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MAPS Rewrites the Rules of Running a Studio
USA – “Historically, younger engineers believe that it is impossible to record in a professional studio,” says Music & Arts Production Studio (MAPS) owner Mike Willson, who hopes to change this with his pioneering new business model. Keen to attract engineers and producers who don’t have their own space to develop their craft, MAPS offers autonomous access to the studio, whilst keeping costs down by removing the need for multiple, full-time staff members.
After an induction which includes a thorough training session on their ASP4816 mixing desk, MAPS clients are ready to access the space whenever they like. Mike explains: “All of our clients are freelancers that we’ve developed close relationships with. They just hop on our Producer Dashboard, book the session and let themselves in.
“Luckily, the Audient is so easy to navigate and I always feel confident that the console will add to their workflow rather than distract from it. We are constantly getting great feedback about how much our producers love working on the console,” he continues. For many of his newer clients, it is their first time interacting with a mixing desk. “We do have a Studio B that is set up for ‘in the box’ production, but I focus on making everybody comfortable on the console, because everything else falls into place once they feel good on the Audient.”
For the last four years, the compact analogue recording console has been the centre of Mike’s creative workflow. “The preamps are fantastic and it feels good to have console preamps that people aren’t afraid to use. During mix, I love all of the routing options that help me get a mix to feel good so much quicker than when I’m working in the box,” he says.
Possibly the most important thing for this autonomous business model is the desk’s reliability. “Honestly, my favourite thing about the Audient console is that it doesn’t break down. Ever.” He adds: “I’ve worked in so many beautiful studios that have legendary consoles, but as soon as you look at CH1 wrong, it goes down. Considering we’re providing a space for freelancers to elevate their craft, I could never have a console that needs to be repaired weekly.”
Looking to the future, Mike is hoping other studios will get on board with the concept. “We are very excited to keep bringing on more freelancers and expand that model with other studios. Our team has put a lot of work into building a system to allow people autonomous access to our studio and would love to work with other studio owners to implement this idea at their spaces.”
Audient thinks that’s an inspired idea. Mike concludes: “I really feel that studios are sacred places and need to be used 24/7. An empty studio doesn’t do the world any good.”
19th April 2021
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