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API 1608 Console Lands in Strange Weather

Brooklyn, New York - Dec. 2008:
Strange Weather, a new one-room music studio in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood, has installed a 32-input API 1608 discrete analog recording console. The studio is owned and operated by engineer, producer and musician Marc Alan Goodman in partnership with Joel Hamilton and Tony Maimone, co-owners of the renowned Studio G located just a short walk away in nearby Williamsburg.

"Essentially it's a B room for the studio I work out of - Studio G," explains Goodman, who has worked with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Soulive, Michel Gondry, Talib Kweli and Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog among many others, and as a musician performs with illuminea, Model Barbers, The Book of Knots, Imaginary Johnny and Dark Room. "Joel, Tony and I decided it was time to find somewhere to go work when one of us is in Studio G and the other two are sitting around twiddling their thumbs."

Goodman recounts that a number of factors drew him to the console, which he first saw at AES, including the fact that the API 1608 incorporates the company's highly-regarded 2520 circuitry. "When I went looking around for new desks, trying out different things, the API was the only one that didn't feel like a toy. It has so many channels in such a small format, and it's a classic design that hasn't been messed with. It didn't hurt that they've been using the same design for their classic line amps since they first built them. They haven't changed them," he says.

"At Studio G we have an old vintage board, and it's an amazing, beautiful board. However, dealing with it has its own set of issues," Goodman continues. "We talked for a while about getting something that was a different flavor, as well as being solid right off the bat. I'm a big fan of plenty of people who have worked on APIs and the records that have been made on API consoles, so I wanted to have that flavor available when sitting down to mix something."

The 1608 also offered practical advantages, he notes: "It does have pretty intense routing capabilities. On top of that, I liked the way that it interfaces. Everything is just going to D-sub bays. If I ever needed to move that studio I could pack it up and move it and have it set up somewhere else in two days."

Goodman purchased the 1608 through Sonic Circus, a dealer based in New England. "Sonic Circus has been so great to us," he says. "They sold us the console in Studio G last year and the API for Strange Weather. They helped us get it quickly and have always taken very good care of us. We have a great relationship with those guys."

Now that the new studio is up and running the owners are letting clients know it is available. Goodman reports that he has already had some opportunities to work in the room. "I tracked a bunch of the new Jolie Holland record for ANTI. Shahzad Ismaily was producing it, and Joel mixed most of it and tracked a little bit. I tracked a pretty big chunk of it, some of it at Strange Weather, and mixed one of the songs over there. It turned out great. I'm really excited for that album to come out. I think it's going to be her best so far."

From their choices of mixing consoles it's obvious that the studio owners place great importance on analog circuitry and, indeed, both Studio G and Strange Weather feature a wide variety of vintage microphones and classic analog outboard processing equipment, as well as a large selection of guitar amplifiers and instruments. Although Studio G houses Studer and Otari analog tape machines, the two studios typically record to Pro Tools|HD for ease of project transfer between rooms. "However," says Goodman, "I've been working in Pro Tools for ten years now and never have felt good staying in the box. There's something about being able to break everything out and have every sound have its own individual line amp, even without EQ, even without faders. Just a summing buss, with the line amp and the transformers in line, is such a big deal."

The standard 1608 includes a dozen 550A three-band and four 560 ten-band graphic EQ modules in the penthouse section with space available for additional modules