Back in the early 90’s, I worked at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. This is where I met the subject of my dreams and of this post, the API Sound.
It was Studio C, the first door on the left as you walked down the hall of this iconic recording facility that once served as Charlie Chaplin’s home, studio and later converted to A&M Records.
A&M is where the well-known song “We Are The World” was created, among countless hit records from the 70’s through the late 90’s. The studio that gave us so many memorable hits now houses Henson Studios from the one and only Muppet’s fame. The once A&M Records logo is now replaced by Kermit the Frog.
One of my final experiences at A&M was in Studio C, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This was an all night session that went deep into the morning hours creating slave copied of the 24 track two-inch master tapes for a box set release titled “Playback.” Tom and the gang’s music was also one of my favorites of all time. All night long, I listened to the entire TP&THB catalog through the API in Studio C, with the entire band in the room. Musical experiences like this only happen in fairy tales, right? That was how it was at A&M almost everyday. Each day was like being part of some sort of musical history. A very special place to be, responsible for creating life long friendships and the reason we built Artists of the Industry around an API 1608.
My love at first sight and the beautiful sound and feel of the API console touched me! Warm, sensual, smooth to the touch, and musical are just a few words to explain the emotional and heightened connection to this beautiful sound machine. As for the look and feel and fine details, have mercy API!
As if this love affair wasn’t enough to take me to cloud nine, I also learned about the Neumann U87 microphone, Fet 47, RCA 44 and 77, Pultec, Fairchild and all of the other tone machines, not to mention the sound of tape itself. Little did I know at the time that this experience would ultimately influence our collection of tools at Artists of the Industry years later.
Fast forward to 2016. When selecting the equipment for my studio at Artists of the Industry, this was not a hard decision. I wanted something to serve as the centerpiece to the studio’s look and feel, not to mention the sound.
In this digital world, we needed something to bring the “musical to music.” I wanted to bring that rush of emotions felt when I experienced the API Console for the first time to not only sound design and music production but also our projects and customers.
I love the convenience of digital. However, being brought up around mentors like Shelly Yakus and Jimmy Lovine, I value the term golden ears (true audiophiles and experts), the term used for people that hear differently and better than most.
Many in the industry tried to convince me to go with a Solid State Logic (SSL) console, but I knew better. That experience in Studio C at A&M years before had hooked me and never let me go. The emotional connection felt that day superseded any bells and whistles that the SSL brand could offer, in my opinion.
We started recording at our Artists of the Industry studios about six weeks ago and have created many new tracks that will soon be released under our label and available for content developers to license and download for their projects. We have a unique sound of our own that is both modern and musical with tone and beauty represented by the sound of analog. The mixes breathe and the movements connect emotionally thanks to our centerpiece, the API 1608 Console.
Our API 1608 console allows us the flexibility of a smaller footprint and excellent integration with our Pro Tools HD rig, in concert with our custom built A of the I patch bay. Designed by my good friend and former A&M co-worker Roland Alvarez, our studio has already been touted as one of the best in the Chicago area by musicians that have recorded here. Also, a tip of my hat to our Engineer on that session, Justin James who has become a remarkable leader on our team.
I personally believe that music, great music, is the emotional heartbeat of content. API helps music become great music. Our content proves it everyday.
We are a complete content production agency offering cinematography, video and film production, motion graphics, original music composition, storytelling, script writing, marketing, public relations, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence analytic, and much, much more.
When it comes down to it though, both musicianship and musical influence are certainly at the heart and soul of our unique agency.