ANALOG STUDIO


For FAT SUMPTUOUS WARM major label sound

THE
VINTAGE HELIOS CONSOLE


In the 60's a gentleman called Dick Swettenham worked as a Service/Design Engineer for Abbey Road Studios. In the early 70's he moved to work for the legendary Olympic Studios, where he was in charge of Design and Maintenance. He approached the owners of Olympic, with the idea that if they allowed him to order the parts, he could build a desk that was far more musically advanced than anything built at that time. He got his green light. And the magic was born.

(My very own Helios console in 1972 at the Helios workshop and in 2004 after restauration and modification)

When the desk was completed it was used by many legendary musicians including the famous "Jimi Hendrix Masters" who started to book time at Olympic. Most top British and even some American recording artists were now also using Olympic Studios, including Chris Blackwell of Island Records Blackwell decided that, instead of using the Helios console in an existing studio, if he built an entire studio a around a Helios Console he would get much better sound as well as saving money and giving him an independent Helios studio.

But Dick Swettenham, the man who built the one and only Helios console, worked for Olympic, and it wasn’t likely Olympic would let Swettenham built another Helios for a competitor. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the way was simple. Blackwell put up the funds and went into business with Swettenham to build Helios consoles.

THE BEST SOUNDING VINTAGE CONSOLE

HELIOS THE MUSICIANS CHOICE OF RECORDING CONSOLES


Seven Helios consoles were originally built for Island Records which included Mobile Studios. At this time Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" was selling well for Virgin Records, so Richard Branson had Helios build three consoles, one for The Manor Studio, one for The Manor Mobile and one for Townhouse Studios. The "Who" built Ramport Studios around the Helios, The Rolling Stones built the legendary "Stones Mobile". 10cc built Strawberry Studios and so the sound spread; even the Beatles built "Apple Studios" around a green Helios Console.

Helios became known as the Musicians Choice of Recording Consoles.

In 1972 the legendary Hansa Studio Berlin "by the wall", ordered one Helios console. This console recorded David Bowie's "Low" Album, which was the first of the successful trilogy of albums Bowie made in Berlin (Low, Heroes, Lodger). As well as Bowie, other legendary music from Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dreams, Zarah Leander, Ilse Werner, Eartha Kitt was recorded on Hansa’s Helios console.

(David Bowie, making magic at Hansa Studio in Berlin and original Helios brochure)

Today, Helios consoles are extremely rare, indeed, and very much sought after. There are only few of these fantastic boards left in the world. Mine - the very one from Hansa Studio in Berlin - is fully discrete and has a unique wide fat and open sound.

After all its faders were cleaned... removing all the cocaine and other memories from the old glory days of Sex, Drugs and Rock ́n Roll, this venerable Helios console was completely rebuilt and modified with tender loving care and meticulous attention to detail by the extremely skilled designer Charly Bohaimid. Now, it is the center point of my studio.

David Bowie and Tony Visconti remember this EXACT console as one of their favorites and both graciously signed it for me in 2004 when I installed the console in my studio.

NOTHING SOUNDS LIKE ANALOG TAPE

MORE ANALOG GOODIES


All of my vintage gear is meticulously restored recapped and modified to better than original specs. Nearly all modern commercially manufactured equipment used in my studio is modified to improve their performance. All cabling is upgraded to copperfree Sommer and Monster cables.

MIXING EQUIPMENT

THE INCREDIENTS TO FAT

MODIFICATIONS


All of my vintage gear is meticulously restored recapped and modified to better than original specs. Nearly all modern commercially manufactured equipment used in my studio is modified to improve their performance. All cabling is upgraded to copperfree Sommer and Monster cables.

