So Simon, tell us about the studios…
301 has two facilities in Australia. I spend most of my time inside the Sydney studios, which are housed in a compound that takes up basically a whole block in Sydney’s inner west. There’s not really much we cannot do there. We have a big rich and super flexible space in studio 1, a darker and punchier space in studio 2 and and open plan production space in studio 6. As well as my own little overdub space next to our mastering facility.
The second facility is a few hours north in the sunny beach town of Byron Bay, which has a beautiful old Heritage listed Neve console from the legendary Festival studios. All of which contain a heap of my favourite Neve equipment.
What sort of projects do you typically work on (genres etc)? Recent projects…
I find myself to be quite flexible, I think if you’re engaged by the music you naturally understand what needs to be done (or not done), though I definitely have my favourites. I’ve recently spent time in the studio with Movement, Nantes, Eleanor Dunlop and Panama – which as far as genre’s go, mostly lean toward alternative pop I guess.
Why did the studio choose the Neve 88R?
The 88R is a brilliant console, if I feel like being delicate,t’ll let me. If I feel like pushing it to the limit, it’ll let me. Compared to other consoles as soon as I lay the board out I can hear the Neve immediately and know exactly how I should drive it. That process can take some figuring out sometimes, it’s like the 88r is talking to you.
What are your favourite features of the console?
Amongst the endless flexibility the 88R has, my favourite feature is actually simple(isn) one… I really appreciate the channel compressors, they have a really controlled snap to them, very pleasing indeed. I tend to keep things on the console, I find it quick and effective and those just make it work.
The studio also houses loads of Neve outboard – including many 1073DPAs & 1073DPDs, 2254s, 8816s and AMS delays and reverbs – which is your favourite and how does it make a difference to your recordings?
I can answer this one with 4 numbers.. 1084. Those preamps just work, I haven’t found a source that doesn’t sound great through them. Knowing that I have something so reliable
and sweet sounding at my disposal makes pulling up a sound quick and easy, it really lets me hear the source rather than the chain.
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