Film score composer builds studio around Solid State Logic Nucleus

Asif Illyas, a renowned film score composer has installed a Solid State Logic Nucleus control surface, MX4 and Alpha Link MADI SX virtual console and I/O system in his home studio.

“I have always mixed in-the-box – something of a necessity when you live in a small apartment! But about five years ago I moved to a house with a basement and’ The Shire’ film scoring studio became a reality. We have a lot of SSL gear in The Shire. I used to work exclusively in-the-box, but then I discovered SSL’s MX4 and Alpha-Link,” explained Asif. “As soon as I incorporated them into my set up the sound of the studio was transformed. All of a sudden we could hear things we never knew were there… and our old mixes sounded just horrible! The SSL gear revealed how our ears had been tricked with poor quality converters and pro-sumer soundcards.

“We then decided we wanted to work with ‘real’ equipment – tape, preamps, a console. But big studio analogue gear is expensive, so I set out to see how I could use the computer to recreate a proper large format SSL console. And that’s when I discovered MX4, the world of MADI and SSL console plug-ins. We wanted to create the zero-latency set-up that one is privileged to work with in bigger studios with analogue consoles. Now we’ve set up a virtual SSL console by using a pair of Alpha-Link MADI SX’s, an MX4 MADI card, the SSL’s Soundscape Mixer with SSL plug-ins on each channel strip, and a Nucleus to drive the whole ship. The sound is just unbelievable. We can run at 24-bit/96kHz with a fraction over 1ms latency. That’s across 64 Ins and Outs, including direct monitoring for a 2” 24-track tape machine. And this is all on one PC! The clarity and definition is second-to-none for a home set-up. We are getting the space, stereo definition and detail that you would expect with a large format digital desk but in a small format set-up and on a small studio budget.”

He added: “I’m very pleased with the system we have now at The Shire. I would dare say that it sounds better than many supposedly more professional systems that some of my colleagues use. I hope they don’t read that!”