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Dean Street Studios is early adopter of souped-up SSL console

test 16 February 2010

UK: Studio One at Dean Street Studios, London, has been equipped with a 48-channel Duality SE, writes David Davies. In a development that marks the first investment in the new SSL desk by a commercial recording facility in the UK capital, the Duality SE has replaced Studio One’s long-serving SSL AWS900.

According to Dean Street Studios’ director and manager, Jasmin Lee (pictured here with Dean Street’s resident Staffie, Ruby), the 24-track AWS900 was "not suitable for the large-scale mixing projects that this room is increasingly attracting". After thorough research, Lee’s business partner, Ben Roulston, selected the Duality SE on the basis that it is "great-sounding" and affords the necessary flexibility.

The desk has already been put through its paces during sessions for Marc Almond and Toploader, and Lee tells PSN-e that the feedback so far has been "very positive. Obviously, because it’s a fairly new console, older school producers tend to come in and look at it a little warily, but within half-an-hour they are in love with the desk."

Roulston adds: "You have got a lot of options as regards tracking and the new Split-Mode function, which has gone down well as a new take on getting rid of the small and large faders. Dynamics on every channel is a big step-up from the AWS, and it also has eight groups in the middle, which is very handy for mixing. The Total Recall function is pretty awesome, too."

The Duality is by no means the studio’s only recent purchase, however. It has recently acquired two new Bricasti M7 stereo reverb processors, as well as a Mellotron M4000T for the live room.

"One of our business partners, Keith Mahony, has been collecting really amazing vintage instruments and outboard, and he heard about an M4000T," says Roulston. "It was ordered about two years ago and we took delivery three weeks ago. It’s completely new – built from scratch – and instead of having three sounds it has 24."

Once the home of Tony Visconti’s Good Earth Studios, Dean Street reopened two years ago under new management. Graham Coxon and Carl Bar_t are among the other artists to have made recent use of a facility that – encouragingly in light of the the rather depressed studio market – appears to be going from strength to strength.

"We have five studios here, ranging from a basic Pro Tools room to Studio One with the Duality, and most of the rooms seem to be full pretty much all of the time. So I’m very happy with the way things are going!" concludes Lee.



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