CONSOLE

Vintage HELIOS discrete console with 40 Olympic style EQs from 1972
32 channels with Mic Pre, 24 Monitor Inputs, 16 Output Busses,
8 Aux Busses, Total of 64 Inputs in Mixdown
RTW Broadcastmonitor
rebuild and modified by Charly Bohaimid

RECORDING

Studer A800 MKIII 2" 16 Track Tape Machine
Telefunken M15 1/2" Stereo Master Machine
Avid Pro Tools 12
Antelope Audio Orion 32 HD
Burl B2 Bomber ADC
Sound Devices MixPre 3
Waves DigiGrid Server One
Waves DigiGrid MGO
Waves DigiGrid D

OUTBOARD

Preamps
API 312 MicPre (Vintage)
Earthworks ZDT Pre-Amps (8)
Dynamics
API 2500 Legacy Bus Compressor
API 525c Compressor (vintage)
Audio Design F760 Compressor (8)
Drawmer DS 201 Gate
Foote Control System P3S Compressor (Mastering Edition)
Inward Connections The Brute Compressor
NTP 179-170
Solid State Logic FX G384 with Gold Can VCAs
Standard Audio Level-Or (2)
EQ
Custom Discrete Elliptical EQ
Dangerous Music Bax EQ
Little Labs VOG
Moog Ladder Filter (5)

Effects

Bricasti M7
Digital Domain DD-2
Lexicon PCM 42 (2)
Yamaha SPX-990
Roland SDD-320 Dimension D
SPL SX2

MONITORING

ASR Emitter 1 Clear Blue
Avantone MixCubes
Beyerdynamic DT-770 M
Lipinski L-707
Sennheiser HD 600
Sennheiser HD 25
Spiral Ear 5-Way Ultimate
STAX SR-007MK2
STAX SRM-727II
Waves DigiGrid Q

MICROPHONES

Binaural
Neumann KU-100
Large Diaphragm Condenser
Neumann U47 (rare Siemens labeled)
Lomo 19a9 Serial #16
Sony C37a
Horch RM2J MKII
Small Diaphragm Condenser
DPA 4080 Lavalier
Neumann KMS 105
Roede Lavalier
Sennheiser MKH 415 T
Shure Beta 91
Sony C535p (2)
Ribbon
Beyerdynamic M160 (2)
Coles 4038 (2)
Royer R-121
Dynamic
AKG D20
AKG D224E (2)
Beyerdynamic M201 (3)
Beyerdynamic M88 NC
Beyerdynamic M67
Electro Voice RE20
Electro Voice 635A (2)
Sennheiser MD 421-2 Script Logo (2)
Sennheiser MD 441-2
Shure SM7 (2)
Shure SM 57 (3)
Shure SM 59 (2)
Shure KSM8

INSTRUMENTS

Keys & Synths
Steinway Grand Piano Model O
Wurlitzer 200A Electric Piano
Roland Juno 60
Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer
Sequential Circuits Drumtraks
Kawai VPC-1
Drums
Gretsch Round Badge 14"x22" 3-ply Kick from 1952
Gretsch Round Badge 14"x20" 6-ply Kick from 1960
Gretsch Round Badge 09"x13" 6-ply Tom from 1960
Gretsch Round Badge 16"x16" 6-ply Tom from 1960
Gretsch Round Badge 5.5"x14" Snare from 1960
Popercussion BigBass Cajon
Paiste 16" Signature Line Fast Crash
Paiste 18" Signature Line Fast Crash
Sabian 12" AA Sound Control Crash
Zildjian 14" A-Series New Beat Hi-Hat
Zildjian 13" K-Series Hi-Hat
Zildjian 20" K-Series Ride
Guitar & Bass
ESP Viper Guitar
ESP Custom Shop Stratocaster
Fender JV Stratocaster ST 62-115 from 1983 Fender JV Telecaster TL52-95 from 1982 Fender Stratocaster "STRAT" from 1980
Fender JV P-Bass PB62-98 from 1982
Amps
Ampeg B15 NF 25 Watt from 1966
Fender Princeton Reverb (Blackface from 1965)
Fender Superchamp with EV Force 10 Speaker
Marshall JCM 800 (2203) Lead 100W Red Tolex
Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier
Orange Micro Dark
Grossman Recording Cabinet with Vintage EVM 12L 8 Ohm Speaker
Pedals & Effects
Boss OC-3 Super Octave
Boss PH-2 Super Phaser
Diaz Texas Tremodillo (blue)
Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer (Vintage)
ISP Decimator
Lastgasp Art Laboratories Yongo Superfuzz
Maxon OD808 Overdrive
Palmer Daccapo
Providence Chrono Delay
Seymour Duncon Pickup Booster
TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper
Tech 21 SansAmp RBI
Toneczar Openhaus Distortion