Amphion studio monitors at the very edge of the Norwegian Sea
In the far North of Europe, on the island-municipality of Giske, at the edge of Norwegian Sea, can be found Ocean Sound Recording studio. Constructed using traditional Norwegian building methods, the studio works in harmony with its surroundings, providing artists and producers alike the inspiration through being immersed in the power and beauty of the northern European nature.
It was in 2005 when the members of ‘The Margarets’ decided to record their album in their homeland. What started out as a recording project in a boathouse grew into Ocean Sound Recording – which opened its door in 2009. For studio owner Arvid Giskeødegård, the greatest challenge was to convince the locals that a studio next to the sea would not impact upon the environment. Though for studio designer Ric Vaughan, the toughest task was to keep the sounds of the amazing environment outside the windows. Judging by what we see now, both of them succeeded in creating a unique studio in spectacular surroundings.
Ocean Sound Recording attracts a wide range of artists. According to the producer Henning Svoren, the studio is “genre independent, having everything from far out non-melodic contemporary noise to hardcore rock”, and very often having live recordings.
One of the latest, and among Henning’s most favourite projects, is with Norwegian violinist Ola Kvernberg together with “seven of the most talented Norwegian musicians, recording live” – three drummers, Hammond B3, guitars, pedal steel, violin, bass and tubular bells. The studio has also been used for modern electronic projects, mostly recorded in-the-box, but artists sought the creative vibe of the studio.
The inspirational environment is well-supported by some high-end gear such as the 40-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Shelford Limited Edition console in the recording Studio A ,and a Crane Song Avocet with Pro Tools HD Native in the mixing and mastering Studio B. This is also the permanent residence of a pair of Amphion Two18 studio monitors, which make some occasional ‘tours’ to Studio A. This gap will be filled very soon with a set of One18s which is on the investment list to complete the sound excellence of the recording facility.
Henning’s interest in Amphion studio monitors was inspired by the Gearslutz forum where he discovered the brand in early 2015. Soon after, he contacted David Zells, Amphion’s Norway dealer and a pair of Two18s has arrived at Ocean Sound for testing.
From the very first moment, “they sounded very ‘real’ to me and I was never in doubt that they were the most natural-sounding speakers I had ever heard,” says Henning.
In addition to Amphion’s ‘Beautifully Honest’ realism, Henning mentions the ease of work and absence of ear fatigue: “If you have a long day with a mix that needs massive amounts of work, the Amphions makes it a more fun experience. I am never in doubt when adjusting an eq. I am never in doubt that the music will translate to any other system. I feel I hear everything I need.” According to him, the Amphions stimulate his creativity.
“I just think they sound amazingly transparent, so it really allows me to get creative and hear what our gear really sounds like,” says Henning.
Another important point that Henning makes refers to Amphion’s signature 1600 Hz crossover design.
“I really like the tightness of the low-end and how non-existent the crossover-point is. I’ve put them up next to some other very expensive well-known studio monitors, and they seemed to be missing entire chunks of the frequency spectrum compared to the Amphions.”
Ocean Sound Recording strives for sound excellence and proves this with its deeply-considered studio design and gear selection, which is reflected by the volume of brilliant projects created there.
“We want to deliver music at the highest sonic standards, with the Amphions in place I certainly can’t blame the monitoring if not reaching that goal,” Henning concludes.