What is it and why do I need it?
A GOLD-RUSH FOR ANALOG WARMTH.
Analog Warmth is a term that is being used more and more often in this age of ever more advancing digital power. This is the indescribable magic and character added to music when recording and processing the sound with analog gear.
There is a reason why vinyl is now making a comeback and why this vintage technology is becoming popular again in times of unbelievable computing power. There is a reason why magnetic tape has not disappeared and why new tape engineers are being trained. It is the same reason why large high-end studios like ours are still relying on huge super expensive analog desks and analog processors like vintage EQs and compressors. This equipment is incredibly expensive and hard to maintain yet it is still the holy grail of recording and mixing. For example, a single Fairchild compressor can cost £60,000, while its plugin rivals can go as low as £60, yet the top studios around the world still rely on the hardware units.
These old units were built in times when technology had many limitations. They are noisy, unreliable and full of imperfections. These imperfections though hold the answer. They are the magic dust on top of the music. They are the glue that makes a song "sound like a record".
Some of the most expensive and sophisticated software plugins nowadays are emulations of old vintage analog gear. Take a look at any of the top plugin manufacturers like Universal Audio and Waves and you'll see a pattern, which can not be ignored. They are trying to emulate the noise, the hiss, the warmth and the characters of these old units for a reason!
Have a listen at an old Neve 1073 pre-amp and you'll get what I mean. There is a certain thickness, depth, warmth and character added to the music. It is almost 3D sounding. Regardless how advanced software technology has become - this is still something that can not be recreated at a 100%.
Furthermore, the issue with digital recreations is that they all sound the same. For example, if I add 15 instances of a certain vintage compressor plugin on a mix, all 15 of them will sound exactly the same. The magic of vintage gear though is in its imperfections and inconsistencies. Every single channel of our SSL desk is slightly different. Every single one has a slightly different character and impacts the sound differently. When a mix is spread on the whole console, the accumulative effect of all those inconsistencies is what adds that mojo that we are all chasing.
WHY DO YOU NEED IT ?
In an age of incredibly capable bedroom producers, engineers and software the gap between demos and professional-sounding records is shrinking. Advancements in modern technology have allowed the creation of thousands of self-made semi-engineers and amateur producers. More and more artists are recording and mixing their own music with almost the same software and samples. YES - the overall quality of demos has increased monumentally, but as a drawback it is becoming harder and harder to stand out from the crowd.
The sheer power of super expensive analog desks and other high-end equipment in conjunction with the people who know how to use it is often what can give you the last 5-10% of your record. This last step is what often separates the amateur productions from the tracks played on the radio. These last 5-10% is what can make your music stand out!
THE ANALOG SIDE OF HYBRID MIXING.
If you want your sound infused with the analog warmth, thickness and depth of our legendary SSL desk you can take advantage of my Hybrid and Hybrid Extra mixing services.
At The Friary Studios we have a wide selection of high-end analog processors, but the crown jewel of our studios is the legendary 48-channel SSL G-series desk. This very same console was used first in Olympic Studios (Barnes) during 1985-95 and was later on used in the Milo Studio during the late 90s and early 00s. Our desk has recorded and mixed countless legendary artists like:
Prince, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Robert Plant, Bjork, Lion King (soundtrack)
Today this kind of equipment and facilities are available only to signed artists and bands with large budgets. The every-day emerging artists and unsigned bands often have no access to this level of high-end equipment. Most online mixing services are made in bedrooms and the engineers who have desks like our SSL charge a minimum of £400 per song and don't offer their services online.
This is where my Hybrid & Hybrid Extra mixing services come into play! You can have a taste of greatness for a fraction of the cost.