Soundgas Studio Services – Live Access!
WRITTEN BY: Tony Miln
UPLOADED: 12th Jun 2019
Soundgas Studio Services offers clients access to an incredible array of bespoke and vintage processing gear, anywhere in the world, remotely, and now also in real-time.*
The Soundgas Studio is the result of nearly thirty years spent exploring the outer reaches of sound processing: we have assembled a truly unique selection of gear; the classic, rare, exotic, bespoke, and downright weird. This Aladdin’s Cave of delights teems with unlimited sonic possibilities and is at your disposal now.
Whether it’s inspiration for TV/Film composition, reworking and adding excitement to remix stems, revitalising existing recordings, or mixing your latest release, you can now Soundgas it.
Where else might you find a 1960s Japanese Kawasaki Broadcast spring reverb atop a pair of Publisons (Infernal Machine, Stereo Pitch Shifter Delay) or a trio of immaculately-maintained Binson Echorecs sitting beside a pair of Grampian Type 636 reverbs (as used by Pete Townshend for guitar distortion with The Who, and by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry as a dub reverb at Black Ark Studios)? From the sublime to the less common: there are many classic units that are becoming increasingly-hard to source in perfect working order (AMS Tape Phase Simulator, Lexicon Model 200, Ursa Major Space Station, EMT 244/246 Reverbs, Eventide H910/949/Omnipressor, EMS Vocoder 2000, to name but a few). We specialise in unusual gear which has become impractical for most studios to acquire and maintain for infrequent use.
Our clients so far have been delighted with the results. We’ve worked on the soundtrack to the Japanese horror film ‘Kuru’ (‘It Comes’) for Matthew Herbert: a very uncomfortable session – it’s not often we get asked to make things sound decidedly less pleasant! More recently we reworked Ben Frost’s (Ethermachines) stems from Season 1 of Dark for Netflix to create sounds and inspiration for the soundtrack for Season 2. That was a particular favourite – Ben encouraged us to get as gnarly as we liked and really destroy the original source material. He was delighted and asked that we be credited (it airs from 21st June on Netflix).
— "It sounds incredible. This shouldn’t be a surprise to me but I find myself shocked at how little I need to do to make this all work together, as all these processes are so perfectly balanced. Why did we ever go digital?" BEN FROST, ETHERMACHINES
My lifelong fascination with the sounds of dub has lead me to collect all manner of electronic and mechanical echoes and reverbs, and the Soundgas Studio is brimming with a cornucopia of such devices – see the (almost) complete list here. Soundgas is about taking the sonic road less travelled; exploring the outer reaches of recording gear and techniques. We love to misuse and abuse old devices; always encouraging and celebrating the ‘happy accident’.
Something special happens when you chain old gear together and audio signals pass through real circuitry: valves, wires, capacitors, transistors. Every piece has subtle differences and variations; discrete components that change over time, or old repairs and modifications. This all leads to a unique sonic signature. That larger than life, three-dimensional character that hardware brings. Unusual combinations yield unexpected and inspiring results: it’s utterly-addictive. It happens all the time here: you chain things together (sometimes ‘wrongly’) and magic unfolds. ‘WTF was that?!’ Always make sure you’re recording, or ready to record – capture that moment: it may only happen once”
At the heart of the Soundgas Studio is our stunning ex-broadcast Calrec Q-series desk. This was once a 72 stereo channel behemoth and has been completely overhauled and reduced to a more manageable 36 stereo channels. This era of broadcast console represents the ultimate expression of no-expense-spared pure analogue design and this Q series was built and specified to the highest standards and rivals Neve for sound quality. With no less than 10 aux sends, 4 onboard compressor/limiters, and the most comprehensive routing options possible, it’s a joy to work on.
We are continually upgrading and adding to the outboard, and regularly feature ‘visiting’ devices from the Soundgas list that are being tested in studio conditions. We have the only Denon ½” (made for broadcast) tape echo that we know of, and no other studio can boast a heavily-modified Dynacord Echocord Studio (which uses an adapted large format floppy disc as recording medium to create true analogue looping and delay effects). The studio is overflowing with ultra-rare and characterful effects collected over the years such as the pair of Gelf Autophasers (ex Pink Floyd/Britannia Row), EMS Synthi HiFli, Frogg Compusound, and Marshall Time Modulator (ex Musicland Studios – used to record ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ by Queen).
— "Thanks so much for sending these and for taking the time to go through my stems and making magic happen!! I really love what you’ve sent and the machines that you chose. Would definitely love to use the studio service again." HINAKO OMORI
Recognising the unique nature of the collection, we wanted to make the Soundgas Studio as widely accessible as possible and open it up to the world, unfettered by geographical location. While the remote access service has to date only been offline (the client uploads stems for processing to their brief, and receives the results by download at a later date), we have been successfully beta-testing real-time access so clients hear and direct the process as we work. Now, if they choose that option, anyone in the world with a reasonable internet connection can access our studio and work directly with our engineers, Ben Hirst and Felipe Gutierrez, hearing the results of each pass and tweak as it happens.
The Soundgas Studio Service is taking me back to what I really enjoy – and how all this started – playing with sound and coaxing strange noises out of this crazy pile of gear I’ve collected over the years – everything in here has a purpose and it’s great that other people are reacting so positively on hearing the results.
— “I think it’s one of the main reasons we buy gear. For inspiration. Well now there's a new way to get that inspiration. Soundgas it!” DAN WATTS, FILM/TV COMPOSER
*Note that real-time access is client internet bandwidth permitting.