Charlottesville, VA (April 3, 2014)—Virginia Arts Recording recently underwent a sizable architectural and electronic renovation after it suffered extensive water damage in its control room.
The north-central Virginia-based studio has been serving local musicians, labels, and radio stations for more than 30 years. Virginia Arts Recording resides in a historic house in southeast Charlottesville, near the University of Virginia campus. Last winter, a water leak started just as current owners, Chris Doermann and Sean Dart, were closing up shop for a holiday weekend. “When we returned, the control room, and much of the equipment was totally wrecked,” recalled Dart. “The digital console was one of the casualties.”
Trying to make the most of a bad situation, the pair decided build a hybrid analog/digital studio with a workflow that made negotiating the digital and analog technologies transparent. “We definitely wanted an analog console, and we pride ourselves on capturing big drum sounds,” said Dart. “That’s API’s signature talent, so naturally we chose the 1608.”
Along with adding a 16-channel API 1608 analog console with API’s P-Mix fader automation, they also purchased a 24-track, two-inch tape machine, thus allowing projects to effectively hybridize between the two technologies as needed.
Doermann and Dart took an API factory tour as a part of their research. “Interacting with API is a different experience,” said Dart. “Mark Seman of API invited us to the factory, and we packed a few mixes that we know well. API let us see everything, and gave us a few hours behind the 1608. It sounded amazing, and the feel of real faders has been a welcome relief from menus and double clicks. I just get in there with my hands, and thank API for giving us the recording feel we were missing.”