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28/05/2003

High praise for SoundField in Oklahoma’s analogue heaven

Recording Engineer Ted Curtis’ new studio in Oklahoma, Upstairs Productions, is aimed at the city’s large Christian community.
Upstairs Productions - so named for its spiritual connotation and the fact it is on the second storey of Curtis’s house - is an impressive analogue, home-based studio.
“It's not your basic home studio,” said Curtis. “I'm one of the blessed few that has an Amek 9098i. Once we put that in as the benchmark we had to ensure that everything that goes in the signal chain was pristine, hence SoundField, GML, and so on. We built everything around the console.”
The SoundField SPS422B stereo and 5.1 surround microphone system, GML 8200 Parametric Equalizer and 8900 Dynamic Range Controller are all included in this analogue nirvana. Such a high-end, high-resolution analogue input signal chain is entirely appropriate because Upstairs Productions also houses what many consider the ultimate analogue console: a 72-input AMEK 9098i, designed by Rupert Neve.
Curtis added: “I wanted to be able to help Christian artists out on a local level, but we would also like to attract national projects.”
Curtis was one of the first to own a SoundField microphone system in the 80s at his former studio. Now, he has added SoundField's SPS422B stereo/surround mic system at his new studio.
He said: “They have come a long way with the new SoundField mics. They are much quieter and better sounding than before. Being able to change patterns and control width is a wonderful thing. If you have a good sounding room this mic will complement it to the fullest and recording in controllable stereo is a magnitude better than recording in stacked mono.”
“Recently I recorded handclaps and other ambient noises for a project. I varied the pattern/width each time I stacked the tracks. The outcome was downright eerie. It sounded so big and real. There was no way I could obtain these results with reverb or traditional miking techniques.”
Upstairs Productions features three sizeable recording rooms, ranging from a 'live' drum room to a more 'dead' vocal booth, including a ‘half-live’ room housing a Yamaha DC7 Grand Disklavier. "We did a Disklavier thing the other day,” Curtis reports, “We put the SoundField SPS422B mic about six feet from it, with the lid open. The detail was wonderful.”
(GB)
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