The Rattle Room owner/engineer Jaron Luksa recently installed a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Hybrid Console/Controller as the centrepiece of the Los Angeles facility. The AWS 948 allows the studio to bridge the workflow gap between computer-based and live recordings to encourage musicians to use this creative, live space.
“I had good experiences with SSL consoles at Berklee School of Music where I was always taught to mix with your ears,” says Luksa. “In the age of recording to a laptop computer, people are now getting used to mixing with their eyes first. The AWS 948, with its excellent DAW controller, returns me to the turning-a-knob-and-listening-to-the-change days. With the AWS, I can start using my ear-to-think coordination to get the sound I need. This type of concentration is impossible to achieve with a mouse-based system.”
According to Luksa, the reasoning behind the AWS 948 selection was that the artists he has worked with over the years are beginning to get away from tracks comprised of sampled sounds knit together in a DAW program like Logic or Pro Tools. While the resulting DAW tracks make good music, the same music played live by musicians in a studio delivers a musical interaction that cannot be accomplished by sequencing.
“With the AWS, you get SSL’s extremely clean sound quality, which gives me high-end heaven, tight bass and punchy tracks,” explains Luksa. “The AWS doesn’t have some of the dirtier artefacts that other mic pres have, but if a client wants some dirt, I can go to outboard gear, or pull up a plug-in. While it’s really easy to dirty up your sound, it’s not easy to find equipment to do what the SSL does and that is deliver crystal clear audio. Everything always sounds great through the AWS.”
AWS gives Luksa the hybrid studio workflow he is looking for with a seamless transition between working in analogue and inside the DAW. “The thing that really drew me toward the AWS 948 is the ultimate blend of analogue workflow and DAW realities,” states Luksa. “I can’t believe other console designers haven’t thought this through, but with the flip of a button, I am jumping back into my DAW session to write automation, make adjustments, automate and then, flipping the button back to continue working in the analogue era. The AWS is the reason I can attract the best up-and-coming groups to The Rattle Room.”