Introducing Jazztone Sessions, Berklee College of Music graduate and studio director, Sebastian Laverde is using these monthly YouTube videos to showcase his recording space, Jazztone Studios. “We aspire to become one of the best studios for jazz music recording in Europe,” says Sebastian, himself a Colombian vibraphonist, percussionist and producer. Comprising a main live room, three iso booths and a second workstation, an Audient ASP4816 is the main console in this Valencia studio.
“We are quite selective in terms of working with top-end talent and clients,” he continues, highlighting a recent Jazztone Session featuring “one of the most recognised latin-jazz vibraphone players in the world” Berklee professor, Victor Mendoza, mixed on the ASP4816 by Latin Grammy award-winning sound engineer, John Gibbe.
“the Audient just won all the way”
He has drawn on his own experience and made a point of designing his studio space with musicians in mind. “We feel like many studios are constructed from the engineer’s perspective, and this can sometimes result in a stale and intimidating environment that does not prioritize the musicians’ experience enough. We wanted to build a space where the artist feels creative as soon as they walk in,” he explains.
Yet at the same time, quality is key. “Our clients are highly demanding and so our acoustic design (built with natural materials only) and technical catalogue has to be top of the line.”
“it is a pleasure working on this console”
Enter Audient. In his search for a small format, 16-channel console that sounded great and had low maintenance requirements, the ASP4816 came to Sebastian’s attention. “The Audient just won all the way. In terms of sound and workflow it is a pleasure working on this console. The third factor is that we constantly have Berklee production students coming to work here on their projects and we are also beginning some production courses. The ASP4816 was just perfect as a teaching tool for new and upcoming production students – very intuitive.”
His attention to detail and sound quality seems to be paying off; within the first two years, the list of world-class jazz artists and musicians who have already visited, includes Paolo Nutini, Vincent Herring, Joe Sanders, Patrice Rushen and Perico Sambeat, as well as many others.
“the ASP4816 was just perfect as a teaching tool”
Keeping afloat during the turbulence of Covid-19 was no mean feat. The studios even organised a Jazztone Virtual Festival to help support the Valencian music scene over the summer. “We used the time in quarantine to finish the second control room and make some technical upgrades,” he says, and is thankful for his loyal clients who “seem to have spent quite some time composing during quarantine. As soon as we were legally allowed to open, we managed to pick up quickly.”
Looking ahead to 2021/2022, there are some “amazing projects with Latin Grammy recipient/nominee artists that we can’t wait to share!” he says, but remains tight-lipped about exact details for now.
Audient wishes him all the best.