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Cubo Estudio installs SSL Matrix in expanded production facility

“Creativity on my terms”

Jun 17, 2009

Juan Antonio Paez @ Cubo Estudio

Juan Antonio Paez is a hugely experienced engineer who has worked with many prominent Mexican Pop and Alternative bands, including Bastille and Villa Nova. Juan Antonio recently decided to upgrade his production rooms, and has installed a Matrix as the centre of his workflow. SSL caught up with him to find out why he decided that the Matrix was right for him.

SSL: Tell us a little about Cubo Estudio.
While I’ve always worked out of major studios, I’ve always had a home recording studio too. However, when I started to produce artists rather than just engineer sessions I felt it was time to build my own place. Cubo Estudio was originally a small home facility, and I would generally mix there but I always had to work in a much larger facility for tracking. With the success of the last Villa Nova album I was beginning to get more work which centred around not only mixing but also recording and production for bands. I decided that as I had reached my tenth anniversary in the industry (an achievement these days!) that it was time to own my own word class facility to work out of. The new Cubo Estudio now includes a main control room and two live rooms for tracking. The studio is well equipped to take on the full service for bands; production, tracking, mixing and mastering. It’s a very comfortable place to work for both myself and the artists I work with.

SSL: Why did you choose an SSL console for the studio?
When I worked in other studios I’ve worked on SSL consoles. They’re “the standard”. I’ve also spent a long time working inside the major DAWs, but I’ve always been drawn back to working with a console. I find it much more musical and frankly less cerebral than a computer. You seem to ultimately gravitate to a more “surgical” approach to production with a DAW and become very fixated on the little things. A console gives you a “top down” look at the whole production which I think moves the process forward more musically. For my dream setup at Cubo Estudio I really wanted to have the power to control my DAW, my outboard gear, and the console without interrupting my musical workflow. I thought about a used large-format SSL, but then the Matrix came out and it was like someone at SSL read my mind and gave me exactly what I was looking for.

SSL: Do you work with a lot of outboard?
I wanted to work with more outboard gear in the studio - especially SSL since I love the sound of SSL EQs and Dynamics. Starting with a Matrix at the centre of the new studio I was able to literally design my console to my specific needs; both musically and financially. I setup three X-Racks, one with 4000 E series EQs, one with 4000E series Dynamics, and the third with VHD pres. I chose these because I love the sound of the E and G consoles I’ve worked on and these are perfect reproductions of that sound.
I had existing outboard gear from my previous facility, and I also added an Alpha VHD 4 Channel Mic Pre unit - this box is such a “bang for the buck”! All this outboard is connected to the Matrix though the integrated router.

SSL: What DAWs do you work with?
I have Logic and Nuendo systems. It’s fantastic to simply switch between them and run my sessions through the control surface side of the Matrix. The assignable key command buttons on the Matrix instantly got me started on designing my own features for Logic and Nuendo. As I said, this allows me to create without interrupting my musical workflow.

SSL: How has the setup worked out for you?
As complex as the system seemed I was able to quickly understand and start working on major productions. Having the Matrix control all the outboard and DAWs meant that I didn’t have to move around the studio making notes of what I’m doing with my gear.
The thing I’m most happy about is the sound quality. I’m getting the same results at Cubo Estudio that I got in larger SSL rooms I’ve worked in. My artists love that they are working in a first class SSL-equipped facility, and as a producer and engineer Matrix has allowed me to expand my musical creativity on my terms. Thank you SSL!

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