Recording and mixing
Gregor Schweiger had just enrolled at a university in “some kind of engineering” – just to please his parents – when he also started touring as a guitarist with a hardcore band. A few years on, he realized that being behind the console in a studio made him happier than performing. Things became more serious when he commenced a sound-engineering major at the college and captured an internship with the Berlin Philharmonic.
In early 2017, Gregor made his dreams come true by opening Schweiger Studios. He built it almost from scratch and had the chance to design it exactly the way he wanted – a recording and mixing facility with a 55 sq. m. live room, two isolation booths and a 28 sq. m. control room. What really gives it punch is the Steinway D grand piano and the first-of-its-kind fully analog, surround sound Fix Audio Designs console – designed by Paul Wolff.
The console is based on 500-series modules, offering two 500 series slots per channel. Currently, Gregor takes advantage of a mix of modules by CAPI, Electrodyne/Pete’s Place Audio, Great River, Tonelux, IGS Audio, WesAudio, Lipinski and Retro Instruments. The side-rack carries all his preamps by Pueblo Audio, BAE, Electrodyne, Gyraf, Tonelux, CAPI, Chandler, with the effects by Bricasti and Eventide. His mastering chain consists of Gyraf EQ & Compressor, and a Foote Control Mastering Compressor. The digital control of his Nuendo 7 and the variety of plugins like Brainworx, Slate, Flux, McDSP, Universal Audio, Melodyne is dedicated to a Slate Digital Raven MTi2 touch controller. The AD/DA is handled by two Merging Technologies Horus Interfaces.
The monitoring section at Schweiger Studios is based solely on Amphion studio monitors that are set for surround sound. Three Two18 studio monitors are on the front – left, center, and right. The Left and Right speakers are extended with the BaseOne25 system. A pair of Amphion One18s is located on the rear side.
Gregor had never heard of Amphion before his dealer mentioned to him about the brand and recommended him to demo the speakers in another Berlin studio. “After listening to a few of my own mixes, I was hooked. I said, ‘Let’s just get these !’,” remembers Gregor. The first time he heard them in his control room was in the late fall of 2016.
“I had no gear installed yet. Just a preamp, a laptop, and the Amphions. The first record I put on was Springsteen’s “Born To Run”… and I was stunned. I fell in love with the whole set up before the first chorus of ‘Thunder Road’ started,” Gregor recalls.
“I used to double check my mixes on a variety of speakers – different studio, home stereo, car stereo, smartphone … you name it. I haven’t had to do this in a while,” says Gregor, and continues –
“Work is faster, and I need far less effort in order to achieve my goals. I can just believe in what my Amphions are telling me. These speakers are the one tool of mine that I can rely on anytime. And even more, they are the studio tool I most rely on, more than any other technical tool.”
According to Gregor the console and the Amphions are the ones that define the sound of Schweiger Studios.
Being lucky to have an empty space, not limited by already existing walls, Gregor built everything to perfection, starting from the acoustics in the live and control rooms and ending up with the “chill-out” zone for the artists. This last feature seems to be equally important for Gregor just like the setup is. “From being a musician myself I’m aware recording can be anything between pure joy and stressful pain. So for my studio, I felt like I needed to build a customer’s comfort zone,” shares Gregor. This serves his philosophy of getting connected with his clients – “The methods of bonding with the artist are, of course, the most important ones. Real communication is only what conveys ideas from you to others and vice versa,” adds Gregor.
Playing guitar in a hardcore band and recording the Berlin Philharmonic in the last 8 years reflects a wide range of music/work experiences for Gregor. This is not difficult to see looking at his recent projects – “I started in April with recording an Indie Band. Classical Piano followed that. Then a hardcore band, and then classical piano again. Next up, a Jazz Trio, and I have just finished the vocal recordings for a rock band,” says Gregor. In addition to the standard recording projects, Gregor runs a monthly live performance in his studio. Every last Thursday of the month there is a concert at Schweiger Studios live streamed on Facebook, and of course, the music genre varies each month too.