And those values have helped it grow through the years to offer complementary skills including music publishing and licensing, live entertainment, events and a creative division as well as recording, mixing and post-production services.
When the time came to relocate to new premises in the city’s prestigious Naka-Meguro district, Syn applied that same ethos, taking the opportunity for a fundamental rethink of its technical, physical and virtual approach to music and multimedia.
Given the radical changes in music production over the past couple of decades, a primary objective was to bring in a new console designed to suit modern engineering and production techniques. Syn chose the Neve Genesys, purpose-designed to offer full analogue capability and DAW control with analogue summing at mixdown.
But the Genesys has other benefits besides giving engineers the option of using it as a classic inline console plus external outboard or in Pro Tools HD mix mode (or similar) – or indeed as a best-of-both-worlds combination of the two. Its economical layout has meant Syn saves valuable studio space by specifying a 32-frame, 24-fader Genesys (offering up to 48 input channels) to replace its large format Neve VX.
That – like the studio’s decision to reduce the size of its recording rooms – is all of a piece with the modern recording business, where technological advances mean there is much less emphasis on huge recording spaces. While Syn still records a lot of local musicians and has ‘an amazing collection of classic microphones’, it has also a been a pioneer of techniques such as ISDN codec recording since it first opened for business. Now greater optical speeds and FTP file sharing give Syn access to some of the best musicians and singers from around the world (many of whom have home studios), with final mixes taking place at the Tokyo studio.
‘Just last week, we recorded drums and guitar in LA, vocals in New Orleans and strings in Manchester, England, all for the same song,’ Wood says. ‘There is no way I could have brought those musicians to Japan to record with today’s budgets… and just think how much less our carbon footprint is by recording this way.’
Construction for the new facility – which opened for business in April 2009 – was by Klein Studio Ltd, with Neil Grant providing acoustic design for the recording booth and Syn contributing the aesthetics and the overall concept.
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