Greg Dixon of Aphek Studio has taken delivery of the first ASP8024 Heritage Edition console to be installed in Australia, describing it as “an incredibly well built console” which “sounds fantastic.”
Despite being in the throes of overhauling the control room and just before dismantling his old setup, Dixon ran a rough mix of the final song he was working on for a client through the 24-channel analogue desk from Audient.
“I was wanting to hear the bus comp and particularly Retro Iron circuits, so I ran it through an EFX input and back to ProTools. Retro Iron is great. Subtle as you’d expect, but certainly added a little something,” said Dixon. “The real surprise was the bus comp. I have an SSL clone that is a little better than the plugin versions, so I wasn’t expecting the Audient to be noticeably different to that. I was wrong. This comp is awesome. Really open and transparent.”
Since then, Dixon has removed all acoustic treatment at Aphek Studio, repainted, replaced the flooring and built some new racks to fit around the desk, which has a built-in patchbay and Dual Layer Control (DLC).
The Audient wasn’t the only desk in the running, initially. “I’d been considering older, ‘classic’ consoles, but there were too many issues with maintenance, heat and other limitations,” said Dixon. “Audient kept coming up as the best long-term solution for what I was wanting: a great set of preamps/EQ and lots of pre-fade AUX sends for headphone mixes. The addition of the built-in DLC to control the DAW from it is even better.”
My clients have been really happy and like the feeling of sitting behind a large format console”
– Greg Dixon, Aphek Studio
Three months after the Heritage arrived, Dixon’s studio renovations are all complete. “My clients have been really happy and like the feeling of sitting behind a large format console,” he remarked. “I also had a couple of engineers in who are used to working on an SSL. The studio they’d been using mainly tracked through some vintage Neve 1064 preamps and I believe they’ve been at least as happy with the sounds they’ve been able to get through the ASP8024-HE. I know they like that everything works as it should!”
Even now, the desk still manages to surprise him. “I’ve tried external summing in the past and didn’t feel it was any better than what I was getting with ProTools,” he concluded. “I wasn’t sure I’d be running mixes through the individual channels on this desk for analogue summing, but I tried some last week. I’m glad I did, there is definite improvement in depth and clarity.”