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Recording in analogue ISN’T more expensive, says Bobonne Records

It’s not all digital these days – some bands appreciate the challenge of analogue recording, says Marc Maes

“Staf was very helpful in getting the studio started,” comments Op de Beeck. “He’s a true Studer expert and assisted in calibrating the A80 – quite important because we want to have masters directly from tape.” (The first part of of this two-part feature is available here.)

Bobonne studios’ microphone collection, including Shure’s SM and SH series, Oktava, Electro-Voice, Neumann KU 100 and Sennheiser MD 421 mics, is topped by a vintage RCA Type 77-D ribbon microphone. “Rather than vintage, I would say [these mics are] ‘high-quality’,” says Gimenez. “The combination of microphones and reverbs urges our clients to make choices before the actual recording sessions start – not easy but the result is so much better.”

JBL 4312 nearfields, Yamaha NS-10s and ‘70s Auratone monitors complete Bobonne Records’ studio configuration. All of the cabling – some 800m altogether – was soldered and installed by the two audio engineers. The studio further offers an impressive backline and music inventory, their “pride and joy” ranging from 1960s Gibson and Fender guitars to 1930s gypsy guitars, Hammond and Fender Rhodes 88 MkI keyboards and Ampeg, Fender and Vox amplifiers.

Guido and Joan are aware that, for upcoming talent, recording in analogue is not evident – in the first months after the opening, the studio mainly attracted established bands such as folk rock trio Laïs, who came to record vocal sessions at Bobonne.

“The main prejudice we’re dealing with is that young bands think recording in analogue makes the whole much more expensive,” concludes Op de Beeck. “In that respect, artists like Jack White are the perfect advocates for analogue recording. He’s well known with the younger bands, and demonstrates that the complexity of his sound is perfectly captured on analogue equipment.”