In a recent interview with Mix magazine, Kent Bruce, the Chief Engineer at the historic Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS, discussed the studio's ability to persist through difficult times. Apart from operating in an era when classic studios are often torn down or repurposed, in April of 2011, the studio was devastated by a tornado that left it in shambles. Suddenly a studio with so much history, including recording hits like "Mr. Big Stuff" and "Groove Me," and artists like Paul Simon and Lucinda Williams, was faced with a decision to rebuild or fade away.
Ever the persistent force in the recording industry, Malaco chose to rebuild. Before Malaco could start designing and constructing the new studio, they first had to rescue what they could of their prized analog gear that gave the studio its signature sound, including a 32-channel 1995 Legacy console. After the tornado hit, Bruce wrapped the console in plastic to protect it from water damage. Vintage King's Rich Hunt came to help salvage the gear, and was able to help Malaco dry the equipment and fully align and recommission the studio's Legacy console.
"We got it all back together and it was great," Hunt says. "It didn't really get any physical damage at all. The API has that warm sound that really lends itself to rock, R&B and blues music."
API is pleased to see the great Malaco Studios up and running again with the Legacy console at the helm of their operation. We're looking forward to seeing more historic things from Malaco in the years to come.