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Studio Apollo installs worlds first SSL Duality 24

Volodia installs world’s first 24-channel Duality: “It was the only ‘must-have’ choice for me!”

Feb 9, 2009

Duality 24 @ Studio Apollo, France

SURESNES, PARIS: It was back in January 2006 that Volodia opened Studio Apollo in Suresnes, the Paris district located a mere 10 minutes west of the iconic Eiffel Tower in what is quite possibly Europe’s most glamorous capital.

Volodia is resident engineer, producer and indeed the owner of Studio Apollo, but this former musician who first rose to prominence as bass player and vocalist also fostered a keen interest in the technical aspects of music recording – an interest that would steer him toward an engineering career at the legendary Pathé organisation.

At Pathé, Volodia learned his craft on an SL 4000E, and it wasn’t long before his technical skill grew to match his artistic sensibilities. Before long he was drafted in to work on a variety of projects – notable French singers such as Pascal Obispo, Cristophe Maé and Dany Brillant, to name but a few, have all been guided by Volodia’s expertise. Such proficiency also saw him drafted in for a stint on the remarkable musical comedy ‘The 10 Commandments’.

It’s perhaps because of his Pathé experience that Volodia pays a great deal of attention to the quality of the recording path, and as a consequence Studio Apollo comes well equipped with a wide selection of high end microphones and racks of coveted analogue gear that have been instrumental in capturing such great recordings. Add Volodia’s favoured DAW solution and a proprietary controller to the mix and you have all the ingredients an accomplished commercial studio environment confers on a project.

Or so Volodia thought. With the increasing demands of 5.1 mixing, he started to hit serious limitations when using just the DAW approach. This stumbling block saw him add analogue summing mixers to his set-up to deal with the 5.1 mixes, but despite the obvious sonic benefits that summing mixers bring, Volodia also began to apply outboard EQ to his projects. And after all this, it still it didn’t give him the sonic edge he craved. Volodia came to the conclusion that it was time to invest in a real console, as he’s happy to explain…

“The more I was working on mixes, the more bulky the DAW approach was becoming, especially with 5.1 where plug-ins aren’t a particularly satisfactory solution. In the analogue domain, however, I was able to get the results I wanted much more easily. And then things became clear to me – I had to make the move to an analogue console.”

“But that’s not the only reason. Even if I’m using Studio Apollo for my own productions it’s a commercial facility, and I’ve been under pressure for a while now to re-equip the control room with an analogue console – as much for the enhanced recording and tracking as for full mixing capabilities.”

“But then on the other hand I wasn’t prepared to drop some of the advantages I had grown used to when working in the digital domain with the DAW and its controller – especially the advantages of flexibility and speed of operation.”

“Enter SSL’s Duality, with its bullet-proof DAW control, rapid recall, super-fast operation, plus, of course, that well-established sonic signature. Duality gives me a combination of the traditional analogue signal path coupled to innovative digital technology. Consequently it was really the only ‘must-have’ choice for me!”

“And when I also discovered the beauty of VHD [Variable Harmonic Drive]… well, I just couldn’t wait any longer, I just had to get one! The VHD is an incredible tool for differentiating sounds from each other without having to reach for outboard gear. It can also add a lot of personality to a particular sound. After applying VHD I’ll usually EQ the distorted signal. The result? Greatly improved sonics. I’ve always loved the SSL sound, but with Duality, Solid State Logic is now offering a much larger variety of sound, and not just the ones that anyone who is involved in mixing has gotten used to.”

Philippe Guerinet, SSL’s International Sales Director, added: “Volodia is well respected as one of the best mixers in France. For years we’ve been having discussions about ‘sound’, and the various solutions available from SSL… from the 4000 and the 9000 to the AWS 900+ and, of course, the Duality.”

“With Duality, for the very first time you have a console that combines the best bits from many previous SSL solutions into one. We are very proud that Volodia has replaced a lot of his outboard – and, of course, his previous console – with a Duality. Now we’re looking forward to hearing his next productions!”

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