Other than trying to figure out a way to get a good night’s sleep on the road, there isn’t much John Driskell Hopkins hasn’t accomplished in a music career that includes founding the Zac Brown Band, winning three Grammys, and successfully producing the work of fellow musicians.
And he’s not stopping there. Hopkins recently finished building his own private recording studio in Atlanta, Georgia, where – like other audio professionals – he relies on Nortek Security & Control’s Furman® power solutions.
“Over the last 20 years on the road, I have been consistently blown away by how clean my power is with Furman,” he explained. “And now, the peace-of-mind that comes with being able to walk into my new studio, flip on all the switches, and power it up is amazing.”
Hopkins’ studio took 15-months to complete, with many long hours of planning working with local Nashville designer Stephen Durr. Hopkins admits the final piece of the puzzle, once design and construction was complete, was choosing the right equipment.
For sound, Hopkins opted for The Box by API paired with a Midas Venice Analogue Mixing Console. He installed a 10-slot Radial Powerhouse rack equipped with Jensen Twin-Servos, PowerPre, Power Tubs and JDV-Pre Microphone Amplifiers, and an EXTC Processor for guitar effects. Marrying style and function, he added BAE 1073 and BAE 1084 vintage-inspired pre-amps — modern replicas of the classic Neve console modules — as well as a full rack of actual vintage compressors and limiters. And last, but certainly not least, Hopkins chose to rely on Pro Tools for recording— of which he has been a loyal user for the past twenty years.
In an area prone to lightning storms, power protection was an imperative step in ensuring that all of his new mixing and recording equipment was protected. He started with a pair of Furman F1500-UPS power conditioners for an uninterrupted power supply to the gear he couldn’t risk going down in a power outage. Other gear in his control room rack is protected by two Furman P-8 PRO C power conditioners and three Furman PL-PRO DMC units. All employ Furman Series Multi-Stage Protection (SMP) for non-sacrificial, zero ground contamination surge suppression technology and Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) protection. Together, these Furman technologies deliver one of the world’s most advanced and comprehensive transient voltage surge suppression.
They also feature Furman Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) that employs a finely tuned lowpass filter to reduce the differential AC noise coming through the line and lower the noise floor for all connected gear. The result is a quieter, cleaner tone.
A Furman P-1800 PFR rounds out Hopkins rack. With Furman Power Factor Technology, the unit supplies connected amplifiers with a momentary current reservoir for up to 45 amps of peak current from which to draw. This is essential to capture the extremes and dynamics in the performance.
The new studio features 17-foot high ceilings and allows Hopkins to track anything from an acoustic demo to a full orchestra. “I have always been a producer since I started making music in college, and have enjoyed recording other people since the first time I got a recorder,” Hopkins said. “It’s really great to put together a lot of material while on the road with the band, and come back to my own recording studio to mix it.”
Hopkins concluded, “I feel extremely confident to know that I’m protected with Furman in my studio. This place will be my creative outlet for the next twenty years.”
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