Audient ASP4816 overwhelms first user Stateside
Sound aside (we will get to it) the functionality of this console almost makes me feel like you guys don't charge enough, one of the biggest selling points for me was the functionality. The bus matrix reminded me a lot of working on an SSL and having the monitor controls on board and a built in 2-bus compressor as well as 8 aux sends, and 4 stereo inputs is a huge step forward for this target market. You guys have set the bar extremely high.
This console really has all the functionality of a large format desk with a smaller footprint, and I love it.
On to the sound.
I was nervous that I was going to be heavily relying on outboard pres to "color" the audio, but this hasn't been the case at all (I type this with a grin). The pres have such a fantastic character, I can only describe it as clear and warm. Those two words don't often mesh well together, but it really is the only way I can describe them. They have a really fast response, they excel on everything you put through them. Drums sound alive and in your face, they (the pres) have a very fast response that compliments tracking drums. Bass sounds full and warm, vocals sound crisp and clear, I could go through every instrument, but I'll refrain. I have yet to feel like something was lacking, and I have a feeling I never will.
The EQs are extremely natural sounding, they don't sound like they apply to the track, it just simply sounds like the track, they can be very surgical, they can be very subtle. Very flexible units.
If you can't tell by now: I feel like I've hit the jackpot with the ASP4816. I'm happy I found it because there are no options in this price range that have this much functionally and quality. You guys have done something fantastic here.
The only thing the console was lacking, was a T-shirt! I feel completely blessed to be a part of something so great.
About Derek Pardoe's studio background:
In 2002 I was signed with Wind-Up records with a band named Atomship. I spent every dime I made from that deal building my first studio, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. So I built the building that I am currently in, which is located on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
I originally built the studio - both studios, in fact - as a personal space but after a while I had local musicians contact me about recording, so it became a little less personal. I was then contacted by our manager Kenny Vest (who owns Kvest Management and has worked with bands like 3 Doors Down, Stereo Fuse, 12 Stones, Atomship and a huge list of others I've surely forgotten) about working with him and Kvest to develop his artists and record demos.
So my job and the job of the studio is to take the role as a kind of artist development guy and help musicians write songs, arrange tracks, and create shop-able demos to be distributed to major labels. One of the biggest reasons I decided to upgrade my studio with the ASP4816 was because of this close work relationship I had obtained with Kvest Management; quality is important, and I found quality in the Audient.
...and, whilst we're on the subject of gear:
I use the ASP4816 with Lynx Aurora 16VT Converters into a MAC Pro Running Protools. As far as outboard, I run a minimal setup with the only pres beside the Audient's are Vintech 473s. For outboard compression I have a 2 channel Vintech 609CA Compressor/Limiter, 2 Distressor Compressors from Empirical Labs, the Kush Audio UBK Fatso 2 channel compressor and the DBX 162sl. Patchbays and all the other boring stuff like verbs etc excluded. ^_^