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AKRON, OHIO – MAY 2008: Born of a minimalist aesthetic that values quality and a strong sonic personality over gadgetry, Akron Analog is the newly-built project studio of The Black Keys front-man, Dan Auerbach.
Inspired to follow in the old-school, small-room, acoustically-correct tradition pioneered by Sun Records and their ilk, Auerbach hired renowned engineer/producer-cum-acoustician Mark Neil, who famously designed London’s Toe Rag Studios (The White Stripes). Auerbach has populated his impeccable new studio with a collection of the choicest gear, including a brand new API 1608 fully-discrete analog console.
“I’m trying to go back to a time when people actually used the preamps on the console,” laughed Auerbach. “The studio is really stripped down compared to a typical modern studio, but all of the essentials are covered by the very best analog gear in the world – Neumann mics, Pultec analog processors, Studer tape machines, that sort of thing. I needed a fully functional console that would fit into a small space and deliver a beautiful analog sound.”
Having originally helped define the sound that Auerbach was now trying to recreate, API was a natural choice. When he heard about the small footprint but expansive feature set of the all-new API 1608, he knew it was the perfect fit both physically and sonically. The API 1608 incorporates the company’s discrete electronics topology and is built to the same exacting standards as the flagship Vision and Legacy Series consoles. The standard 1608, with sixteen input channels, eight buses, eight aux sends, eight reverb returns and full center section facilities, includes a dozen 550A three-band equalizers and four 560 ten-band graphic EQ modules with space available for eight additional 500 Series modules.
Auerbach fell in love with the new console on breaks from his demanding touring schedule and has worked with it every day since the tour’s end. Apart from his own music, he’s excited to start recording the bands that he loves at Akron Analog (on an invitation-only basis!).
The API 1608 incorporates the company’s discrete electronics topology and is built to the same exacting standards as the flagship Vision and Legacy Series consoles, the standard model having sixteen input channels, eight buses, eight aux sends, eight reverb returns and full center section facilities. The standard mainframe also includes twelve 550A three-band equalizers and four 560 ten-band graphic EQ modules with space available for eight additional 500 Series modules. The support of 500 Series modules was another point in the 1608’s favor. “You’ll probably see Telefunken USA develop some 500 Series units over the next 18 months or so,” Veniscofsky confides.
Automated Processes, Inc. remains the leader in analog recording gear, with the Vision surround production and Legacy Series recording consoles, the SM Series rack-mounted mixers, and the classic line of modular signal processing equipment.