Brunswick, ME; March 2023 – A 36-channel Audient ASP8024 Heritage Edition console sits at the heart of Expanding Sky Studio, a creative space offering high quality audio recording in mid-coast Maine. “I’ve had a number of project studios in post industrial buildings as well as home studios, but my dream was to one day be able to afford to build a professional world class recording studio. That dream has been realised,” says the studio’s CEO, Michael O’Connell.
Driven by a mission ‘to bring meaningful, inspiring music to the world, regardless of genre and commercial intent,’ according to the website, Michael and the Expanding Sky team of producers and mix engineers work closely to provide the artistic community a seamless service. Their choice of mixing desk is a big part of that. “My staff and I feel the Audient will be our secret weapon in music production. We are thrilled to have it as our centrepiece and hope to have many a year of running great sounding music through it.”
He explains the setup at Expanding Sky. “The console feeds our soffit-mounted Quested Mains along with ATC 25s mid fields and Focal Solo B6s for near fields for monitoring. We also employ Avatone Mix Cube speakers for reality checks of our mixes.”
Although not averse to working in the box, he is essentially an ‘analogue guy’. “We are a hybrid studio using Logic Pro as our DAW of choice but output to the Audient for analogue goodness as well as using a number of high end outboard gear all in the analogue domain. Integrating our outboard gear with the board is straightforward, and the added Stereo Returns on the console is a really nice touch, saving us channels on mix down.
Describing what appeals to him about the large format console, he says, “The Audient is a dream as far as connectivity, routing options and clarity of functions. The mic pres are clean, transparent and sound great. The John Hardy 990C+ summing amps along with the mix bus compressor really add some weight and glue at mix down.
“I love having 24 buses and 12 Aux sends – great flexibility there. I especially enjoy the splittable EQ which you can use together if one wishes,” he adds.
Michael himself is a composer, engineer, songwriter and musician and has a vision for the studio to work within the local arts community, offering both instruction in audio production and afford local talent an opportunity to have professional recordings of their music in a world-class studio. “We have a community high school outreach program and are dedicated to discovering and aiding local aspiring artists,” he says.
A new construction designed by Greg Morris of TEC Award-winning studio design company, FM Designs, Expanding Sky Studio was ten months in the making and has been open since April 2022. Comprising a live room, iso room, control room and a relaxing lounge for artists and guests, the entire 1700 square foot of space is housed in the much larger historic Fort Andross Mill Complex in the town of Brunswick.
Delighted to be able to help artists and producers fulfil their musical visions, Michael encourages everyone to check out the Studio’s ever evolving website: ExpandingSky.com
Audient wishes you all the best!