“Next to a collection of high-end gear and a great-sounding live room, we pride ourselves on having a pleasant atmosphere. We believe that when an artist feels no constraints from the environment, they can fully focus on getting that perfect take,” says de Peijper.
Equipment-wise, Sandlane is outfitted with an impressive array of high-end equipment from Tube-Tech, Retro, UREI, Drawmer, API, Chandler, Maselec, Empirical Labs, and vintage Neve modules – but the studio’s heavy lifting is now handled by a 32-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, loaded with Shelford 5052s.
“After being in business for a few years, we found that our previous console became the bottleneck in everything we did. After some looking around for a serious upgrade, we fell in love with the sound and ease of use of the 5088…we compared the 5052s to a couple of Neve 1064 units, which were our most prestigious pre-amps at the time. The sound and musicality were so close we decided to sell the 1064s and fully load the console with 5052s.”
“The 5088 is very much the heart of the studio…it has completely turned our workflow inside out. It has an insane amount of headroom for summing. Even with complex, layered and heavily compressed music maxing out the stereo bus, it retains its openness. Also, the EQ’s of the 5052’s are amazing; they help shape the sound without compromising the integrity of the source. Everything can be shaped and still sounds completely natural.”
Sandlane’s 5088 is configured with 24 mono and 8 stereo channels. When recording, the mono channels feed into the A/D converters and the stereo channels are used for listening back to submixes from Pro Tools. “This split setup is our standard way of recording, but because every input and output of the console is hooked up to our patchbay, we are able to switch the console to an in-line setup within a matter of seconds. When it’s time to mix, we simply flick the mic/line switches on the 5052s. That way we have the 24 mono channels receiving input from Pro Tools, ready to be used in combination with our outboard gear – and of course that beautiful analogue summing.”
Sandlane recently finished 5 months of recording a Dutch symphonic metal band called Epica under the guidance of producer Joost van den Broek, with some songs consisting of over 700 tracks – strings, brass, percussion, and choir layered over a full metal production. What comes after that?
“We have been steadily growing over the past years, both as a studio and as engineers/producers. Our relatively small team is in it for the long run and we’re all dedicated to following this positive course. Hopefully we can keep making bigger productions and keep having a lot of fun in the process.”