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South Coast Recorders Prepares for Hi-Res With the AMEK Media 51

Houston, TX (July 9, 2002) -- South Coast Recorders has upgraded its B Room with a 44-input AMEK Media 51 automated multiformat mixing console. Located in Friendswood, TX on the outskirts of Houston, the multi-room music recording facility specializes in R&B and hip hop. 

                       Logical Progression

According to studio owner, producer and engineer Kevin Bomar, who replaced an AMEK Big by Langley with the Media 51, the upgrade was a logical progression considering the performance specification of the new console. “The Media 51 has a frequency response that’s well beyond the Nyquist frequency of the best sampling platforms right now,” says Bomar, who believes that the ultra-high resolution SACD format will eventually becoming preeminent. “A workstation would have to have over 400kHz sampling to approach the top-end frequency response of the Media 51, and I don’t see that coming for a while.”

Exceptional Frequency Response

With all mono input modules incorporating a brand new Mic Pre Amp and EQ section designed by Mr. Rupert Neve, the Media 51 is the first mid-level multiformat console to incorporate audio circuitry by the renowned designer. In conjunction with the AMEK design team, Mr. Neve, a proponent of full bandwidth analog audio, has produced a console with an exceptional frequency response of 10Hz to 200kHz (-1.5dBu)*.

Serious EQ

It was Mr. Neve’s pedigree that also persuaded Michael ‘My’kill’ Calderon, the studio’s chief engineer, that the Media 51 was the best choice for the studio’s hard disk recording-based B Room. Calderon, a six-time Grammy-nominated engineer, boasts an impressive list of credits that includes Destiny’s Child, Tupac Shakur, Joe Pace & the Colorado Mass Choir, Korn, LL Cool J, and Brandy.

“When Kevin asked me what I thought about installing the Media 51, I said, ‘I would love it, because we’d be tracking on a Neve,’” says Calderon. He reports that he cut his teeth on Neve consoles and has extensive experience with the AMEK 9098EQ mic preamp and EQ, designed by Mr. Rupert Neve. “I just think the 9098EQ is the best thing in the world, so I’m really excited about this console.”

“This is a for-real, serious EQ that gives you incredible flexibility,” says Bomar of the Media 51’s EQ section, which rivals the EQ facilities on consoles costing many times more. “We’ve got real parametrics in the mids, with more gain than any other console on the market. I don’t think there’s another analog board that’s got 18 dB of gain or cut. And the upper-range EQ is just exactly what I would have looked for on a bigger board.”

Sonic performance is critical to Bowmar, who lists Priority and Wreck Shop Records and artists such as Big Moe, Fat Joe, Big Pokey and Lil’ Keke as regular clients. “The average project that walks in here is over 40 tracks. We do a lot of R&B and hip hop, and vocal layering is thick, and you’ve got sometimes three or four low-end instruments that you have to somehow blend in. So they have to bang.” The Media 51 is more than up to those demands.

Media 51 is fitted as standard with AMEK’s leading console automation system, Supertrue V4, which also drives AMEK’s flagship 9098i console. The system provides fader, switch and event automation, Recall, Virtual Dynamics®, comprehensive off-line editing and optional motorized joystick control.

“Supertrue--what can I say?” enthuses Bomar, who says that he prefers Supertrue to the automation on the industry standard console in his A Room. “All of my engineers love the way Supertrue works.” The interaction of the input channel EQ and Supertrue is impressive, he continues. “The fact that we can put the variable lowpass and highpass filters in the Virtual Dynamics sidechain and compress, expand or gate while recording is fantastic.”

Now that the Media 51 is installed Bomar has high expectations for the B Room, which was already attracting rave reviews for its cool vibe and sound. “Now, with the Media 51, there’s going to be more bang for the buck than almost any A Room in Houston. Even our clients who work in the bigger rooms in New York, L.A. and elsewhere think that our B Room is better than the A Rooms they’ve been in.”

Media 51 additionally offers multichannel bussing, stem monitoring and downmixing facilities supporting the popular surround sound formats from LCRS to 7.1, as well as stereo. Bomar, who has already signed up a couple of 5.1 customers as a result of the Media 51’s arrival, is looking forward to attracting more surround projects away from L.A. and New York, he says. “There’s not really a serious 5.1 music room in Texas right now; I haven’t heard of anybody putting one in, not outside of a post environment. We’ve got a serious music control room that’s very accurate and a console that you can do post production music mixes on.”

*(150 Ohm source, unity gain)