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Fenix Studios choose Duality for their perfect studio

Studio owner Lars Hallbäck: “Duality has changed everything.”

Dec 17, 2009

Duality @ Fenix Recording Studios

VARNHEM, SWEDEN – While creating the perfect recording environment can be seen as a very subjective pursuit, there are some aspects that many would agree on as paramount for success. A variety of flexible recording spaces and an extensive range of microphones and instruments would be seen as essential. A superb collection of outboard gear and signal processors would greatly enhance creativity. But this attention to detail can be lost if compromises are made with one’s choice of recording console. For Lars Hallbäck, this made his choice clear – a Solid State Logic 72-channel Duality.

The realisation of this long-held dream is Fenix Recording Studios, situated midway between Stockholm and Gothenburg in rural Sweden. When Lars began work on Fenix he had but one goal – to create a no-compromise studio with perfect acoustics in a pleasant location in the countryside.

“Perhaps it was because I had worked in smaller studios for so long. I felt it was time to build the ultimate studio where people could bring their projects… either from scratch or with something they had worked on at other locations, a place where they could make use of our pristine acoustics.”

“In Varnhem, a small village, we found a house large enough for our needs. With ceilings 26 feet high we could build the perfect rooms for tracking and mixing, for both stereo and 5.1. The control room (50m2) is one of the few designed from the ground up to accommodate surround and stereo with a full size speaker setup. We wanted all the rooms to be spacious (the studios are 75 and 20m2).”

“The control room here at Fenix serves many live spaces, and our philosophy is to include the best of analogue with the best of digital. So that means Pro Tools HD, Studer A827 two-inch analogue tape recorder coupled with a vast selection of outboard gear and instruments. And naturally we wanted a really great sounding console that had the ability to control the DAW. So for me the choice was easy – a 72-channel Solid State Logic Duality had all of the features we where looking for.”

“In terms of our workflow, Duality has changed everything. We used to do everything inside the DAW, but now we have found the sonic superiority that’s possible using analogue EQ and compression, both within the console and from our range of outboard gear. We don’t use much in the way of plug-ins anymore, maybe just for pre-production or for a specific need.”

“Duality combines great analogue sound with extensive DAW control. And that’s before we even begin to consider the preamps with VHD [Variable Harmonic Drive] and the classic SSL EQ, compression and surround panning on every single channel. So on top of all that with Duality we also have the ability to move seamlessly from surround to stereo, and all within the analogue domain.”

“I also believe that no matter what format the end products come in – it could be surround DTS, Blue-ray, mp3 or whatever… the better the recording, the better the end result will be. And with Duality as the hub of our studio it’s easy to stand by our slogan: "we supply the tools, you supply the magic."

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