VINTAGE HELIOS CONSOLE + ANALOG TAPE =
FAT SUMPTUOUS WARM MAJOR LABEL SOUND

Analog Mastering on modified Helios console and 1/2" tape machine

Finally! FAT. For the ears!
The ingredients for FAT can be fond here: Gear List

Is the loudness war over? Do I need a loud or not so loud master? The answer is:
You need BOTH! And that´s the reason why you will receive two different masters.

Audio professionals like you and me know that the “Louder is better” myth is a trick on the brain. It’s not better it´s only louder and often over-compressed like white noise. It overwhelms our ears. But a loud track can get a lot of attention and for some situations still to this day - that´s exactly what we need. Therefore the first master you will receive is called "Mastered for Loudness" (MfL) and it delivers that attention getting loudness, competing with the loudest commercial releases at about -8 LUFS. It´s LOUD but it’s like a billion pixel photo, with every single little detail still crisp, full, rich and warm. "Mastered for Loudness" masters are intended for CD production, Soundcloud, DJ playlists and label shopping.

On the other hand you have streaming services, television and radio using their own loudness normalization. So there is just no need to over-compress in mastering to squeeze out the last db of loudness. Their normalization will just turn down tracks which are too loud to make all tracks play at the same volume. You will be happy to have a second master called "Mastered for Fidelity" (MfF) which is mastered at lower integrated loudness, is more dynamic and fully complies to the "Mastered for iTunes" (MfiT) standard. This mastering is intended for streaming services, television and airplay, High Res Download and Vinyl release.

As a free service we also create RIN files for your release (new industry standard for music credits) and publish them through our sound credit publisher license.

Analog Mastering Steps


Mastered for Loudness (MfL) Specs


LUFS Loudness
-8
Bit Depth
16
Hz Sampling Rate
441
Peak Level
0

GERMAN ENGINEERING

Mastered for Fidelity (MfF) Specs


LUFS Loudness
-14
Bit Depth
24
Khz Sampling Rate
96
Peak Level
-01
  • At the Helios workshop in 1972

    Built for Hansa Studio Berlin

  • The Helios History

    In the 60's a gentleman called Dick Swettenham worked as a Service/Design Engineer for Abbey Road Studios. In the early 70's he moved to work for the legendary Olympic Studios, where he was in charge of Design and Maintenance. He approached the owners of Olympic, with the idea that if they allowed him to order the parts, he could build a desk that was far more musically advanced than anything built at that time. He got his green light.
    When the desk was completed it was used by many legendary musicians including the famous "Jimi Hendrix Masters" who started to book time at Olympic. Most top British and even some American recording artists were now also using Olympic Studios because of the console, including Chris Blackwell of Island Records. Blackwell decided that, instead of using the console at Olympic, it was a way smarter business idea if he built an own studio a around a Helios. But Dick Swettenham, the man who built the one and only Helios console, worked for Olympic, and it wasn’t likely Olympic would let Swettenham built another Helios for a competitor. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the way was simple. Blackwell put up the funds and went into business with Swettenham to build Helios consoles.
    Seven Helios consoles were originally built for Island Records which included Mobile Studios. At this time Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" was selling well for Virgin Records, so Richard Branson had Helios build three consoles, one for The Manor Studio, one for The Manor Mobile and one for Townhouse Studios. The "Who" built Ramport Studios around the Helios, The Rolling Stones built the legendary "Stones Mobile". 10cc built Strawberry Studios and so the sound spread; even the Beatles built "Apple Studios" around a green Helios Console.
    Helios Brochure
  • Helios console signed by David Bowie
    In 1972 the legendary Hansa Studio Berlin "by the wall", ordered one Helios console. This console recorded David Bowie's "Low" Album, which was the first of the successful trilogy of albums Bowie made in Berlin (Low, Heroes, Lodger). As well as Bowie, other legendary music from Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dreams, Zarah Leander, Ilse Werner, Eartha Kitt was recorded on Hansa’s Helios console.
    Today, Helios consoles are extremely rare, indeed, and very much sought after. There are only few of these fantastic boards left in the world. The very one from Hansa Studio in Berlin - is fully discrete and has a unique wide fat and open sound.
    After all its faders were cleaned... removing all the dirt and other memories from the old glory days of Sex, Drugs and Rock ́n Roll, this venerable Helios console was completely rebuilt and modified with tender loving care and meticulous attention to detail by the extremely skilled designer Charly Bohaimid.
    Now, it is the center point of Schleiwies Studio. David Bowie and producer Tony Visconti remember this console as one of their favorites and both graciously signed it in 2004 when it was installed at Schleiwies Studio.
  • At SCHLEIWIES STUDIO Today

    Refurbished 2004

FAQ

Fat is the answer. Here are the questions:

Clients

Sony Music
BMG
Universal Music
Columbia

Services

€ /song
Analog Mixing
Analog Mixing
Mastered for Loudness Mastering
Mastered for Fidelity Mastering
Tape Usage
€ /song
Analog Mastering

Mastered for Loudness Mastering
Mastered for Fidelity Mastering
Tape Usage
€ /track
Stem Bounce

Stereo Bounce through console
& Telefunken M15 1/2" Tape machine
Tape Usage
€ /hour
Live Recording
Earthworks Pres´s
Burl Mothership Converter
Neumann KU-100 Binaural
or Decca Tree