The exceptional value of retro gear
A studio built around the cutting edge technology of today but completed with the credible, warm deep sound of legendary vintage studiogear.
Fitted with the legendary Atlantic Records Studio MCI JH556D-LM mixing Console we are able to mix in real Class A providing a deep, warm and wide organic sound quality!
Over 50 legendary analogue synthesizers and all relevant vintage sampling devices including the Fairlight CMI-3, MPC60, Emulator 2 and many more are available for use at no extra charge.
MCI JH556D-LM 112 inputs 56 channels mixing console.... Real class A from input to mix.
The sound-quality of the great studio's of the late 70's and early 80's has defined the recording world's future standards of sound quality, enjoyability and artistic credibility.
A few legendary studio's in the world actually created these sublime warm, deep recordings.
For example Criteria Studio's in Miami, the legendary Atlantic Records Studio's in New York*, Chris Blackwell's Compass Point Studio's in the Bahama's and Island Studio's (Basing STreet) in London, which was later taken over by Trevor Horn calling the studio Sarm West, Sterling Sound and Unique Recordings were among the list of million selling hitmakers on MCI desks.
At their best time these studio's nearly all shared the same MCI 500 series mixing consoles! From Unique Recordings in New York to Le Chateaux D'Herouville to name some more that made the sound for Elton John, Herbie Hancock, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Sly and Robbie, The Eagles, Toto, Bee Gees, well.. The list is practically endless because nearly 80% of the biggest hits in the world were all done on these consoles, and all those records really sound great today!
As i discovered when i set off to find one of those consoles, and preferrably one that could be made to work like new again, these are now highly sought after, but many were lost to neglect and simply bad choices... The music world needs them bad, and so it was not very difficult to get a lot to come and mix here, and produce great records again on such an amazing quality console.
Sonically, the MCI500 series are ranked above the best sounding SSL and Trident consoles and shouldering with the major league API's and Neve's, although the last two mentioned lack a lot of the MCI's patchbay flexibility. Where the MCI lacks a part of the recall options.
I found mine in Switzerland, stored in a garage box, waiting to be resurrected from it's deep sleep...
It last was Gaga Studio Hamburg's console, but it was originally installed around 1980 in Studio A of Atlantic Records in New York. And mixed a heck of a lot of records you surely like and probably already own!
Our MCI JH556D was used on albums by The Rolling Stones, George Benson, Chaka Khan, The Bee Gees and endless more of the biggest names in the recording world around that time.
After 2 years of intense labour i had restored the console to it's working glory, sounding clean, deep, pure and real with a dynamic overhead that i have never heard before.
Every song mixed on this console sounds 15 to 30 and sometimes even 50% better than when mixed on a workstation or other make console.
For the record...
An MCI JH500 is a real Class A console, even the VCA's, and quality wise equal to the best in the mixing console world like the really costly API and Neve consoles priced around three quarter of a million today. That's how good it really is!
The EQ's are shouldering the outboard legends like the Pultecs and GML's, only in our board there are 56 of them!! So you have live EQ on everything until the mix is finally laid down.
Some engineers quotes about these consoles found in documentaries...
Phil Harding: I never needed to go outboard EQ wise with the MCI!
Trevor Horn: I worked in America on MCI's and thought "Wow what great top end!".
Gus Dudgeon: This is my all time best sounding console ever!
Chris Lord Alge: I learned on MCI and it sounded bangin'
Tom Dowd: The 500 is a part of music history, it's just that good.
Tom Dowd on The Eagles, The Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, ABBA (Voulez Vous) and many more at Criteria Studio's with the MCI JH500 series.
Bee gees, Mark Ronson, Billy Idol, Martin Rushent (Human League), Gino Soccio, Mack Emerman at Criteria's MCI JH556D, Island Records Basing Street, Island records Compass Point (Bob Marley, Joe Cocker, Dire Straits)
Notable producer Mark Ronson recorded Grammy Award winning song on tape and his beloved MCI!
On the left Donny Osmond, an avid user of the MCI series. Known to be tremendously capable of studio engineering and production.
On the right the biggest name in the business around the late 70's are the Bee Gees.
