Muse engineer’s studio given SSL overhaul

Grammy Award-winning engineer Adrian Bushby has added an SSL MadiXtreme 64 & Alpha-Link I/O system, and fully-loaded X-Rack in his London garden studio.

Bushby spent his formative years assisting Alan Moulder at Trident Studios in London – home to 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,” he said.

Having already worked with the likes of My Bloody Valentine, U2, Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins, Dashboard Confessional and Feeder, Bushby was asked in 2011 to work on what would become Muse’s Grammy Award-winning The Resistance album at a studio in Lake Como, Italy, but this took Bushby out of London for nine months, during which he was still paying rent on his studio space. 

A cost-effective solution was soon found closer to home – literally in Bushby’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.”

When it came to updating his studio gear to another level, Solid State Logic provided several solutions. “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,” Bushby explained. “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.

"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 mid-range. I think the Alpha-Link is an incredible-sounding unit and really changed my room. 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.”

Bushby can also easily take the products from his home studio to bigger commercial facilities when required, which is exactly what he did when working on the latest Muse album The 2nd Law, mainly at Hampstead’s AIR Studios. “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.”

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