Situated in Germany’s picturesque Black Forest region, Session One is a new studio offering a range of services to musicians. The 120m2 facility houses two live rooms and a control room, making it suitable for multiple uses including production, recording and mixing as well as professional live streams, tour rehearsals and songwriting workshops.
"The plan was to open at the end of 2020," says owner Michael Thoma. "Covid obviously delayed things, but we are now in the final stages of construction and almost ready to go. For the past three months, however, we have been using the studio almost exclusively for live streams.”
At the heart of the studio is a compact Allen & Heath DM0 MixRack, capable of handling 128 discrete channels of 96kHz audio, installed in a server cabinet away from the control room. Analogue inputs for the system are provided by a GX4816 expander, and a DX168 expander, both also installed in the server cabinet. "The 48 inputs of the GX4816 plus the additional 16 of the DX168 Expander are enough for almost any application," Thoma notes. On the output side, an Allen & Heath DX012 expander is used to feed the studio’s monitoring system.
The MixRack is controlled via dLive Director software, running on a computer in the control room, with an IP6 Remote Controller serving as the main monitor controller. "We can switch talkbacks on and off via the IP6, choose between different studio monitors, and control their volumes," explains Thoma. "In each of the live rooms, there is also an IP8, configured as a personal monitor controller, so that the bands can create their own monitor mixes. They get the sum of the Logic DAW, a click-track, and the respective mics from us."
For more demanding sessions, the setup can be expanded further with a DM32 Mixrack and a C2500 Surface which the studio has also invested in, as well as an additional pair of portable DX168 expanders. "We have a system for tour rehearsals, but this can be used as a separate monitor desk during recording if it's a bigger project" Thoma adds. "We also have a dLive Wings system, two touchscreens running the dLive Director software, on a trolley if we ever want to work without the Surface."
With the studio nearing completion, it will soon be time to celebrate. “We are planning a big charity event as a stream for the opening of the studio” Thoma smiles