Hear your mix as though it was tracked in one of the most famous studios in Hollywood
Love Her Madly
While its surrounding Hollywood neighborhood has had its ups and downs, Sunset Sound has always been a facility with amazing sound and great gear. It's family owned and always been a clean, professional place that makes you feel a little closer to stardom just loading in. Depending on where you live and work, this might sound like a strange thing to mention; however, those of you work(ed) the studio scene in the Los Angeles area have no doubt danced with the Reaper himself loading into some rooms in and around LA county. Not to mention that even some of the most famous rooms could rather take you by surprise the first time you walked in by the "is that cat piss?" vibe. Sunset Sound? Never. It was, is and hopefully will always remain an island.
Plugin mumbo jumbo of this article aside, I encourage you to "google that shit" and read up on the really interesting history of this room... born from Disney (!) and which everybody from Aretha to Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine to Miles Davis. Mary Poppins to Frozen.
I think it's fair to say that it would be harder to put together a list of acts that haven't recorded at Sunset Sound in the past fifty years.
The Wrecking Crew
IK Multimedia is one of the oldest players in the plugin industry, releasing state of the art tools since the '90s. And while they've never rested on their laurels, IK has been a particularly inspired run for the last few years.
Sunset Sound Studio Reverb is simply the fullest realization yet of "cloning" the character of a particular studio and packing it into a plugin that we've seen to date. We've seen bits and pieces of this before... Impulse Responses (IRs) of certain spaces, emulations of particular pieces of gear, like the excellent Waves' Abbey Road series, for instance, and of course, UAD's iconic Ocean Way Studios and recent Capitol Chambers mix the modelling of historic spaces with IRs captured with equally historic mic lockers. But nobody had partnered with a historic recording studio and modeled the whole joint.... the live rooms, the ISO rooms, the consoles, the mics... Until now.
Working in a partnership with Sunset Sound, IK Multimedia given us twelve spaces, three echo chambers, three vocal (ISO) booths, vintage EMT and Echoplate plate reverbs and an AKG spring reverb, too.
But wait, there's more
All of the goodness of Sunset Sound was captured through their own collection of vintage microphones and through each of the three studios' individual consoles (an API-based Sunset Sound custom, a Class-A-Discrete NEVE 8880, an API/DeMedio Sunset Sound Custom) which IK went ahead and modeled from the preamp through the entire signal path to give the audio you pass through as much harmonic content, mojo and Sunset Sound as possible.
Another neat touch: IK and the Sunset Sound folks went through the archives, pulled session sheets and recreated mic positions and placements to make sure the rooms and spaces were set for a real session. There are even a few different positions in Live Room 2. This is a cool idea and certainly more useful than simply shooting IRs into a big empty space.
“I ran my vocal through the ISO Booth of Studio 3 and, holy shit, you guys. It sounded amazing. Expensive. Fuller with new harmonic content and some cool widening. Worth it for this alone.”
Whole Lotta Love
I immediately set up Sunset Sound Studio Reverb as a Send FX for a vocal session I'm tracking as I write this blog post and something really unexpected went down. See, the one part of this plugin that I was the least interested in were the ISO rooms. I mean, sure, I figured I'd play around with them at some point, but, come on. I ran my vocal through the ISO Booth of Studio 3 and, holy shit, you guys. It sounded amazing. Expensive. Fuller with new harmonic content and some cool widening. Worth it for this alone. This got me excited, so I set up a quick loop each of drums, B3, Rhodes, Tele through a mic'd Fender Champ.... Ran them all through everything... The plates, the AKG spring reverb... all really great all on their own while sounding unique from the same (or similar) models that I have in other plugin emulations from UAD, etc. Then the Live Rooms and the ISO Booths... All completely unique from one another and I could hear the harmonic love from the modeling of the consoles and the microphones. It sounded.... real. Like a real space. A really, really amazing space.
Working in Hollywood for years, driving past Sunset Sound seeing their happy logo always made my mood lighter with fond memories and also grateful that the joint was still going, cranking out new memories each session.
Gold Star Studios, Radio Recorders, CBS Columbia Square, RCA... The list of historic recording studios in and around Los Angeles which have been felled by the wrecking ball is long. Sunset Sound Studio Reverb is such a complete package that it guarantees that Sunset Sound will be here forever.
* Here's a cool article on a bit of what was in The City of Angels, https://www.whatitmeanstobeamerican.org/places/when-l-a-s-recording-studios-ruled-the-music-scene/
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WORD OF MOUTH: STRONG
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