Kemado, which works with a wide variety of artists, chose the 1608 as part of its recent expansion, which included the creation of two new labels (Mexican Summer and Software), a brick-and-mortar record store, and a recording studio.
Founders Andrés Santo Domingo and Tom Clapp say that the studio has seen near continual use and offers clients over 1,000 square-feet of tracking space. Kemado’s new 1608 is housed in the larger of two separate control rooms.
Deciding what would replace the existing console became increasingly clear as the other options were analysed and rejected, explained Clapp: “We figured that if we were going to replace a classic vintage console, we had to replace it with something in the same respected sonic family. But at the same time, we wanted to avoid the near-constant servicing required of some older consoles.
"So we decided we wanted something new but still classic, which made the 1608 the perfect fit; it’s a classic console with a classic sound. Plus it’s designed to be in constant use, and the modular design ensures that it can be serviced when that time comes. The other options we looked at were not in the same sonic league with the 1608, nor were they built for the long haul.”
Clapp and his team installed the new console in just three days, and synched the 1608 into a fully-decked Pro Tools HD rig with 48in/48out, a Studer 827A tape machine, and a Studer A80 VU mix-down deck. And with so many engineers coming through the door, part of the 1608’s allure was its straightforward topology, signal flow and gain structure. “The 1608 definitely has a modern gain structure, in contrast to many of the choices we reviewed,” said Clapp. “I’ve worked with API gear before, and I love the fast transients and headroom.”
“We even tried 500-series modules from a range of high-end manufacturers to fill out the 1608’s API 500-Series slots, but we kept coming back to the API sound.”
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