This episode of Fix It In The Mic — Nashville features a visit to Ben’s Studio (now called Grand Victor Sound), the former RCA Studio A in Nashville, now owned by singer-songwriter and producer Ben Folds. Leslie Richter and Joe Costa, two seasoned freelance engineers who regularly work out of Ben’s Studio, talk to us about their creative work in this legendary studio and share their thoughts on microphone techniques, studio gear, and the special qualities of ribbon mics. Join us for this rare glimpse at one of Nashville’s largest and most historic recording studios.
Original built in 1964, Ben’s Studio was built by Chet Atkins and was known as historic RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios. The studios client list, past and present reads as a whos who of music history. Some of the studio’s clients are The Monkees, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Waylon, Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, George Strait, The Beach Boys, Amanda Palmer, William Shatner and includes the studio’s owner Ben Folds. After almost a decade of dedicated private use, Ben’s Studio recently re-opened to the recording community for commercial sessions. With a plethora of exquisite recording equipment and instruments in an incredible space, it’s hard to not become enthusiastic when entering this studio.
AEA R84, R92, and R88 ribbon microphones as well as the TRP preamp find regularly use on sessions by Ben Folds or other artists at Ben’s Studio. Common applications are drum overheads, strings, drum room, horns, percussion. A particular strength of the AEA preamp is their clean, low-noise performance, which prevents the build-up of noise when stacking string tracks for example.