At their own Middle Ear Studio they of course also aquired a MCI 500 series console. And they made songs with artists like Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers and many more on it. Legendary records as well as the sound of Nashville can be done on these 500 Series desks.
Truly Class A recordings and mixes!
A 1980's clip with a good view of the MCI JH556 console and JH24 Tape machine.
MCI JH-556D LM 118 input analog VCA controlled console from Atlantic Records
Pro Ac Studio 100 (quad)
Sony SS-B3-ES (quad)
Klein & Hummel OY
Tandberg Studio Monitor with Urei Room EQ, JBL Power amps, Philips and Uher power amps.
Sennheiser HD240 Linear, Sennheiser HD540 and others including AKG Sextett multidriver, Pioneer 350 vintage BBC headphones.
SSL Alphalink AX 24 channels
Otari Radar 24 II 24 channels of fine conversion
Genex GX-A8 8 channel High End A/D conversion incl. DSD
LUCID ADA-8 8 channel A/D and D/A conversion
DCS 900 24Bit A/D with modified samplerates (two units)
DCS 950 D/A (two units)
Merging DUA2 (used to interface the DCS devices to RME and provide 24 bit 8 channel monitoring for surround applications.
Presonus Digimax LT (two units available) 8x Mic pre's + AD conversion
Fostex VC8 (three units for RCA level gear)
Studer D780 DAT used for CD reference quality checks
Philips / Polygram DAC960 16 bit (the most natural sounding 16 Bit reference on the planet)
Reaper DAW, latest version.
Waves Renaissance bundle plugins
Variety Of Sounds (basically any of their plugins)
Stillwell (most practical plugins)
TDR Feedback compressors & filters
Lexicon 480 plugin Relab LX480
Virtual reverbs allmost any necessary decent sounding reverb
Main system Intel I7, Supermicro industrial mainboard, 5x52 channel RME cards, 260 channels to analog domain.
Secondary system Intel I7 hosting 3 RME cards, this machine is also for mobile work
Third system laptop with Tascam 16 channel conversion for field recording.
MIDI system: Atari TT030, Falcon & Mega ST4 shared in the network running Cubase 3.1, Score and Cubase Audio with Jam In and Jam Out conversion. Midi interfaces Steinberg SMP24, Midex, Midex+ C-Lab X-Port and Steinberg SMP2.
We beleive strongly in the MIDI quality of Atari driven sequencing next to hardware!!
* Computer video ports are available in the vocal booth for postpro tasks and visual connection between the rooms.
RME HDSP Hamerfall 9652 (5 cards)
RME HDSP 9632
MOTU Audiowire cards + MOTU 2408 + 308
Otari Radar 24II world's finest sounding digital 24 (also available as conversion for the DAW)
MCI JH24 world's finest sounding analog 24 track, two machines for 48 track analog
Studer Revox C270
Telefunken M15A studio master recorders (4x)
Studer D760 DAT
Sony DTC1000 legendary first generation DAT
2x Lexicon 224 + Larc
2x Lexicon 300 + Larc
2x EMT 245
Quantec QRS XL fully programmable via remote Atari ST computer!
Publison Infernal Machine IM90
Publison Relief enlarger
Yamaha Rev 5
Yamaha Rev 7
Klark Technik D760 reverb with remote
TC 2290 fully programmable delay
TC 1240 delay (two units available)
Ensoniq DP4 (two units available)
Digitech Studio 400 (two units available)
Alesis Studio Quad
Roland SDE 2000
Korg SDD 1000
Korg DRV 2000
Boss super effects SE70
Boss delay and Phaser (classic half 19 inch units together in a 1U space)
Akai AR900 Midi programmable EQ and reverb
Akai PEQ-6 6 channel programmable eq
Roland RV800 Studio Spring Reverb (Roland Studio System) (notably used by UB40 and many DUB artists)
Pioneer SR202 (notably used on Adele and Amy Winehouse records)
Sansui RA500 (Sylvia Massey)
Burwen DNF 1201 single ended noise reduction (three units)
Burwen TNE Transient noise eliminator
DBX SNR-1 single end noise reduction
Behringer 8 ch studio denoiser
Behringer stereo studio denoiser SNR1000
Ross noise reduction and gate (24 channels)
5x Urei 1178, 1x Urei 1176
Neve 33609 masterbus compressor
Prime 4000e+ SSL Master Bus compressor
Adr (audio Design & Recording) F601-RS
2x DBX160VU linked for stereo or dual mono
DBX160XT and 3x DBX160A
LA2A (Bloo)100% 1968 original comp hardware
Drawmer 1973 multiband compressor
EMT 156 Mastering compressor 1 mono, 1 stereo
Rebis modular racks: gates, filters and compressors
DNA Dymand stereo compressor (sounds like 1176, more parameters) 14 channels of these!
