Producer Noah Shain recently acquired an API 1608 console to record LA hard rock band Dead Sara for a forthcoming release on Epic Records.
The tracks will form the follow-up to the group’s eponymous self-release last year.
Shain, who has worked with the likes of Sonny Moore (Shrillex) and Atreyu, purchased the 1608 because it was, in his words, “the only console available with a small enough footprint and a big enough sound.”
Dead Sara were keen to adopt a laid back approach – just like they had done for the debut album, which was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Texas – while also taking it to a new level. “They didn’t want to work in a studio at all,” Shain revealed. “They just wanted to work in a house. I said, ‘OK, but if we’re going to work in a house, we’re going to do it right. I’m not bringing my laptop over to your buddy’s apartment.’
"In the end, we rented an 8,000-square-foot Malibu mansion for two months. All told, we paid about as much going that route as we would have paid going to any of the world-class LA studios that I tried to talk them into originally.”
Like four-time Grammy Award winning engineer Michael Brauer, Shain separately processes stems according to their role in the music. He uses eight passive busses and saturates signal on the other end with boutique gain make-up amps.
And as an API fan who had been considering a 1608 to complement his hybrid, bus-intensive mix style, Shain realised the sonic and logistic advantages of having the console for this particular job. “The 1608 is the perfect heart for that kind of system,” he said. “It’s small enough to make it easy, and I can still focus a lot on the computer for a truly hybrid workflow.”
With the above project now complete, Shain has moved the new 1608 into his three-room studio situated at Bedrock, a 120-room rehearsal space in LA's Echo Park neighbourhood. “Bedrock is a great place with a great community of musicians,” he added. “A lot of notable bands rehearse there. My door is open and a lot of people are going to see the new API 1608.”
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