San Francisco (June 8, 2004)–According to San Francisco-based recording artist and producer Joel Dech, wide-track analog mastering is the perfect companion for Pro Tools HD–even in a relatively modest project studio setting. Dech operates a residential project studio inside two rooms of his first-floor flat in San Francisco’s multi-ethnic Ingleside District. He recently acquired a new 1-inch Ampex ATR-102, remanufactured by Michael Spitz of ATR Services in York, PA.
“It’s a great machine, as I knew it would be,” said Joel Dech (who records under the name Infa Red), referring to the ATR-102. “I’ve used it on a number of projects already, and it really makes a huge difference in the sound.”
The vintage recorder was restored to original operating specifications, and also modified to accept the new 1-inch 2-track recording format. After years of mixing to analog half-inch at other studios, Dech decided to take the plunge and invest in his own machine after calculating the long-term costs. “I added up the costs of the studio time, and I realized that if I got my own machine it would pay off long before I die. And that was just on my own work. When I added my clients into that, I realized it could pay off very quickly.”
In addition to handling the stereo mixdown, the new ATR also serves as an effects device on individual tracks prior to mixing, according to Dech. “Sometimes I will take an individual track out of Pro Tools, record it onto the tape, bounce it back into Pro Tools and I have what I call my ‘magic Neve-like’ sound without having to buy a big analog console.”
Summing up his bold investment, Dech said, “I’d recommend this machine to anyone, even studio owners who think they can’t afford it. I’d say run up your credit cards, borrow the money, and just do it.”
In addition to mixing and editing, Dech uses his own studio for keyboard recording, sampling, and vocal overdubbing. For the latter chores, his other prized piece of gear is a Sony C-800G tube condenser microphone. In addition to recording his own music as Infa Red, Dech produces several noted Bay Area rap/hip-hop/soul artists such as The Conscious Daughters. Several of the CD releases are on his own Roulette Records, a new enterprise not related to the defunct East Coast label of the same name. Dech may be contacted at (415) 334-8742 or via [email protected]
ATR Services, Inc.