Sonastério, a new Brazilian residential facility jointly designed by João Diniz architects and Renato Cipriano of WSDG, has installed an SSL AWS 924 SuperAnalogue recording console.
The console choice had several influencing factors. Co-owner, producer and musician Bruno Martins spent time at the Musician's Institute in Los Angeles after making a break from his original career in finance to pursue the engineering, production and business aspects of music. In L.A. he worked with most console types currently in commercial use. "SSL was the easiest to work with, by far," he notes.
"Also, we wanted an analogue console, but we needed control of the digital domain—DAW control. I think the best thing I have found so far is the hybrid operation of the console. It’s so easy to flip the console to digital and work without touching the mouse or keyboard. Also, no other consoles we looked at could offer the local technical support and the wide freelance support. And the AWS is so easy to understand — very practical; any engineer or producer can step up to it and get working straight away."
Three of the partners, including Martins, are music production specialists, while one is focused on developing a video production aspect to the business. Martins says: "We think it's very important to unite music and video production—it makes sense for artists."
The main live room at Sonastério is about 750 sq. ft., with an additional three booths including a 129-sq.-ft. space large enough for drums or a brass section. The control room is just over 400 sq. ft. "It's a very big control room with lots of space," says Martins. "We also have a fantastic kitchen and chill-out area."
Sonastério, located in a mountainous area 30 minutes from the city of Belo Horizonte and near a state park, has been open for a short time. "We wanted to build a studio unlike any other. We want to have the artist escape the city life and relax and focus on the music," says Martins. "Clients who have visited have told me that our city deserves a place like this."