Recording and Production in the News
Gospel Oak Studio goes for quality with award-winning ADA-8XR convertersCambridge, UK: Prism Sound, manufacturer of premium-quality interfaces and converters for the recording and broadcast markets, has supplied three of its Award-winning ADA-8XR multichannel converters to Gospel Oak Studio, a new private recording facility near Birmingham. These were installed by the company's new dealer Kazbar Systems.
John Kelly (front right) with Barry Bayliss (front left); Kazbar System's Gavin Millar (back left), Alfie Manhaw (back middle) and Prism Sound's Chris Allen (back right)
Owned by musician and composer John Kelly and located in a converted barn in the grounds of his home, Gospel Oak Studio has been equipped to the highest specification. Alongside the Prism Sound converters the equipment list also includes a Solid State Logic AWS900 console, Focal and Genelec monitoring and Logic with a vast array of plug-ins.
Kelly, who until recently was running highly successful construction and development companies, says: "I'm a reasonable musician with some decent playing and writing experience but because of my other business interests I haven't always had the time to fully explore music properly. However, now that I've stepped back from the day to day management of my companies, I have found myself with time to do my own thing - namely writing and composing, hence the decision to build the studio."
Kelly's collaborators in the studio project are producer Barry Bayliss, who has worked with artists such as Carlito, The Satin Dolls and Coppernine. The latter went on to support The Cranberries at the NEC, and studio manager/sound engineer Alfie Manhaw.
"Barry and I have been friends for years, so he was the obvious person to turn to for help with setting up the studio," Kelly says. "Barry is currently producing his own music with James Mitton-Wade (aka Carlito) in their own small studio. They produce a pretty good sound but Barry felt that an acoustically better studio and higher quality gear would help them to obtain a better mix with greater degrees of accuracy due to the mixing environment. Therefore he basically specified all of the equipment that he would have if he could, pretty much no holds barred and all budgets blown."
As Gospel Oak Studio is for private use only, Kelly and Bayliss were able to specify a facility that exactly suited their needs. They went for a smaller but high end desk and concentrated on computing power and software rather than lots of outboard gear.
Kelly explains, "We also ensured that the physical gear we did buy was the very best, which is why we chose Prism Sound converters. The sound quality they deliver is fantastic and they are incredibly easy to use. We're really pleased with the back up and customer support we've had from the company, especially from Graham Boswell and Chris Allen who have been extremely generous with their time and have helped us set them up exactly as we want."
The ADA-8XR is a multi-channel AD/DA converter that can be configured in numerous ways using plug-in modules to suit a very wide variety of applications. Since its release it has rapidly become the top professionals' converter of choice in the most exacting applications in music and sound recording, mastering, broadcast and post production, offering the cleanest and most transparent conversion on the market.
Barry Bayliss adds: "Apart from the exceptional sound quality of the ADA-8XRs, what we also like is the AES configuration, which we chose because it gives us low latency (essential for overdubbing), ease of synchronization and the option of being able to patch in to other external digital devices as and when we need."
The Prism Sound converters selected by Bayliss were highly recommended by Gavin Miller, of Kazbar Systems. In order to keep the project as simple as possible, Kelly and Bayliss decided to use just one dealer who could review, recommend and supply all of the equipment they needed.
"Gavin was ideally placed to fulfill that function because he is a dealer for many of the brands we wanted to use, including Prism Sound." John Kelly says. "He pulled all the different threads together and liaised between us and the different manufacturers. He also helped with installation, including wiring and acoustic treatment, and his advice was invaluable. Kazbar Systems is continuing to provide a fantastic after sales service and we like knowing that their support is readily available, should we need it."
In addition Steve Fisher from Genelec, the technician responsible for fine tuning the 1038's and 7071 sub, commented on the acoustic quality of the finished room. "It's one of the best I've seen, better than most commercial studios." A testament indeed to the team's work.
With the studio now up and running, John Kelly is having fun writing and playing music again. Although he intends to keep Gospel Oak as a private facility, he is happy to share the space with bands that he knows or that Bayliss introduces. Eventually there may even be a small record label attached to the studio, but that is still an embryonic plan and for now Kelly says he is happy learning the recording ropes and having the space and time to enjoy his new studio.
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