After Hours With
Rafa Sardina with Alejandro Sanz at After Hours
Eleven-time Grammy Winner mixer/engineer Rafa Sardina (Stevie
Wonder, Dr. Dre, Alejandro Sanz) work
and play always happen after hours.
my own place helps me offer my services to a wider group of artists
or labels. I've been collecting cool gear for many years and most
of it is parked at After Hours. I wanted a comfortable musician-friendly
environment to work on projects that don't necessarily have the
budgets for commercial studios. Plus it allows me to get more involved
with a wider range of artists/bands or music that I love,"
says Sardina who recently received delivery of a SSL Duality console.
With Quincy Jones
The After Hours
Studios is designed by Clayt Hudson, principal architect of COMPOS/IT/E
with design credits to include: O'Henry Studio C, artist home studios,
and NRG Recording Services.
With Phil Ramone
evolved from a very basic 'home studio' to one on par with commercial
facilities. Rafa and I worked together to develop a working studio
that would satisfy his Grammy-worthy demands and were able to maximize
the existing spaces to become a dedicated recording/mixing environment
experience," says the architect.
The main studio at After Hours is large enough to accommodate rhythm
track sessions comfortably. Recently After Hours hosted Gregg Bissonette
(Don Henley, Duran Duran, Ray Charles, and Carlos Santana) on drums
and songwriter Matt Bissonette on bass.
LA club circuit, Detroit Mutant Radio recently stopped by. "Your
hospitality and engagement with our music was perfect. The boys
had lot of fun cutting over ten songs in two days," says Joseph
Bialik of DMR.
Sardina becomes the first Los Angeles-based independent engineer/producer
to choose the recently-introduced SSL AWS 900+. Analogue Workstation
System which also includes an SSL XLogic X-Rack packed with eight
The control room houses the ProTools HD system fully loaded with
Apogee converters and plug-ins. "I wanted to have a tool that
would help me mix to the level I'm used to-I've been using SSL consoles
for a very long time-and I find that mixing 'in the box' doesn't
satisfy my requirements, sonically speaking, especially in recording
basic tracks," says Sardina.
Rodrigo y Gabriela with Peter Asher & Rafa
Sardina at After Hours
The studios are booked for tracking, mixing, overdubs and MIDI sessions.
After Hours Control rooms is generously appointed with well-maintained
vintage and contemporary outboard equipment including an impressive
microphone collection like a matched pair of the new Telefunken
Ela M12 which is the recreation of the classic microhone manufactured
in the 60s and considered one of the most desirable of the classic
condenser tube microphones. "I'm also a huge fan of AT mics.
What I love
about these mics is their performance and versatility. Last year
I found myself renting the mics on almost every session. So, finally
I have a pair of my own," says Sardina. According to the engineer/mixer
who has works with major artists at some of the worlds' top studios
(Abbey Road, Chalice and Record Plant) he uses the mics for Drums
and strings to vox and everything in between.
credits include chart topping artists like Macy Gray, Jessy Moss,
Dr. Dre, Luis Miguel, Sheryl Crow, Marc Antoine, Angie Stone and
Gregg Bissonette at After Hours
Rafa who has
been working at some of the best studios internationally, decided
to have his own place so he could be more flexible with a wide range
of client budgets and still be able to do what he loves...mixing,
engineering and producing albums.
Photo: Ed Freeman Courtesy of
"I'm mixing songs for an upcoming Warner release this week
in my studio. Even some of my more established clients will appreciate
the cost saving move. Plus this allows me the luxury to experiment
with sound and have more fun," says the mixer/engineer.
Bookings or Private