Kingston, Jamaica (July 7, 2015)—When asked to join the Green Berlin production crew in Jamaica to work on the new record for German rapper Marteria’s alter-ego Marsimoto, BenDMA brought along his Antelope Audio Zen Studio.
“It was the first time we went outside Europe to produce a record,” says BenDMA. “One of the biggest challenges we encountered was staying within the luggage weight limit for the flight. The portability of the Zen Studio was perfect.”
The crew rented a large house with six surrounding guesthouses, but the producers were at liberty to ply their craft wherever they saw fit. “It’s the Caribbean, so we wanted to be outside as much as possible,” explains BenDMA. “I’d bring my laptop, the Zen Studio, and a pair of headphones out to the pool and work from there. Then when I had a beat together I’d run over to the beach to show it to Marsimoto who was writing lyrics with a Bluetooth speaker.”
Each producer brought their own AD/DA conversion hardware for the trip. The Zen Studio outshone the rest with crystal-clear audio in both directions, according to BenDMA. “We were using the exact same speakers, so you could really hear the difference in playback. You could pick out the details in the mix much more easily when listening back on the Zen Studio.”
BenDMA also appreciated the ergonomic placement of Zen Studio's master volume knob: “I mess around with tape delays and things like that a lot so occasionally the volume gets out of control and it was a huge help to be able to quickly make an adjustment so I don’t damage my hearing.”
As for the Zen Studio’s built-in preamps, “They’re incredibly clean,” he says. “I used them for just about everything from acoustic guitars to shakers and they paired well even with some of the obscure French and German mics from the '40s and '60s I brought along.”