Avast Studios

by Isaac on 05.31.2012

For the last couple days, one of my bands, The Downstrokes, has been recording an album at Avast Studios. This has given me a good opportunity to poke around and see how the place is set up from the inside.

I came through this studio for a tour many months ago. Between the last time I got in the door, though, they have renovated Studio B. The control room is a little larger, from what I remember. It also seemed…”neater.” Unlike some other studios I’ve seen lately, there were no random boxes or piles of paers sitting in the free spaces. Cleanliness is definitely a focus of Avast. For an introductory $400 per day, though, it should be.

The atmosphere is very comfortable with no shortage of couches and nooks scattered around the common space. Although the walls are sparse, there are selected band posters (not in frames) and other screen prints that give the place a family living room kind of feel. I assume the interns are the ones keeping everything sparkly clean.

Within the studio, there is no shortage of gear. The control room has a mix of new gear and vintage stuff, from the couches to the microphones. I have it on good authority that the studio owner is a fellow Evergreen alumni. There’s definitely some Evergreen influence in the studio design and equipment selection. The studio we were in has an API 1608 console, reminiscent of the 1604s in the Evergreen 8 track studios. The console is normalized in such a way that signal defaults through the Pro Tools rig.

We recorded to tape for our session. Two tape channels, of the 24 available, weren’t really working at the time of this writing. However, overall, the studio is in good working order. There was nothing else marked off with warning tape, and all of the modules in the consoles were intact.

The tracking room is a perfect size for a band 4-6 members deep. Any more than that and you’d have to start budgeting space. Studio A, however, has much more space, and a grand piano to boot. Off of the main tracking room, there are several closet-sized iso-booths that offered enough isolation for amps, but didn’t completely cancel all bleed. From outside the studio building itself, you can hear the bass. For our punk band, though, it played well into the live feel of our recording.

I took some time to deconstruct the patch bay in there. I gotta say, the possibilities are endless. I imagined many combinations of operating schemes that I could do and it made me kind of giddy. For an engineer that wants total control, Studio B was like a space ship cockpit. It was a beautiful thing.

The equipment and mic selection was premium, with some stuff I had never encountered before. Overall, for the price, I highly recommend you tour Avast and consider it for your future projects.

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