To achieve the best possible mixing and mastering results, we have optimized the AC power system, the listening space, monitoring and converters as well as studio infrastructure including digital clocking, cabling and electronics.
At Akashic Recording Studio, we include vintage outboard gear as part of the tone shaping tools utilized to achieve the desired sound stage, punch while retaining or enhancing clarity and transparency.
Akashic’s infrastructure starts with clean power. A dedicated transformer for the clean power system in the studio will insure no spurious distortions creep their way into the recording. A balanced AC 60 volt to ground (on the secondary of the transformer) system will greatly increase common mode rejection and lead to much quieter recordings. A separate AC supply is provided for lighting and other “dirty power” needs.
The studio is built rigid with heavy materials to support bass frequencies. “Building inside a building” construction techniques insure isolation to monitor loud sources correctly. The outer “shell’ is grout-filled cinder block construction. (all the the center cavities in each cinder block contain rebar and are poured with concrete at four foot ‘lifts’ during construction).
The inner envelopes (buildings) (control room and studio) are isolated with acoustic hanging ceiling isolators and wall isolators and have separate concrete slabs. There is no “mechanical coupling” between inner structures. Walls and ceilings are two layers of 5/8” sheet rock with staggered seams on reinforced steel stud framing. The hardwood floor is Hickory, known for its relative hardness.
Continuing with the studio’s infrastructure, an “atomic clock” or rubidium oscillator is a crucial component to reduce digital jitter to a very acceptable level. Clocking a digital system with a quartz oscillator will result in a fatiguing sound, typical of low quality digital recordings. A rubidium oscillator is 100,000 times more accurate than quartz.
Certain pieces of outboard signal processing can be useful for providing the desired tone for many sources when the gear is among the handful of revered pieces produced in the history of recording gear.
High end converters are essential for getting your signal to the digital domain. A variety of converter concepts in the recording arsenal can help add depth to the sound. Joshua Florian has made an 8 channel AD converter with high-end audio transformers as the only amplification before the analog to digital converter, yielding spectacular results. Joshua also has made a digital to analog converter with an output stage from a revered vintage tape recorder tube playback section. While not optimal for every source, these converters can be absolute “magic” on many sources.
Great cables can be the difference between a “murky” recording and one that has great depth, clarity and “emotional transparency”. Akashic makes extensive use of cables from Cardas, which yield a far better recording than cables from the companies with much more market share.
The point is to pair the optimal signal path with each source, being aware to vary the colors in the recording from the start. If a source needs to be “harder”, “softer”, “brighter”, “darker”, etc., not only microphone placement is used, but also, the choice of gear to achieve the desired sound, keeping in mind additional processing that will be applied in mixing and mastering, as well as the other instruments in the mix.