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Producer & performer Joel A. Nielsen installs new SSL AWS 948 in private studio

AWS 948 Enhances Creative Workflow for Tenderfoot Project

Jun 14, 2011

Joel A. Nielsen & AWS 948 @ Grendel's Lair

WAUSAU, WI – Producer/performer Joel A. Nielsen, a founding member of the new country influenced group Tenderfoot, recently installed the new Solid State Logic AWS 948 in his private home recording studio “Grendel’s Lair,” in Wisconsin. The goal of the upgrade was to bring the studio to the next level, graduating into more channels and greater flexibility, while offering Nielsen the possibility of expansion into larger productions in the future. Getting away from in-the-box production and mixing, the AWS provides Nielsen with SSL’s SuperAnalogue™ sound quality, integrated DAW control and up to 48 channels of mix capability.

“I had been working with Bill Denison on the Tenderfoot project and through Bill, I had my first experience with the AWS 948,” says Nielsen. “Bill had just installed the AWS in his private studio in Massachusetts, so the group convened there to put down some tracks. We gathered around to listen to the playback and the sound quality was simply amazing. With the old system, we would typically hear noise of some kind before the music would start, but not with the AWS. This crystal clear, loud playback with punchy bass hit me like a wall dripping with sonic goodness and it sold us on upgrading our studio with the AWS 948.”

The concept behind Tenderfoot involves what the group calls ‘tenderizing’ rock songs into country-ized productions along with recording new material written by its members. Sessions took place in Wisconsin at Nielsen’s studio and in Massachussetts at Denison’s studio. True to the modern methods of creating music, the band records tracks together as a group or in sections at either studio, while other times performances are recorded individually and shared via the Internet. Having both studios similarly equipped with the AWS 948 driving a Logic DAW brings consistency to the project.

“Tenderfoot is sort of a family affair with my wife Sarah on drums, Bill on guitar, mandolin and steel guitar, Bill’s wife Christine on keyboards and Mark Golden, hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, on guitar, while I provide most of the lead vocals and play guitar,” explains Nielsen. “With the physical distance between us, having both studios with an AWS 948 really simplifies the engineering and mixing chores. We now know that all our tracks will have SSL quality as the benchmark sound, saving on engineering time and thereby streamlining our creative process by taking technology concerns out of the creative loop.”

Beyond Tenderfoot, Joel and Sarah Nielsen have aspirations to begin producing other bands that are local to the Wisconsin area. The AWS 948 gives the studio more flexibility with greater channel count for mixing and, of course, the SSL name recognition. Another advantage Nielsen encountered was the personalized support the company provides.

“We purchased the console through Sonic Circus, so we were not dealing directly with SSL on the purchase,” states Nielsen. “When the console arrived, we received a call from SSL and they have been extremely supportive and helpful ever since. We really appreciate that the company stands behind its products. As we move forward with our expanded studio plans, we are confident that we made the right choice with the AWS 948. The sound and service are wonderful.”

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