77 Recording owner, Brett Mulzer, with Jimmy Dulin

One of the largest API 1608 analogue consoles yet manufactured has been installed at 77 Recording in Evansville, Indiana.

It has taken 77 Recording less than a decade to graduate from ‘in-the-box’ basement rig to world-class facility. The facility’s live rooms are served by a hybrid analogue/digital signal path – a 24-track Sony MCI JH24 2-inch tape machine interlocks with Pro Tools HD via Endless Analog Clasp synchronisation, and the rig is now piloted by a 48-channel API 1608 analogue console with 32 channels of automation.

Occupying 3,500-sq-ft, the studio draws clients from a growing catchment, and has recently recruites Nashville recording, mixing, and mastering engineer Jimmy Dulin as its chief engineer.

‘When I first started out, I was recording and mixing with little more than a Digi 002 and a computer,’ says owner/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 analogue desk, but ultimately its capabilities were limited and its automation was frustrating and of poor resolution.’

Mulzer explored his options and chose the API 1608: ‘I wanted a board that was geared toward rock, and API is legendary in that regard,’ he says. ‘API is especially well known for its drum sound, and drums are our forté 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 because he wants to be able to mix down without having to make submixes in Pro Tools.

‘I like having a fader for everything I record,’ he explains. In addition, he wanted a large complement 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,’ he says. ‘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.’

To complement the API 1608, 77 Recording has a wealth of outboard gear, including several 500-series modules – API 525 compressors, API 550a three-band EQs, and API 550b four-band EQs – situated within the console’s 500-series expansion bay. Its acoustic design was by Haverstick Designs.

More: www.77recording.com
More: www.apiaudio.com

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