Alex Richardson, Engineer and Operations Manager at Refinery Recording Studio in Melbourne, Australia:
"As the first owner of the Roots Tube Console I feel incredibly honoured to be a part of history in the making. The console itself is a work of art and a sound not to be reckoned with. The module itself strikes me as warm, very true to the original sound (from the lowest to the highest frequency) and versatile. I love the summing section too. The combination of the double tube modules and the spa690s means a super-wide, polished and punchy sound that can only be described as musical and creative in its own right. It's really hard to make stuff sound bad through this thing. Sometimes I even run vocals through the modules 2 or 3 times to give it that extra glow and richness. The mic pres are always my first preference until I run out of channels and it's my summing mixer for final mix-down." Photo: Nik Harrison
So often the pro audio world chases the ideals and designs of the past but overlooks the innovation, build quality, and attention to detail that made legacy pieces as opposed to disposable or trend chasing units. The Tree Audio 500 is the culmination of a design rooted in the best aspects of the last 60 years of audio engineering with modern advancements that make it usable in today’s studio environment. From The 100% discrete design and custom wound transformers at every turn to the 40 point detent countersunk pots and massive faders, every component in the console was hand chosen... the only consideration was quality. And I can say that, as a proud owner of something I intend to pass on to my children, sitting behind this modern work of engineering art is only a minor pleasure of owning it.
After selling my hulking Neve console, a lot of my favorite aspects of the 500 are ownership issues that some don’t consider when purchasing a console – It doesn’t get hot at all... after hours of mixing on it it can still be more than cool to the touch, I have had over 26 modules slotted in it and it only drew 1.4 Amps, I can turn it off when I am not using it and on when I am, I can switch out the 500 modules with any combination of mic pre, eq, de esser, or compressor I choose, and these perks ultimately make the studio work better and thus make the mixes better. I never would have thought that a hand built, borderline custom console would exceed the build quality of existing consoles but it does in spades. Each knob is solid with the right amount of resistance underhand, the monitor pot is perfect. The feel of these things mattered to me. The wood, the chrome, the etching. I expected it to sound good but I never expected it to be designed so beautifully.
Now for the sound. In short, it sounds like you would expect a console built from the finest components would: Fan-fu**ing-tastic. The headroom is through the roof and you can push each channel individually or the summing bus as hard or light as you want to draw out different and beautiful colorations. The stereo spread is enormous... the short run straight wire approach, in my opinion makes it sound that much bigger. The console allows me to make the mixes I want and isn’t intrusive when I don’t want it to be. I need to up my AD chain now to properly capture the rich, warm nuances of my mixes. The only question now is what to fill the 88 slots with!
Christopher “Thes One” Portugal
Piecelock70A Studios, PUTS, Los Angeles
Tree Audio co-owner, Ian Gardiner; Grammy-nominated Engineer/Mixer, Helik Hadar; Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock, and Grammy-winning Producer/Musician, Larry Klein. (Photo: left to right)
Engineer Helik Hadar used the Inward Connections all-tube 820 mic-pre/comp/EQ (shown in photo) on Herbie’s Grammy-winning Album of the Year for 2009, “River: The Joni Letters."
Helik, again, used the Inward Connections all-tube 820 mic-pre/comp/EQ for Melody Gardot’s album, “My One and Only thrill” (Verve), which is nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category – Helik Hadar and Al Schmitt, engineers.
Tree Audio is re-designing the 820 into a Tree Audio true sidecar. We’ll keep you posted as this product is developed.
Photo: Marvin Kanarek
Andrew Murdock, Record Producer:
Andrew in front of his newly installed Tree Audio 500 24 channel console at his recording studio, The Hobby Shop, in Eagle Rock, California.
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Bobby Lurie, owner of Mavericks Studio, New York City, NY:
"It's like buying the ultimate sexbot, and getting the Swedish volleyball team to come over and put her together," said Bobby Lurie of Ian Gardiner and Steve Firlotte of Tree Audio coming to install his new Tree console. Photo: Caitlin McCaffrey
Mavericks Studios 32 channel Tree console with:
(24) API 512C Mic Pres
(30) API Vintage 550A EQ’s
(2) API 560 EQ’s
(4) API 527 Compressors
(6) Inward Connections Brute Compressors
(4) Inward Connections Magnum Mic Pres
Inward Connections Master Section
Tree Audio Dealer, Ramine of Floating Point Audio/France -
Congratulations to our Tree Audio dealer in France, Ramine of Floating Point Audio, for being our first European dealer to purchase and receive a Roots console.
The console is in his showroom on his boat, just outside of Paris, France. If you're in France and would like to demo the console contact Ramine. Here's his website: http:// www.floatingpointaudio.com/ tree_audio.html
"Setting up our studio, my partner Julian and I were faced with a
number of boards to choose, from SSL to API, and needed something to
keep up with the little Inward Connections DMC board we already owned."
"The Tree Audio board is nothing short of spectacular. Beyond the
obvious (ability to mix and match any 500 series you want in any
configuration), the 'sound' of this board is just what we wanted. It
goes beyond explanation as the depth of the signal is extraordinary
and owing to the fact that Steve's blocks are in it, my stereo image
is wider as well. Headroom is another detail that shouldn't be missed;
you can drive this board hard and it won't collapse. From what I've
checked out and listened to, this is a console nonpareil."