Brussels, Belgium (May 27, 2005)–Etages Ion in Brussels has become the first recording studio in Europe to install Geoffrey Daking’s 1112 Custom console. Supplied by Raf Lenssens of Joystick Audio, Daking’s distributor for the Benelux countries, the 32-channel analog console was chosen for its ease-of-use and for the improved sound quality that it brings to a digital recording environment, according to studio owner Yves “Duke” Baudhuin.
Yves “Duke” Baudhuin, owner of Etages Ion in Brussels, purchased the first Daking console in Europe.
After Baudhuin showed Lenssens his recording setup and explained the way that he preferred to work, the distributor made arrangements for the engineer to evaluate several Daking rack units, including the Mic-Pre IV and the FET Compressor. “I compared them with what I had,” said Baudhuin. “It was the EQ that grabbed my attention from the start. The Daking preamps also sounded great, and I felt that this could be the combination I was looking for. I tested some other preamps from other manufacturers but I always came back to Daking. I was convinced, and the idea of a Daking console was born.”
“What I was looking for was a console that sounded very good,” he continued, “une console qui sonne,’ as we say. So, I took the important step for the future of my studio and bought the Daking. Now that the console is installed I feel very comfortable and it really sounds great. I must say that the ease-of-use, the musical feel, and the personal approach of the Daking 1112 console allows me to concentrate on the main thing: the music.”
Baudhuin, who records to a Soundscape hard disc system, likes to use both digital and analog equipment to achieve the best results, as he explained. “I like to say that I am not against digital and I am not addicted to analog. I am simply used to a certain way of working and a way to get the sound that I want.”
In the past, that has involved routing through high-end analog mic preamps, equalizers and other signal processors before the recorder. But Baudhuin discovered that he was still not happy with the sound, and ended up patching signals from the computer once more through outboard analog gear. “The result was much better and I got the sound I wanted much faster,” he reported.
But with only a limited number of outboard units at his disposal, said Baudhuin, he had to choose the tracks that he wanted to treat that way very carefully. Adding more high-end equipment would have involved more complex cabling, and in any case, he said, “I missed the ergonomics of a normal studio setup. So, my desire to work with a real console and get a better sound started to take form.”
But consoles incorporating the features that he wanted were either too expensive or too cheap, and therefore not an upgrade in quality. And a used desk was out of the question due to the maintenance issues. Mixing “inside the box,” Baudhuin observed that he has no need for many of the features found on bigger, more expensive consoles. “I do not need 24 output busses, ten auxes, and a compressor on each channel. Nor do I need automation. The automation in Soundscape was more than I needed.”
Digital consoles were never really an option, he added. “Even with the advantages like price, automation, total reset, and so on, I find it too redundant, when you look at what you can do in the workstation.” There is also, what he refers to as, a lack of “global vision” on most digital consoles, where channels are often controlled from a single assignment panel. “I believe there is an enormous difference when we create a mix with a classic console, with so many EQs and faders, than when we do that with a digital console, with plenty of faders but only one set of EQ controls. It is much easier to see what you are doing with an analog console.”