Blackberry Hill Studios Opens

Sep 25, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

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Blackberry Hill, a new, 3,200-square-foot studio in the southwestern hills of Eugene, Ore., owned by acoustic guitarist Justin King, has opened its doors with a 60-channel, all-analog Amek Media 51 console at its helm.

Pictured: Justin King (left) and studio manager Jesse Fittipaldi

Although Blackberry Hill is a traditional commercial studio, King, who has released three solo albums (S/T, Opening and Le Bleu), as well as toured with the likes of James Taylor, B.B. King, Steve Winwood, Diana Krall and Nickel Creek, is christening the new facility by recording demos and tracks for his upcoming fourth album.

King commented on the new console: "Even though the desk was just commissioned a few weeks ago, I've already completed quite a few recordings on it. Several of the pieces were tracked out with a full band, so I've had the chance to hear not only acoustic guitar, but piano, drums and all sorts of other instruments through the desk now. The highest compliment I can think to pay the Media 51 is to say that everything sounds like itself. I'm definitely from the school of recording where you first get a beautiful sound from an instrument and then preserve that as accurately as possible, rather than have to use a lot of EQ to try and make it sound natural. The Amek almost effortlessly makes everything sound terrific.

"In particular," he continued, "I've found that the Media 51 provides a wonderful clarity and separation between instruments. The Rupert Neve-designed preamps are incredibly pristine, and I often find myself tracking things through them despite the fact that I have tons of outboard gear. And, of course, the famed British EQ is equally nice, too."

Officially celebrating its grand opening in early October, Blackberry Hill affords stunning panoramic views of the Three Sisters Mountains and Willamette Valley from 1,500 feet above sea level. The studio facilities, located on the first floor of the unique round-shaped two-story building, comprises a 1,300-square-foot tracking room, two large isolation rooms, a machine room and 500-square-foot control room. The studio is also equipped with Studer A80 and MCI JH24 2-inch 24-track machines, a 12-channel Neve 5106 sidecar, Pro Tools|HD, and a wide selection of both vintage and state-of-the-art mics, outboard preamps and processing. The studio boasts three well-appointed apartments on the second floor, full on-site meal preparation, a private jet service, sailboat, and unlimited access to miles of trails for hiking, among other amenities.

For more details on Blackberry Hill, please contact the studio at 541/485-2202 or via e-mail at justinguitar@hotmail.com. For more on the board, visit www.amek.com.






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