Drawmer M500 programmable compressor
Drawmer 221 (two units)
Sony SRP-L210 compressor / gate
Langensee 1178 clone (revised and modded)
Studiomaster 16 channel MIDI programmable gate
2x Moog MidiMoog in rack, full MIDI
2x Moog Memorymoog
2x Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 v3.2 with MIDI
Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 MIDI
Roland Jupiter 8
Roland MKS80 + MPG80
Roland Jupiter 4
Roland Juno 60 (three available)
Roland Juno 106 (two available)
Roland JX10P Super JX + PG800 programmer
Roland JX8P + PG800 programmer
Roland JX3P + PG200 programmer
Roland Alpha Juno 1 + DT300 programmer
Roland D50 (two available)
Roland D550 + PG1000 programmer
ARP / Rhodes Chroma Polaris
Akai VX90 (two units)
Trancendent 2000 with MIDI
Korg Polysix with MIDI
Korg Trident with MIDI
Korg Mono / Poly
Korg Poly 61 with MIDI
Korg Wavestation A/D (two units) with SAM1 expander, making it a sampler too!
Korg M1R rack version
Nord Nordlead 1 fully expanded
Yamaha TX81Z (two units)
Crumar Bit ONE
Crumar / LEM Bit01 Rack version of the 99
Studio Electronics ATCX
Wersi EX10R synth
Roland TR808 MIDI
Roland CR78 MIDI
Roland Octapad II PAD80
Pearl Drum X
Simmons SDS8 + the original 80's drumkit
Linn 9000 (three units)
Akai MPC 60
Korg Digital Drums (percussion)
Korg VC10 vocoder (Trevor Horn)
Korg Wavestation A/D
Roland SVC350 vocoder (Transformers)
Line 6 POD UX8 multichannel guitar effects unit with BASS and GUTAR inputs plus 8 Mic inputs to capture speakers or rooms. This device captures all basic amps, processors and mics in a modeled way, and has proven enourmously effective.
Fender mini amp
Yamaha guitar amp (80's)
lines / codecs:
Prima LT ISDN codec MPEG2, MPEG3 plus other older variants (broadcast quality)
Mayah Centauri ISDN and IP codec (broadcast quality)
Mixlr online studio streaming multicast (for client and fanbase recording / performance monitoring)
Extra mixing units:
Soundtracs MR 24 used as Radar Return desk
Roland Rack mixers
Tascam Rack mixers
Yamaha O2R used for some digital tasks and mobile work (eligable for a serious kick out).
* Note that ALL equipment can be routed into the digital workstation as a PLUGIN!! *
Fairlight CMI series 3
Emu Emulator 2
Emu Emulator 3XP
Emu ESI 32 (two units)
Emu Emax 2
Akai S5000 (3 units)
Akai S1100 (four units)
Akai S1000 (four units)
Akai S950 (two units)
Akai S900 (three units)
Akai S700 (two units)
Akai X7000 (two keyboards)
Linn 9000 (Three units)
Roland MKS100 (two units)
We mix 4 u!
Contact us here for prices and info!
We prefer multitracks rendered to linear stems with instrument filenames on the individual multitrack files.
Bit depth and samplerate can be high or low, we don't have digital filetype fetishism as it is the mix that counts, not the bits. We have found that 16 bit 44.1 is a bit is a bit tight, but it can be enough for a fabulous mix.
Higher is better but not really necessary.... Nothing will be lost!
We also handle 24 track analog 2 inch recordings 48 Track analog 2 inch or RADAR 24 track files.