London, UK (December 1, 2011)—Producer Steve Levine included Prism Sound in his signal chain on a project for music publisher Audio Network that evoked the vibe of soul music of the 1960s.
“Very often film and television production companies, when sourcing music for picture, may not want to use actual songs because they are trying to create an atmosphere rather than have people evoke their own memories,” Levine said. “Many of those 1960s songs are so well-known that it’s hard to watch a scene objectively.”
Levine worked with Audio Network composer Terry Devine-King at Toe Rag Studios, London, where studio owner Liam Watson has a wealth of vintage analogue equipment, including a classic EMI Red desk. He used a vintage Studer A80 8-track tape machine to record the backing tracks onto one-inch tape and transferred them to Logic via a Prism Sound Orpheus. Further overdubs at Toe Rag via the Orpheus were blended with analogue one-inch recordings. Levine then returned to his own studio, Manmade Soul, to work on lead vocals, final overdubs and the mix.
“It took all my skill and knowledge of vintage and modern production techniques to capture the right sound,” Levin said. “I wanted to preserve the integrity of the sound captured on tape, which is why I chose to use an Orpheus. The Prism Sound interface was patched directly from the back of the tape machine. This worked really well because it is completely transparent and what I was transferring sounded exactly as it did on tape, with no further coloration.”
Levine added that the session was all about combining microphone placement with the sonic qualities of the tape, the desk and the vintage analogue outboard gear. “These days, one-inch tape is expensive, so after recording the backing tracks, we overdubbed the brass and strings using modern Audio Technica ribbon microphones fed straight through Orpheus and into Logic. This worked really well and allowed us to combine the sound of analogue with the very best that today’s recording technology has to offer.”