Bob Stander established Parcheesi Recording in Long Island in 2005, with an inherited Sound Workshop Series 40 desk loaded with Paul Galburt-designed Super EQs and API transformers. Later he added three API 3124+ four-channel mic preamps and a 2500 mix bus compressor. Having worked with API since encountering his first console almost 40 years ago, Stander is now owner of a 32-channel 1608 with API Final Touch moving fader automation. 

The purchase of the 32-channel API 1608 console is the latest chapter in a long relationship with API that’s accompanied Stander on his journey as a musician, engineer and producer.

Parcheesi‘The 1608 has that instant “record” sound, especially coupled with a 2500 mix bus compressor,’ he says. ‘It’s just got a beautiful full sound, smooth and aggressive at the same time. The mic preamps and EQs are super musical sounding, and the automation is simple to operate and makes recalling a mix a breeze. For me, it’s a dream come true, as API is my favourite-sounding console, hands down. And my clients love the sound.’

Stander embarked on his recording career at a young age, confiscating a Revere mono tape recorder from his classical musician parents at the age of five. By 11, he was recording his band’s rehearsals and gigs, persuading his father to buy him a pair of Shure mics so he could record in stereo. Thus began an illustrious career both in front of and behind the mixing console…

API entered his orbit around 1981: ‘I went to Bernard Fox’s new room in Manhattan to apply for an engineering position, and I’ll never forget the sound I heard in that control room that day,’ he recalls. ‘The desk looked huge and they were tracking a Salsa group, I remember thinking, my god, I’ve never heard bass like that. That was the API bottom that I love, always big, tight and just right.’

Although he didn’t get the job, Stander worked on the same API desk every day for ten years following a move back to New York in early 1990 to become the chief engineer of Avalon Studios in Queens. The vintage console – refurbished in white with 954C EQs – was purchased on his recommendation by studio owner, Bill Ricciardi.

‘That’s really where I learned the most about the API sound,’ Stander says. ‘It also helped being a huge Zappa fan and knowing some his recordings were done on API consoles. We had that API desk from 1991 until we unfortunately closed in 2001.’ This 40-input API had originally belonged to Wally Heider’s Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, where it was used for iconic recordings of bands including Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, as well as Joe Satriani’s first three albums with John Cuniberti engineering.

Prior to opening Parcheesi Recording, Stander spent time at Applewild Farm in the Hamptons where owner Larry Schmid filled the studio with API mic preamps and EQs. ‘After recording on them for close to ten years by now, this had become my sound,’ he says. Ownership of the new 1608 has made Bob’s ties with API still stronger.

As for many, the Covid-19 lockdown has proved to be an inspirational time for Stander: ‘I’m grateful to have been working right through with quite a few projects with my collaborators, whom I’m proud to call friends,’ he says. ‘I’ve finished mixing and mastering Ricky Byrd’s third album that we coproduced, and started a jazz album, working remotely with everyone recording their parts at home.

‘I’m finishing up a new blues CD, and I’ve been using the Listento by Audiomovers, which allows the client or whole band to listen at home while I play parts, overdub and or mix from my studio, and stream it in 16-to-32-bit audio, with 0.1ms of latency. I haven’t slowed down like I thought I would. It is strange not having anyone here, but it’s also been a peaceful working environment.’

More: www.APIaudio.com

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