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Home | Library | Users & Case Studies | The Village

Case Study - The Village

The Village Expands 3 Consoles With Flying Faders ACX

ACX allows your studio to do more sessions on its existing console. Where it is not possible to expand the mixing console, either due to physical space limitations or the lack of available parts, the ACX offers the perfect, compact solution, integrating with any Flying Faders-equipped console to increase its input capacity.

The Village Studio D

Village Recorders, now in its thirty-second year and one of the premier music recording facilities in Los Angeles, purchased a 24-input ACX in mid-1999. The Village features 3 Flying Faders-automated consoles: a vintage Neve 8048 and 2 AMS Neve VR Series consoles.

The gold and platinum disks on the walls testify to The Village's illustrious heritage: the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac are all represented. But an impressive number of film scores are mixed at The Village, many requiring the use of the ACX, including Bowfinger and Rounders.

Independent engineer Steve Kempster, who works mainly with composers Trevor Rabin and Mark Mancina, regularly uses the ACX in Studio D on film score mixes: "We used it on Tarzan, Enemy of the State, Jack Frost and Con Air, plus Deep Blue Sea, which was mixed elsewhere."
Explains Kempster, "If not for the expander we could not have mixed the projects that we have. I generally fill the 72-input VR Legend with most of what I am focussing on, and use the ACX for the surrounds, reverb returns, and so on. It works great. Being able to use the ACX is the next best solution to having a larger VR console."

But the ACX is not only used for film score mixing at The Village. Music acts have been making use of the ACX since its arrival, including Foo Fighters, Sneaker Pimps, Robbie Robertson (who has a private office at the complex), Sheryl Crow and Phil Collins, who mixed and overdubbed his original songs for the Tarzan score at The Village.

"We use the ACX for all 96-track mixing, with 2 digital 48-track machines, or any time someone needs more effects returns," says Mitch Berger, The Village's chief technical engineer. "The Neve 8048 in Studio A is limited on the track count and is short of effects returns; and the ACX is great if you want EQ on every return."

Also available in 16- or 32-input versions, every ACX input module incorporates 4 band EQ (with 2 swept filters), 4 aux sends, 8 buses plus stereo, panning, direct output, insert, and solo and mute switches. Each module features 2 line inputs, with separate trim controls, which may be selected individually or summed, doubling the number of inputs monitored through the console, or allowing easy comparison between 2 mixes.
"The ACX interfaces seamlessly with any of our 3 Neve consoles," continues Berger. "I can have the ACX in the room and set up in 5 minutes. It takes no time to patch it in; then all I have to do is change the fader configuration in the computer. The automation only needs one optical cable, so we can put the ACX at the back of the room if we need to. Studio D is fairly large, so the ACX can sit next to the main board in that room."

The ACX may be interfaced to any host console's multitrack, auxiliary, stereo and solo buses, and integrates completely with Flying Faders, allowing it to be included in global solo and group assignments. Mix data for the host console and ACX saves as a single computer file. Four ACX module switches, input select, input sum, EQ and insert are automated through Flying Faders' events control.

For any facility interested in preserving its investment in vintage analog consoles the ACX facilitates the addition of more high quality channels at an affordable price, offering further economy when shared between rooms. The functionality of the ACX seamlessly interfaces with a wide range of analog consoles and accommodates multichannel surround mixing, allowing studios to handle larger, more diverse projects and quickly repays their investment.

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