Muse engineer Adrian Bushby upgrades his Garden Studio with SSL
Date 15 January 2013
Caption Adrian Bushby in his Garden Studio
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MUSE ENGINEER ADRIAN BUSHBY ADDS X-RACK AND ALPHA-LINK I/O TO HIS GARDEN STUDIO

“The Alpha-Link is an incredible-sounding unit and really changed my room.”

LONDON — Solid State Logic, the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles, is pleased to announce that double Grammy Award-winning engineer (Foo Fighters, Muse) and seasoned SSL user Adrian Bushby has upgraded to a MadiXtreme 64 & Alpha-Link I/O system, and an X-Rack loaded with E-Series EQ and Dynamics modules in his compact and bijou Ecospace® modular garden studio — based in his North London back garden.

Adrian spent his formative years assisting Alan Moulder at Trident Studios in London, the legendary location of a vintage SSL 6000 E Series console: “I always felt that once you’d learned your trade on a desk you stuck with it, so I was one of the people that stuck with SSL.”

So much so that when Adrian struck out alone, going on to successfully work with the likes of My Bloody Valentine, New Order, U2, Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins, Dashboard Confessional, Depeche Mode, Maximo Park, Feeder, and The Kooks, he often specifically sought out suitably-equipped studios, such as RAK: “That had an SSL desk, and you could book it for a certain fee. Then it got to the point where record companies started giving you a couple of days in the studio, plus your fee, but then they started saying, ‘Sorry, we can only pay for one day.’ And then it got down to the bottom line: ‘We won’t pay you unless we use your mix.’”

Times were changing — fast, forcing Adrian to rent his own smaller space and start “…branching into mixing more in the box and working out of subgroups.” So when the call came to work on what would become Muse’s 2011 Grammy Award-winning Resurrection album at a studio in Lake Como, Italy (built below vocalist, guitarist, and keyboard player Matthew Bellamy’s house), Adrian was delighted to discover “…they had a G+ there, which was a dream for me, because I had the whole desk to use!”

Resurrection effectively took Adrian out of London for nine months, during which he was still paying rent on his studio space. Time to think again. This time a cost-effective solution was found even closer to home — literally in Adrian’s back garden: “A friend of mine put me on to this company, Ecospace®, who build these spaces in your garden, and they’re really cheap. I wish I’d done it years ago, because it’s been so great. I’m really comfortable with the sound in it; it never changes, because I’ve always got the same gear, set up in the same way.”

But when it came to taking that Ecospace®-housed gear to another level altogether, in stepped some choice Solid State Logic items, both past and present. “My space is quite limited in terms of areas where I can position a lot of outboard, so I’m doing a lot of stuff in the box,” Adrian added. “I’ve started to do more hardware inserts, where I send stuff out of the box from an Alpha-Link output through an external EQ and then back into the box; for that, I’ve got myself a nice old school rack of eight channels of SL502 EQs from a vintage 5000 Series console, and they sound incredible. And now I’ve got the X-Rack with a few 4000 E Series Channel EQ modules, I really like using those on my kick and snare drums — and bass as well, because you can really dive into the midrange. I also really like its big bottom end; I just wind it in until it sounds comfortable.”

“I think the Alpha-Link is an incredible-sounding unit and really changed my room, making a massive difference. I’ve now got 32 inputs and outputs from one box, which is incredible, and I can do so much more, because it’s just so versatile.”

Adding to that versatility, Adrian can, of course, easily take these thoroughly portable products from his North London ‘home’ studio to bigger commercial concerns whenever the need arises. Which is exactly what he did when working on the latest Muse album The 2nd Law mainly in Hampstead’s AIR Studios. Here Adrian’s preferred ‘SSL sound’ prevailed while working in Studio 1 on a non-SSL large-format console: “I took my 5000 rack into the studio for the tracking, and SSL very kindly loaned us an X-Rack loaded with the E Series modules, which we extensively used for EQ and compression on the drums. We’ve also been using Studio 2 upstairs, which has a massive 8000 G+ in it, so on this current record we’ve used quite a lot of SSL stuff.”

So Solid State Logic featured prominently on Resurrection and the follow up The 2nd Law . “As is always the case with Muse, I think that every time they make a record they take a step forward from where they last left off, and this one’s no different,” mused Adrian. “It’s an amazing record; they’ve really gone to town with the production, and, again, I’m very proud to be involved with it.”