Busan, South Korea – Music Lab Busan (MLB) is a growing music production school and studio complex in the South Korean City of Busan. As part of improvements to its studio and workshop facilities, the school has installed an SSL AWS 924 console in the multi-purpose Studio A control room, and an SSL XL-Desk in Studio C. The consoles were supplied by studio technology experts and SSL distribution partner, Gearlounge.
Co-founded by the Busan Metropolitan City and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and run by the Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency, the aim of Music Lab Busan is to provide opportunity for local musicians, producers, and engineers to learn about, create, and promote music across a wide range of genres. The ultimate ambition is to invigorate the local music industry enough to make it a self-sustaining cultural haven for popular music, even though Busan is a long way from the South Korean capital, Seoul.
The House Engineer at MLB is Bong Won Shin, who had early success as the Chief Engineer at JYP Entertainment, and then decided to bring his experience back to his home city of Busan. "In South Korea, most cultural infrastructures and facilities are concentrated around Seoul, which means that other smaller cities tend to suffer from a lack of investment."
That investment is already paying off. Quite a number of K-pop productions have been mixed and mastered at the studios – a genre that has until recently been mainly Seoul-based.
Bong Won Shin is focussing on teaching at MLB, as well as developing a new career of his own in composition, while all the time keeping his eyes on a bigger prize: "Ultimately, we want to take the Korean music to the global market," he says.
The Music Lab Busan Academy offers a wide range of short courses varying from DAW workshops, to music tracking and mixing, to sound design and mastering. The facility also offers album production and promotion services to up and coming local musicians, who compete for this through regular public competitions and showcases. Very recently, it hosted a series of SSL Seminars in conjunction with Gearlounge, featuring sessions with SSL representatives, and a lecture from Bong Won Shin.
Studio A (SSL AWS 924) features a large rehearsal and live room for bands, orchestras, and choirs, and a well-equipped control room. The AWS is situated close to the mastering console, so students can be mixing and mastering at the same time. Studio B is the Digital Music Production room, while Studio C (SSL XL-Desk) is a smaller tracking room intended mainly for vocal and solo instrument recordings. In addition there is a Teaching/Lecture Room for classroom-style learning.
Gearlounge Marketing Director Mr Howon Lee explains that the SSL brand, and SSL technology, were a winning combination for the project: "SSL consoles are famous around the world for their sound and their flexibility. Each one is a masterpiece. The SuperAnalogue signal path puts no limits on genre or style, and the DAW control on the AWS is an extremely powerful feature. Both consoles are ideal for a facility like MLB."
Bong Won Shin agrees: "SSL consoles are a standard among studio mixing consoles; they are classic, creative, and flexible... They’re the best choice for students who want to be professional recording and mixing engineers… SSL… Even the name sounds cool!"
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