Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M has chosen a 32-channel API Legacy AXS console for Studio 1 of its new, multi-room studio facility, meticulously designed and constructed over three years. The 17,000-square-foot facility provides the record label and its artists with eight recording studios, a soundstage and several digital content creation suites.
Perpetuating a long tradition of API soundboards at the A&M stable, the API AXS is fitted with 16 white vintage API 550A EQ modules (together with 16 modern 550As) reclaimed from an API console that previously resided in A&M's Studio C. This was one of two custom-colored API consoles purchased for A&M in the mid-1970s. Although the custom consoles are no longer owned by A&M, these modules stayed in the company's possession and they were sent to API to be renovated and installed in the new console, endowing the new studio with a sense of history and continuity. During this historic era at A&M, a wide range of artists recorded some of the most iconic albums of the period using these EQ modules.
"The white EQs from the A&M console were from the early 1970s and truly have the classic API sound," says IGA's VP/Head of Studio Operations, Ed Goodreau.
Goodreau worked as a recording engineer at A&M Studios from 1988 to 1992 and recalls working on Studio C's white API in 1991 to record some of Jakob Dylan's initial demos.
The studio credits the new AXS with having a classic sound, combined with modern functionality. "We love the console; it has a cleaner sound than some vintage consoles, but you can also get a vintage sound out of it, and it has a ton of headroom," Goodreau said. "We've complemented this console with some amazing vintage gear, microphones and everything you'd need to do a great tracking session."
The studio team of audio engineers quickly got up to speed working on the new console. "The automation was quick to learn and functions perfectly," Goodreau adds. "Installation was easy. During Covid, our techs commissioned the console, with API fielding questions over Zoom. The workflow is seamless and having the producer desk in the center adds to its functionality. It has a great, open sound; we are very happy with the console and the API technical support."
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to place a new API console into such a historic and highly regarded organization," adds API President Larry Droppa. "API consoles have figured prominently at A&M over the years, and we value that history as we continue to build the tools that help inspire the creative abilities of current and future producers, artists and musicians at IGA."