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Legendary Ardent Studios features SSL Duality SE console for Studio C
Pristine audio quality breathes new life into sessions

Legendary Ardent Studios features SSL Duality SE console for Studio C

Pristine audio quality breathes new life into sessions

Jan 9, 2012

Legendary Ardent Studios features SSL Duality SE console for Studio C

MEMPHIS, TN – Ardent Studios, with over 70 gold and platinum albums and singles to its credit over its 45-year history, has installed a Solid State Logic Duality SE console in its newly remodelled Studio C. Ardent has recorded albums for everyone from Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Led Zeppelin to Three 6 Mafia, 3 Doors Down and Smashing Pumpkins, as well as sound tracks for the films Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan.

Replete with SSL’s signature SuperAnalogue™ sound quality, versatile VHD mic pres and “E” and “G” series EQ and dynamics on each channel, combined with an easy-to-use, powerful DAW controller integrated into the console surface, Duality is set to bring Ardent into its next era of successful recordings.

“Studio C needed to be brought into the current century, so we looked around at all the possibilities and came to the conclusion that the 48-channel Duality was exactly what we needed,” says John Fry, owner of Ardent Studios. “Duality gives us superior analogue audio quality through SSL’s signature SuperAnalogue™ circuitry and the engineers are just totally jazzed with the performance of the console. Duality can be super clean and faithful, yet it offers the possibility of adding second or third harmonic distortion to a track through the VHD drive circuitry. This capability gives us a wide sonic palette to work with right from the console.”

According to Fry, the integrated DAW controller is speeding up the workflow for each project by allowing the engineer to focus on the music, eliminating the distraction of going back and forth to a keyboard and mouse. The ease of use and sound quality of Duality is having a positive impact on the engineers, staff and clients alike.

“When mixing on the old console, I would push up the channel fader and automatically reach for the EQ,” says John Hampton, Grammy Award-winning engineer for Ardent Studios. “With Duality, I push a fader up and everything just sounds right, so now I can create a mix and fine tune, not fix. We had a group that was supposed to come in for two days for two songs. Once we got going, we completed five songs because the Duality simply gives us a great sound right from the start. It is an absolute delight to have the Duality. When I walk in the studio and see it, I just say, ‘Man, I like music again, it’s fun again.’”

“With Studio C, we did a complete acoustical overhaul of the room,” says Chris Jackson, technical director for Ardent Studios. “Sitting in that room and listening to any material through Duality is just amazing. What we have created is an acoustical environment proportionate to the quality of Duality and everything just sounds way better than ever.”

“The reaction to Duality has been absolutely great, with everyone associated with the sessions overflowing with compliments,” says Jody Stephens, studio manager for Ardent Studios. “Todd Agnew has been recording in Studio C with Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Ebersold and they say the console sounds incredible. We have a full range of analogue multi-track tape machines and we have Pro Tools®. Duality makes our tape machines sing and our DAW easy to use for capturing every nuance of a performance. I think those are two great reasons for the switch to Duality.”

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