Strömstad, Sweden - Tilt Recording is a completely new, ground-up commercial facility, with an ambition to bring inspiration back to the studio. To help realise that goal, the Control Room features a new 48-channel Solid State Logic Duality δelta console, complete with SuperAnalogueTM signal path, Total Recall, comprehensive DAW control, and the new δelta plug-in-based automation system. The console was supplied by ARVA Trading AB.
The studio is the realisation of a long-standing dream by Mac Dahlby and his father, Jon. Both are experienced and passionate musicians, while Max has been recording, producing and engineering in various spaces for some time. Tilt was always intended to be a massive step up - a no-compromise commercial facility, in part inspired by less-than-inspiring experiences in other facilities around the world. "Other studios often have a 'bunker' feeling to them, with very plain design," says Max. "So my father and I sat down with the acoustic designer, Ingemar Ohlssen of Audio Data Lab - and his interior designer - and talked about the colours and the feel we wanted for the studios. We looked at old studios from the 60s and 70s and tried to capture the warm orange, yellow, and brown tones from that era.
Our clients' first impressions are always 'wow!'... They always praise the sound of the space, and the results.Max Dahlby
"We also made sure there is daylight in every room during the day. That can help keep you inspired - and the city is beautiful too." Strömstad is officially a city, but in reality, it is more like a small, picturesque harbour town, very close to the Northern border with Norway, and surrounded by beautiful countryside.
The studio's architecture has the vocal booth at its centre, with windows through to all the other rooms so the vocalist can make eye contact all musicians, and the control room, while still being in an acoustically isolated space. There is a small live room on one side of the vocal booth, and a larger 70 square metre live room on the other side. "The real heart of the studio is the Control Room though," says Dahlby. "These days they get more and more people in them, so we wanted this one to be as big as possible. In the back we have a seating section with cinema-style chairs so people can be sitting back there and watching what's going on without getting in the way. And there's plenty of room left for the big SSL and lots of outboard gear."
The Hangout is Tilt's relaxation area, complete with kitchen, comfortable seating, and an impressive collection of pinball machines. "Those are ideal for clearing your mind," says Max. "If you work at a perfume shop you might have coffee beans to smell - this is similar. Even if you've been recording for hours on end, as soon as you release the plunger you get into it. It's a nice way to break off and think of something else for a while.
The SSL Duality console was supplied through Swedish Pro Audio distributor ARVA Trading AB, which also took care of the installation and provided on-site training. "They were great," says Dahlby. "Everything was very new but Ronny from ARVA sat down with me and taught me all the basics, to get us going.
"We wanted the best console, and Duality is the best one out there. The pre-amps sound awesome - the best in the world; and the channel compressors are amazing - I especially like the automatic make-up gain.
“Our clients' first impressions are always 'wow!' - which is great to hear. They always praise the sound of the space, and the results. A recent customer told me 'that's the best my drums have ever sounded’, which is nice feedback!"
As well as offering the usual in-the-box recording options, Tilt also provides for anyone who prefers a complete analogue signal path. Studer A827 24-track and B67 2-track machines are always on hand, as is a good array of analogue outboard. Some classic instruments are in stock too, with Steinway, Hammond, and Moog for keys, and Fenders, Gibsons, and Ibanez for guitars. "This is a space where musicians of all kinds can come and record," notes Dahlby. "We have already had bands from all over Sweden, and some from Norway too."