clients come here to use quality instruments and gear to capture their sound as purely as possible – and because we run a balanced power system, the noise floor is remarkably low, which is particularly important when working with older equipment.”

The studio’s live tracking room is fitted with wooden wall panels and solid oak flooring, which helps to define the rich and controlled sound of the room.

“Loads of engineers have had great results from taking ambient’s from the floor, particularly when tracking drums,” he says. “Engineers often find that they get great sounds with ease in there.

“Because we have tie lines throughout every room in the studio, we sometimes open up the doors to the live room and take ambient sounds from other parts of the building, which can give you a fantastic drum sound. It really seems to excite the engineers and bands and a lot of people come back just to do that.”

There was a great deal of thought and investment made during the installation of the entire studio to ensure the cleanest signal path possible while maintaining an extremely low noise floor. As such, high quality Van Damme cabling was used throughout the building, and an additional 24 lines

of Vovox cable, made from the purest raw materials were added to Studio One.

All of the ins and outs between the converters and the console, loudspeaker feeds and the two-track feeds utilise the Vovox cable as well. “It offers extremely low noise, has better transient response and appears to be more open top end to our ears. The philosophy was to maintain the purest signal path possible, and we are one of the very few studios to use the brand in the building’s infrastructure.” Pasquariello states.

“Because Studio One has tie lines to and from everywhere in the building, clients often use the whole facility as one giant multi-roomed recording space, allowing for ultimate flexibility and great audio separation. We can send audio and instrument feeds to and from pretty much anywhere in the building, which allows musicians to kick off their shoes and work wherever their mood takes them. “People really love the gear, the vibe of the place and the people. We’re minutes from Manor House tube station and can park up to five cars, with great access too. “Ultimately we’d love it if recordings made here are still enjoyed in 50-years time or more, knowing that in some way we’ve impacted a part of history. “We’ve built Snap at a time when so many other London studios are closing down and recording budgets are shrinking. Everyone involved in Snap is extremely passionate about what we do, and we are proud to have this place up and running and to be doing something a bit different.” >

THE LONDON SOUND LAB Snap’s Studio Two is fitted with an SSL AWS 900+ console, which is fully automated with Total Recall. It also provides 24 ins and outs on a Pro Tools HD rig with Lynx Aurora converters, and contains a smaller collection of quirky outboard including the same Neve and Rosser preamps on offer in Studio One. “The room also comes with an overdub booth, so it is a great room if someone just wants to come in and do a vocal or a bit of editing. We offer it as a self-drive room, but it is half the price of Studio one, and we can work out a deal if a client wants to book the studio out with both rooms,” Pasquariello comments. We work quick here and that

room is very well linked up to Studio One, so it can be used as an extension. To many people, the advantage of having the smaller room for edits and overdubs alongside the main room, particularly on long tracking sessions is a real luxury.” “The response that we’ve had from the day we opened has been fantastic.

audioPRO December/January 2010/11 39

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