The new 5088 desk is the centerpiece of a custom-made, wrap-around stainless steel console, a Zin-de-Zine design and creation, that has been ergonomically designed to place the principal components of Kühl Muzik’s hybrid digital/analog workflow conveniently within reach.
Honess, who has been engineering and mixing for 15 years, began evaluating analog console options last year, arranging for demo units to be brought into the studio for extended periods. “I had been recording the same mix each time I had a new console in, summing it down through as many channels as possible. So I had references to go back to and hear the different characteristics of these consoles. As soon as I heard the 5088 I thought, this is the one I want. I loved it right away,” he says.
Honess assumed ownership of the facility, formerly known as Q Music Studios, in November 2011 after working as chief engineer for the previous owner, renowned Canadian film composer, Donald Quan, for over five years. The hybrid digital/analog setup, which is designed primarily for mixing music for film and television as well as for bands, combines the Rupert Neve Designs 5088, a Digidesign Pro Tools|HD workstation, panels from a Digidesign ProControl, analog microphone preamps and equalizers, digital reverbs and other ancillary equipment. A Genelec 5.1 monitor system and Quested stereo main monitors complete the setup.
“It’s still a work in progress, but all the main bits are in there,” says Honess. “There are a few more renovations I need to do, which will happen this year, then I’ll go into full launch mode.”
In the meantime, Honess has given Kühl Muzik a soft launch and has started to introduce his clients to the new 5088 desk. “All of my clients love it,” says Honess. “It does the job nicely. As soon as I run my mixes through it, it’s quite a big hit. Most of the time they hear it as making everything sound more musical.”
Honess, in collaboration with Robin and Cynthia Keus of Zin-de-Zine, designed the unique stainless steel-panelled console into which the equipment is installed, dubbed the “Vimana” (a Sanskrit word that can mean temple, palace or chariot of the gods). The Toronto-based artisans also designed and fabricated the metal speaker stands for the studio’s Quested monitors.
(To see more unique Zin-de-Zine creations visit www.zindezine.com.)
The custom metal structure matches the profile of the 5088 mixing console. “We wanted a smooth contour across the full width of the desk,” explains Honess. “The only way to do that was to separate the 5088’s meter bridge and move it back slightly. It actually allowed me to put my logo right in the middle. I put some nice lights underneath there, and it also acts as a heat vent.”