Room With A Vu: January 2009

STUDIO NAME: Central Command StudiosLOCATION: North Hollywood, CACONTACT: KEY CREW: Julian Beeston, Ullrich Hepperlin, Jason Miller

CONSOLES: Digidesign Control|24
COMPUTERS: Apple Dual G5 PowerMac
RECORDERS: Digidesign Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel System w/ 192 (2) and 96i I/Os; TASCAM DA-78 (3)
SOFTWARE: Ableton Live 7; BIAS Peak Pro XT 5; Digidesign Pro Tools 7.4; Propellerhead Reason 3.0.5
STORAGE: G-Raid FireWire 800
MONITORING: Furman HDS-6; KRK Rokit 8 (powered by Samson Audio Servo 300); Tannoy iDP-10 5.1 surround system; Yamaha NS10
MICS: AKG 4033 (2), C414 B-ULS (2), D112; Blue Ball; Electro-Voice RE20; Neumann U87, KM184 (2); Sennheiser MD421 (4); Shure SM57 (5)
PRES: Avalon VT-737sp; Focusrite Octopre (2); PreSonus DigiMax 8
OUTBOARD: Digitech Vocalist Live 4; Empirical Labs EL18/SX (2); Line 6 PODxt Pro (2); Universal Audio 1176 (2)
INSTRUMENTS: Korg Electribe EMX-1 (2); Kurzweil SP88X; Novation Remote25; Roland V-Synth GT, XP-50
AMPLIFICATION: Mesa/Boogie Rectifiers (2); Rivera Knucklehead; SWR Bass-350
PLUG-INS & VIs: Access Music Virus; Antares Avox TDM bundle; Digidesign DigiRack 6.0, Bomb Factory Plutonium Bundle, Maxim, Sound Replacer; Eventide Octavox, Reverb 2016; Focusrite d2, d3; IK Multimedia AmpliTube, SampleTank 2, T-Racks; Line 6 Amp Farm, Echo Farm; McDSP Compressor Bank, Filter Bank; Serato Pitch ’n Time; Sony Oxford EQ; Synchro Arts VocAlign Project; Waves Diamond Bundle, Platinum Bundle
NOTES: Bandmates Jason Miller and Ullrich Hepperlin came together to build Central Command Studios as a hub for their industrial rock band Godhead. But as many studio owners know, a good facility is hard to sustain in this day and age, so the duo began tailoring their digs to double as an anime ADR (audio dialogue replacement) studio. “We realized that we couldn’t just do music there because it would drive us nuts . . . and break our bank accounts,” says Hepperlin with a laugh.
Because an analog studio doesn’t bring in anime producers quite like it would rock bands, Miller and Hepperlin work primarily “in the box.” “There is a contingency that believes two-inch tape sounds better,” Miller says. “As a musician, I can understand being meticulous about your gear selection and your processes. But when I hear of people spending a week finding the perfect snare sound by putting together the most expensive signal chain, it drives me nuts. The fan doesn’t care if that reverb is from a real plate! Most couldn’t tell the difference. Why not use digital tools, which can make great sounds with a fraction of the expense and the work?”
Ullirch agrees, and has the MP3s to prove it: “Frankly the drums on our last album [At the Edge of the World] were 100 per cent Reason kits.”
Going a step further, Ullrich says that the Central Command Studio you see in the pictures above is a significantly downsized version of the original incarnation. “We don’t need a live room,” he says. “As long as I have a chair in front of my computer, I can orchestrate an entire band without ever taking a guitar off my lap.”