Friday, October 30, 2020

A Rupert Neve Designs 5088 for Nashville’s MOXE

Located in the woods on the north side of Nashville, MOXE is a newly-opened creative retreat and recording studio helmed by multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin. In the center of the building, looking down on the picturesque live room, sits a 40-input Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console. The first twenty-four mono input channels are accompanied by twenty-four Shelford 5052 mic preamp / EQ modules, and eight additional stereo input channels complete the package.

According to Hamlin, finding the perfect console was a lengthy journey. “We spent a year or more designing a different, custom console build, and all of a sudden, that plan fell apart. In a moment of feeling discouraged about losing so much time and energy, I called my friend Aaron Hedden and he immediately knew what to do. Twenty minutes later, I was on the phone with Josh [Thomas, General Manager] at Rupert Neve Designs, and all the testing and deliberating and comparing of the past year crystalized…in that moment, I knew that the 5088 was the right desk for us.”

Designed, owned and operated by all women, MOXE is “a bit of a specialized place”, according to Hamlin. The building contains not only the large central live room, but a variety of isolation booths and “reverb rooms”, each with its own distinctive sonic character. “Most every room in the house – including the tiled master bathroom, dining room and foyer – is wired and ready for any idea. It’s been interesting to see what types of artists, engineers and producers have been drawn to this studio; I’ve been so thrilled to see that the people who are into it have the same wonder-filled relationship that I do with MOXE.”

“The console sounds pretty dreamy. I particularly love the first blush of hearing the initial sounds of a project come through the desk. With the 5088, I’m doing so much less work ‘correcting’ sounds, because they’re coming in sounding great – and somehow cohesive – from the start. That really frees me up to spend time on more creative decisions in the sonics rather than compensational or reparative. But when I want to really color it, it already has some pretty interesting and exciting paths to do that too!”

One of MOXE’s first large projects was a new record for Lucy Wainwright Roche, where Hamlin and other collaborators “holed up” in the immersive space and lived in the studio during tracking. “Sometimes that means vocals at 5:30am, sometimes it means tracking in pajamas, and sometimes it means morning coffee in the hot tub in the woods. So much of the process of making and releasing a record feels like an overwhelming and uphill battle, so any time we can carve out moments like that, it’s total magic for me.”

More on MOXE.

More on the 5088 console.

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