Digidesign ICON console a perfect match for Studio 880

The Bay Area studio is finding inspiration and efficiency with the installation of the Digidesign ICON console.

Once he discovered the Digidesign ICON integrated console, producer and Studio 880 owner John Lucasey simply had to have one of his own. “Jeff Salzman, the Killers’ producer, introduced me to the ICON,” Lucasey explains. “Jeff does a lot of work here, and he had his ICON in Studio A. When he set up his own studio and moved the ICON out, there was no way I was going to be without one.”

Since opening its doors in 1998, Studio 880 in Oakland has evolved into one of the Bay Area’s most in-demand facilities. It houses four studios along with 22 production offices, making it one of the largest dedicated recording studios in the area. Bands such as Green Day, Smashmouth, Blackalicious, Switchfoot and Keith Urban call Studio 880 home.

“Initially, I was opposed to the idea of the ICON,” Lucasey admits. “All of my consoles were SSLs and Neves, and I had always been of the mindset that a half-million dollar 2500-pound console that costs $1500 a month to power must be better. But then I had a couple of projects that were essentially tied to the ICON; it would have taken too much time and effort to move them over to analog console and back, so I was kind of forced into working with the ICON. As I started learning my way around it, I was completely floored at what it was capable of. Within a couple of months, I went out and bought one for Studio C.” The room is equipped with a 32-fader ICON D-Control and two Pro Tools HD3 Accel systems replete with a massive array of plug-ins.

Lucasey’s packed schedule has him in a state of perpetual deadlines. “The ICON runs day and night here,” he said. “I’m typically doing five to 10 mixes per artist, two artists per week. I send those mixes to the record labels for approval, and then implement any changes they ask for. If I had to do total recall of that many mixes on an analog console, it just wouldn’t be happening. With the ICON, everything’s just a click away — routing, automation, scenes — everything’s exactly as I left it.”

For more information, visit www.digidesign.com/icon.