Revived Evergreen and Enterprise install dual SSL Duality Fuses
Posted on: Friday 30th of April 2021
A group led by producer Harvey Mason Jr (left). has acquired Burbank’s neighbouring Evergreen and Enterprise Studios, and is in the process of installing two new SSL Duality Fuse consoles in order continue targeting high-profile recording, film and television projects . The five-time Grammy nominated producer, songwriter and movie producer has also taken on the twin facilities as a new home for his Harvey Mason Media organisation.
The work on Evergreen, which started life as a movie theatre in the late 1940s before being repurposed as a multi-room music recording complex in 1979, is already done. The main live room measures over 3,000 square feet, and includes four isolation booths, and is a revamp of a recording location that has hosted sessions by some of the biggest names in the business during 40-plus years – including Sinatra, Beyoncé, Slash, Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Maurice Jarre, Howard Shore, George Martin, Billy Joel, John Barry, Plácido Domingo, and Paul McCartney. Its sheer size has also seen it host soundtrack session for films such as Back to the Future, The Blues Brothers, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Simpsons and others.
That large stage’s mics are now routed to the the first SSL Duality Fuse installation in the world. The latest iteration of SSL’s Duality desk now features a fully integrated Fusion processor in its centre section. That, like its rackmount brethren, offers six analogue options for adding character and coloration to stereo channels: a HPF, vintage drive, the violet EQ section, HF compressor, stereo imaging and the ‘hidden’ LMC feature (the Listen Mic Compressor, a fixed attack and release compressor originally designed to control the levels of studio comms mics, that became a much-exploited feature of the 4000 series consoles during the 80s) activated by holding pressing the ‘In’ button of the HF Comp for five seconds – with parallel mix blended by the crossover control.
The new Duality now sits in an acoustically redesigned control room, now configured for 5.1 mixing and featuring an ATC speaker system.
“The Duality Fuse console accommodates 5.1 nicely,” says Mason. “The centre section has been improved with the features of the Fusion and some additional functionality. You can patch the Fusion pretty much anywhere. That gives you the ability to do some really cool things with it,” he adds.
“We worked with George Augspurger, recent winner of the Technical Grammy award, who has designed three or four rooms for me over the years,” Mason continues. “We reconfigured the front wall, built an entirely new back wall, added new ceiling treatment, repositioned the console and built a new credenza. The control room sounds much, much better and is more ergonomic.”
Additionally,the team led by Paul Cox of technical design and integration firm Paul J. Cox Studio Systems replaced the facility’s wiring infrastructure, says Mason. “Paul Cox has redone every new tieline and every faceplate. There’s not an inch of cable in this room that’s not been redone.”
The groundbreaking install will quickly be followed by another at Evergreen’s sister facility just across the street, the original Enterprise recording studios, which will also be over seen by Cox and his team. That will feature a reconfigured floor-plan, combining three rooms into one large studio with a tracking space so projects can move seamlessly between the two facilities.
Mason says that he has been continually drawn to the sound of SSL from the start: “I was introduced to SSL at a time I was just beginning my producing career and I loved what it did to my music. As I got further along and spent more time in studios, I realised the functionality of the SSL console allowed me to be more creative and more productive.”
He added that his goal in remodelling the historic Evergreen building was “to make it the most elevated, high-end, large format room in the city,” asserting that the live room “sounds amazing and is one of the largest in L.A.; we can record an 80-piece orchestra here. Couple that with the sound of the Duality Fuse console and the flexibility it gives us and we’re in a unique position in L.A. It gives us the opportunity to do great things here.”
Harvey Mason Media offers an extensive menu of services, including music production, composing, vocal production, songwriting, music editing, custom music library production, music supervision, and music and film mixing. Mason has personally alsoproduced a number of feature films, beginning with More than a Game, a documentary about basketball star Lebron James. He also recently produced, and executive music produced, the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, scheduled for theatrical release in August.
“I produce records and I do a ton of film and television music,” says Mason, whose personal list of record credits include work with Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, John Legend, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake. His film credits include writing and producing music for three Pitch Perfect films, Dreamgirls, and Straight Outta Compton.
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