Recording and Studio
|Amek has supplied a 60-input frame Media 51 automated multiformat in-line production console to George Petit's Walkerecording Ltd. in New York City. The console is being used for a broad range of recording and mixing projects, from music composition for TV and radio advertising to record releases.
Petit selected the Media 51, which was supplied by Amek's New York City dealer, Bobby Neil's Your Audio Studio Resource, for its integral, premium quality microphone preamps and equalizers, designed by Rupert Neve (the Designer), and for its sophisticated automation, particularly Virtual Dynamics. "It makes me feel like I'm in world class company without hitting the price point of a quarter of a million dollars," enthuses Petit. "It sounds tremendous and the EQ is really, really responsive."
All Media 51 mono input modules incorporate a new microphone preamplifier and EQ section by Rupert Neve. Media 51 is the first mid-priced console to be introduced by Amek for over five years and is the first entry-level multiformat console to incorporate the audio designs of Rupert Neve.
The Media 51 at Walkerecording is integrated with a Digidesign workstation. "The idea was to have the sonic quality of Amek but also have it chat at a high level with Pro Tools so that I could get the best of both analog and digital," says Petit. "My first reaction is to go for the stuff that's on the console before I go to plug-ins."
Petit reports that the automated features of the Media 51 were a major attraction. "I checked out Virtual Dynamics and realised that, when I'm doing a large live music session, I have the benefit of front-end limiting. Virtual Dynamics was a big part of the purchase." Petit reveals that he supplements the console's onboard dynamics with outboard Rupert Neve-designed Amek System 9098 mic preamps and compressors.
Media 51 input modules offer the familiarity of in-line mixing, where the four-band EQ may be split between the channel and mix paths, while associated high- and low-pass swept filters may alternatively be switched into the dynamics side-chain. "I'm finding that its flexibility is giving me a lot of choices that I didn't anticipate, which I'm happy about," states Petit.
The new facility, designed by Francis Manzella of FM Design, incorporates a couple of live rooms in addition to the control room, which Petit says will allow him to do more productive and more efficient advertising work and also have the ability to do more live music. "For the last five years it's been 70 percent advertising for TV and radio. The other 30 percent, which is the love of my life, is the recording of live jazz," says Petit, who received an award in France for his production work on a 1989 record release.
Petit reports that, while surround projects have so far been relatively infrequent, he is looking forward to using the Media 51's multiformat features, which include bussing, panning and signal path switching for popular surround sound formats of up to eight channels wide, in addition to standard stereo. The master section offers comprehensive surround monitoring facilities, including multiple solo, cut and metering modes, insertion of encode and decode processors, downmixing and stem monitoring capabilities, master playback/direct (PEC/Direct) switching, and comprehensive speaker control.
Media 51 may optionally be fitted with a joystick panner, offering multiple panning modes in formats up to eight channels wide with four switchable divergence settings and an 'expand' feature that provides image enhancement at high frequencies in stereo or wider formats.
The console is equipped as standard with Supertrue V.4 fader, switch, and event automation, Virtual Dynamics, Recall, and Visual FX, with synchronization to incoming SMPTE, and additionally offers external machine control.