Montréal, Canada - May 2015:
Many studios that welcome API into their workflow say that the unique sound and analog warmth play huge roles in their decision-making process. But when Montréal's Studio 270 brought home a 48-channel automated API Legacy Plus console, co-owners Francois Hamel and Robert Langois agree it was much more than a smart business move.
"I think the API Legacy saved us," Hamel says. The studio has been in business since 1987, but before they added the Legacy to 270's "great collection of outboard gear and microphones, and one of the best tracking rooms in Montreal," the owners began to notice a slow decline in business. Hamel believes that the tendency for artists to work at home or "in the box" on digital gear is drawing them away from studios that can't compete. But he also believes the Legacy Plus is what sets Studio 270 apart, and notes that once the Legacy was installed, "Business picked back up and has been sustained."
Hamel has noticed that the Legacy doesn't just draw artists into his studio, but it keeps them there as well. "A new client books a few days to track with the intention of taking the tracks home to mix. But we get a rough mix up on the Legacy, and the automation allows us to save that mix." Once the clients see how fast and efficient the process is — one that may take "twenty hours of clicking the mouse and tapping the keyboard" on a digital mixer, they "almost invariably" decide to keep working on the Legacy. "API delivers the sound they're desperately — and unsuccessfully — trying to simulate at home."
Studio 270's newest efforts include a record label for modern jazz artists, which, together with folk musicians, represent most of the studio's clientele. The label is called "The 270 Sessions," and artists work at a rapid-fire pace when producing for it. The artist spends three days tracking, one day editing, and three more days mixing on the Legacy Plus. Hamel says the musicians "go back to the basics. There's minimal opportunity for studio tricks. It has to be real musicians playing real songs really well. The API Legacy is perfect for it. The sound and the quickness of the workflow are inspiring. The result is more genuine and heartfelt than the same process spread over many months of clicking and dragging."