Legacy Studios is a facility in Holland that believes strongly in the ‘best-of-both-worlds’ principle, which was the major motivation behind its recent renovation, combining an Icon D-control/Pro Tools 8 HD system, classic analogue outboard, and vintage microphones both for recording and mixing.
This enables the studio to insert 32 channels of analogue outboard into its Pro Tools system in a bid to generate a warmer sound; and to make life easier for visiting engineers and producers who might want to add their recording and mixing equipment to the set-up.
The studio has excellent acoustics thanks to its huge 1,450 square foot live room, which is also air conditioned; and re-opened its doors just a couple of weeks ago. Studio owner Patrick ter Wee says a shortage of analogue mixers led to the facility investing in new HD convertors; and that it’s made a big difference to functionality as everything can now be used at the same time.
“We used to have eight inserts – we were mixing sixteen – that was with the Aviom system; so we were definitely limited. But now we have those plus the extra 32 using the new HD system,” he explains. “It’s now very easy to select any analogue device and put it through Pro Tools; an analogue compressor gives real life compared to the completely different sound you get out of a plug-in.”
Studio engineer Joram Pinxteren says that one piece of kit that really stands out is a recently acquired Universal Audio 175 compressor.
“We already had one UA175 and a second one came up for sale on eBay, but didn’t reach its reserve, so we contacted the seller and came to an agreement,” explains Pinxteren. “Unbeknown to us, the seller was US producer Rich Costey; and that unit we now have has had a huge list of people sing through it, including Barbara Streisand.”
Pinxteren also insists that because the studio equipment is now of a higher quality, he is able to get better performances from the musicians.
“I did a bass recording a few days ago with some musicians that regularly play here on a Sunday; and the gear made a huge difference,” he explains. “When you have good gear, people start to play a little differently – and better; they react on the sound that they hear.”
The classic mic inventory at Legacy includes a host of Neumanns (U 47, U 67, U 87, and KM 187); and some AKGs including the popular C 414.
“Using iconic mics and devices like the UA175 has definitely improved our client base,” adds Pinxteren. “We recently had Guido Aalbers come into the studio, who is now a regular visitor; and we have attracted one client who normally travels to Belgium to find the right facility - that's because we now have competitive equipment."