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AFTER THE FACT: Red Fern Recordings Celebrates One Year with Their 1608

Since the installation of his 1608 at Red Fern Recordings last fall, owner Hunt Hearin credits the console with speeding up his production by streamlining his workflow. "In tracking with the 1608, we're able to achieve a polished sound much quicker than before; everything is at your fingertips." Actually, the 1608 has been such a positive element that Hearin is already planning to more than double his API collection as soon as possible: "We're looking forward to adding an expander to studio A," says Hearin, "and I'd love to put a twin 1608 in Studio B, too."

While studying at Berklee just four years ago, Hearin discovered what he calls his "first quality preamps" in the 512cs. He purchased a pair of his own 512cs while still at school, and through the years has continued adding API to his gear list. After graduating in 2012, Hearin added two more 512s and eventually the 1608 to Red Fern. The console "maintains those tonal characteristics that I've come to love from API", notes Hearin. The upgrade from modules to console didn't take a lot of consideration: "I've always been a fan of the API sound, so the choice was natural. The console has so much of the API ergonomics and 'cool factor' that make it a joy to use, even to someone who's not familiar with it."

One of the most important elements of the upgrade for Hearin is the added flexibility, which Hearin reports was definitely needed. As a Nashville studio, their emphasis is on recording country artists but Red Fern also works in metal, jazz, Americana, Contemporary Christian, and funk genres. Hearin says that the 1608 has risen to every challenge put to it, both in tracking and mixing sessions. "I wanted a console that was flexible in function, would serve the needs of our facility, and would attract customers. With the 1608, I don't have to compromise."