Meeting Topic: 513 Analog Recording
Moderator Name: Jim Naron
Speaker Name: Catherine Vercolli & Dom Armstrong
Other business or activities at the meeting: N/A
Meeting Location: 513 Analog Recording Tempe AZ
As we drive through an unassuming suburb, we get to our destination that is the 513 analog studio. We see a house that blends in with all the other houses around the block. But little did we know how much warm technology lied inside that door where the garage should have been. As we stepped inside we were all marveled at the beautiful trident 80-B tracking console that was before us. There were also many other pieces of analog equipment there: an old window 97 to operate the automation of the faders, 24trk 2" Studer A800 MKIII (tracking), 24trk 2, Otari MX 80 (transfers), 2trk 1/4, Otari MTR12, Echoplate Stereo Plate Reverb, some NS10s, Adam S4XVs and many more.
The owner of the studio's name is Catherine Vericolli. She and her assistant engineer, Dominic Armstrong, were guiding us through the studio. They had a very unique relationship that was apparent from they're varying constructive bickering. For instance, having the plate reverb in the room of the mixing console created a natural effect whenever they mixed. Dominique loved it where Catherine didn't as much. You could tell that this environment that Catherine has created has made such an interesting vibration within the studio that affects all who is in it.
The wall diffusers were all covered with colorful 80's color fabrics. There was gear covering all views of the studio. The walls in the lounging area were, competing with Quest Love's collection, were filled with shelves of vinyl records for the studios brand new vinyl record player. There were many classic instruments that helped created that atmosphere. Instruments like an old K&C upright piano that sounded like an old ragtime piano, Fender Rhodes 77, Hammond M3, Fender Mustang. All of these instrument are open for clients to play, and they create that "vibe" that you expect every studio to have. "Its a small homey kinda of vibe that our musicians love" says Catherine.
When you walk into the B studio you immediately are introduced to the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console which is where all the tracking takes place. This console is a very unique console. It has an incredible amount of headroom to it. "I dare you to distort a signal on this console" says Dominic "I've tried, you just can't without completely crushing your signal before it even clipping out." This control room is connected to the live room where all the house interments live. With three separate room and a bathroom (which they have been known to record in from time to time) there is plenty of room for a group to be more then comfortable. The strange artwork all around the room also helps to create a comfortable atmosphere in the live room and throughout the studio.
In our time touring and talking to Catherine and Dominic they told us many interesting stories of how this studio came to be how it is today. From stories of consoles being delivered months late from the intended delivery date, to meeting Rupert Neve, to by the time they actually got their Neve console, it being the #100 serial number. We all had a very good time learning, hearing stories, and listening to music that had been produced less then 15 feet away from us. Amazing music that had everyone in love with the essence that this studio was producing.
Needless to say, everyone left the studio with overwhelming feelings of inspiration that in turn will play into the way that we mix, think, listen, analyze, and record music in our studies here at the conservatory. Thank you to 513 Analog Recording Studios. We will see you next time!
Written By: Jim Naron