Dan Gautreau chooses SSL for First Cut Music

Dan Gautreau’s private studio, First Cut Music, a facility in rural England that produces music for Hollywood films and TV shows like Saturday Night Live and Top Gear, is making use of a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Delta hybrid analogue console.

When he started out as an assistant engineer at London’s Sarm West Studios, training under the watchful eye of producer Trevor Horn, Gautreau grew comfortable with that studio’s SSL J and G Series consoles. As a result, when he built his First Cut Music studio, he opted for SSL with an eye at taking the mix out of the DAW box.

“We all know that a majority of people have moved to working in the box,” he said, “and the standard is incredibly high, but I still feel that some mixes can get choked in the box and really benefit from being spread over an analogue board. That’s when you get the pay-offs of the headroom and great buss processing, of analogue mixing on top of all these extra workflow bonuses.”

For mixing, Gautreau makes use of the Delta Control, which allows the console’s analogue fader automation to be stored, read, and edited in DAW plug-in automation lanes.

“I find that at critical stages, it is amazing,” Gautreau said. “I’m doing rides and pushes that I would never have done in the box. I’ll listen to the results and find there’s a lot more dynamics and a lot more punch. Without the limitations of being tied to the screen, you have the freedom to commit to what you hear.

“It’s one of those things that make the board a musical instrument in the studio. And then you get the recall with the session – open it up, and it’s all there. I primarily work on Logic Pro X as my writing and production tool, and Delta-Control works flawlessly.”