Today on #NerdingOut we are joined by Chuck Ainlay, the 4x Grammy-winning music producer, engineer and mixer (Peter Frampton, Dire Straits, Taylor Swift). Chuck discusses the iconic sound of the Solid State Logic Console, the desk that became famous by mix engineers for its distinctive analogue sound, made popular on some of the biggest hits of the 1980s and early ’90s.
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There’s something about this console that’s just got this real forward sound.
We’re in Peter Frampton’s studio. We’re in Nashville, Tennessee. You and I have been doing a lot of work together over the past few years. This room just super well maintained. Sounds great. You know, as you can see, it’s got a plethora of gear. This is a solid state logic, or SSL this, it’s really known.
This is the kind of like the desk that sort of made pop music. Famous in the eighties, nineties, early two thousands, and then they came out with the later generations of this. But the idea back then was like, okay, we’re gonna track on a Neve console ’cause it had this big, fat, warm sound. And then we’d mix on an SSL ’cause it had the computer automation and, and had that forward sound.
And the two of them kind of was like that, that hit sound, you know, it’s kind of what I grew up on was SSL’s. I was working at a studio called The Castle. We were located outside of Nashville and we were trying to attract business from Nashville. So we went with sort of the latest technology, which this was at the time.
It’s just what I grew up on, so I feel really comfortable on ’em.