New York, NY (December 9, 2005)–Within Voxonic, a firm using patent-pending software to replicate any human voice into any language, engineer Michael Helpern recently opened Vox Studios, which operates as Dirty Kicks Studios after business hours. In the Vox/Dirty Kicks control room, an API DSM 48 ‘Console in a Rack’ takes center stage.
“We had been doing a lot of voiceover work at Right Track Studios,” recalled Helpern. “I told my boss–who also happens to own the building we’re in, a 100,000 square-foot space on East 33rd Street–‘Look, I have equipment, and you have an office building. Why don’t you build me a recording studio, I’ll bring my equipment, you use it during the day, and I’ll use it at night. It will be mutually beneficial.’ We broke ground almost a year ago.”
Michael Helpern (standing) and Jason Finkel at their NYC Vox/Dirty Kicks Studio with the API DSM “console in a rack.”Dubbed Vox Studios, the compact, yet highly functional 700 square-foot recording facility is living up to its initial concept. Designed by David Ares of Jigsaw Sound with acoustics by Ken Harrison of Longbow Acoustics, the studio is Vox Studios Monday through Friday during regular business hours. But at all other times, it’s Dirty Kicks. “At night, we’re making rock records,” beamed Helpern. “And that’s the nature of successful studios these days: finding situations that work for everyone involved. For the most part, we’re always working around the clock on something.”
A longtime “huge” fan of API gear, Helpern knew that a large format console was out of the question, simply because the footprint of something he would want would dominate the space. To him, the API DSM system represented the best of both worlds of having a DAW-centric recording facility–workstation flexibility, a superb summing buss, and absolutely no mixing in the box.
“I had to take the studio to the next level and find the right engineer,” Helpern continued. “And we were lucky enough to get Jason Finkel from Right Track to join us. Jason was used to mixing on 96-input SSLs and Neves. As we were not in the position to purchase a large format console yet wanted the analog sound, I remembered reading some information about API’s DSM system. I then called Sonic Circus’ Brian Charles, who I had worked with for a long time, and asked about it. He told us it was the coolest thing in the world, and he was right. Everything about DSM–the sound of the pres, the summing buss, the headroom, everything–made it the best option for us.”
The API DSM ‘Console in a Rack’ system is a complete analog mixing solution for recordists and studios that think ‘outside of the box’–the box being their DAW, that is. The complete rack-mount mixing system comes ready to use, is flexibly configurable, and is available in 24 to 72-channel packages. All DSM systems include a meter panel featuring stereo and auxiliary meters, an API 7800 control room master section, a 2500 stereo buss compressor, an 8200 eight-channel summing mixer, TT patchbay, 424 buss interface box, rear panel connections with all harnessing, and a 19-inch rack.
Helpern’s dual goal of getting a great analog mixing system and hiring Finkel from Right Track worked. “I never had any interest in mixing in the box, period,” Finkel insisted. “So obviously, this system is really great.” Finkel has found many features of the DSM system to be excited about, too. “I love its headroom. I find that I can hit the two-buss compression really hard, and it doesn’t sound bad like a lot of stereo compression can sound. I would say that the ‘API Sound’ is a blend of an SSL and a Neve. It has the punch of an SSL, but the smoothness of a Neve.”
Today, Finkel and Helpern are literally working overtime in their API-equipped, dual-moniker recording studio, making rock records, just like Helpern always wanted. And Helpern insists that at first glance, it appears that Vox/Dirty Kicks does have a traditional analog console. “We built somewhat of a console for the DSM system to fit into,” he explains. “If you saw the room, you’d think ‘Is that a console or not?’ I’m just ecstatic about what we’ve got. I keep saying that, one day, I’m going to have an API Legacy. But until that day arrives, I sort of have one anyway.”
For more information about the services of Voxonic, visit their website at www.voxonic.com.
The ATI Group is the parent company of Audio Toys Incorporated, API Audio and the newly formed ATI Group Distribution Division.