About two years ago I started my quest for an analog console. I wanted something small, flexible, powerful, sonically amazing, and visually gripping and unique. This is the story of how I came to put together a custom API console.
SUMMER 2010 — I BECOME AN "API GUY"
After a lot of thought, I finally settle in on the API Legacy console as the sound for me. On a more practical level, I like that API is still in business and have a great service department. There's no way I can afford a full-on Legacy, so I try a few 7600 channels summed through the 7800 master module and realize immediately that this is, in fact, a small 4-bus, 4-aux Legacy console. I see pictures on-line of a 24-channel built from 7600s with vertically printed face-plates and everything clicks. I do a lame rendering in Google Sketchup.
SEPTEMBER 2010 — THE DESIGNER AND BUILDER IS FOUND
As I sell off various pieces of outboard gear in order to purchase a small collection of 7600s, I put the feelers out for a builder of the desk and got the name UM Project from Andy Hong. I take one look at the website and am on the phone to Francois Chambard that day.
EARLY OCTOBER 2010 — DESIGN CONCEPTS
I sign on with Francois, explain that the console has to defy conventional studio aesthetics (dentist office, WWII submarine, 70s disco club) and capture the spirit of modernist design. The only consoles we reference are EMI desks from Abbey Road, SSL's AWS900 and Quad Eights, but the real inspirations are typewriters and Telecasters. I get back five amazing designs. In a display of sharp decisiveness, I choose #2 on the spot.
MID OCTOBER 2010 — INSPIRED BY ICELAND
I return to Iceland for a week and decide that the...