Mexico City - An all-new high-end recording studio in Mexico is turning heads for all sorts of reasons. Uncompromising acoustic design, audio quality, and technology choices have come together to make Valenzo Studios a showcase for modern facility design. To underline this, the studio has been nominated in the 32nd TEC Awards Studio Design Project category. Of course, the SSL Duality δelta console at the heart of Valenzo Studios is a perfect fit.
Valenzo Studios started out as a simple space for Owner / Musician / Producer Cesar Valenzo and his family to rehearse in. Early on in the process however, Cesar contacted Producer / Engineers Ignacio Sotelo and Carlos González of Weird Sound to discuss the idea of doing something more professional. "When we all sat down and discussed the possibility of building a studio we explored all possibilities, explains Sotelo, "...From a small home studio setup, to what we have now - a complete professional, commercial facility."
The team sought out the services of renowned architecture, acoustics, and technical systems design company, the Malvicino Design Group, headed up by Horacio Malvicino. Malvicino himself worked with them on preliminary plans, and then took those plans into a more intense design phase. "It's a relatively small space, but it's very well planned," he comments. "They were very receptive to ideas and we did a lot of planning and design work - there were several revisions of the drawings.
The studio features the main control room, a live room, and an isolation booth on the first floor, with plenty of natural light and good views between those spaces. Above that is an office, lounge area, and machine room. The studio rooms are floated and completely isolated - a necessary feature as noise levels outside the studio were a particular concern. The live room features the Malvicino Group's variable acoustic panels, which yield an RT60 range of 0.7 to 1.2 seconds.
The installed SSL console is a 24-channel Duality Delta analogue hybrid console in a 48-channel Pro-Station (wrap-around) frame, which leaves room for future expansion.
Initially, Cesar Valenzo had different ideas about console choice, but Sotelo and González brought SSL experience with them. "We had already worked with SSL 4000 and 9000 consoles. When I first saw the Duality in New York and used it for a couple of hours, I fell in love with it."
"We are trying to focus mainly on mixing, so having the whole channel strip, including dynamics, is just fantastic.
"Also, the Delta-Control technology - the ability to use a DAW plug-in to store, edit, and playback automation, along with the Total Recall system - these are massive time and money savers. We can recall the whole board in less than five minutes.
“The sound is exactly what we want, of course, but the new workflow features and DAW control layers features are beautiful... the footprint and low power usage is great. You don't need a cooled power supply in another room just to run your desk - simply plug it in and go."
2016 has already been a successful year for Valenzo Studios. Word has quickly spread about the room and the facilities, and the studio has been busy. Valenzo himself has been surprised at the response: "At the beginning it was mostly independent Mexican artists, friends, and so on,” he says. “That began to grow quickly, and now we have some label deals, working with their artists and producers. For our first year we can't believe how much work we're getting.
"A short term goal is to position the studio as one of the primary production places in Mexico - helping all the Mexican productions to a better level. A mid to long term goal would be to see whole productions, from the start to the finish, through the studio and make that output commercially viable."