In the mixmastering studios there is a beautiful collection of microphones, guitars, amplifiers, drum machines, synthesizers and outboard gear from the 1960s through to the MERGING+ANUBIS and MERGING+HAPI products of 2021, while Gerd´s production studio is focused on drum machines, synths and effects from the 1970´s - 2020´s era. Despite his leanings towards classic gear, Stefan is quick to embrace new technology and having held off buying the Anubis until the Music Mission was available, he is full of praise for the product as it is now. “It not only solves so many issues, but it’s also so easy to operate. The Music Mission is what I was looking for and the Anubis has got to be one of the best pieces of gear to be introduced in the last 10 years. The RAVENNA network is now handling 108 analog channels so I am really glad I discovered the ‘Expert Mode’ on the Anubis!”
All the while the technical facilities expanded to keep up with the volume of work and now occupies three floors of the Running Back building. Stefan has mastered and produced more than 60,000 songs for clients all over the world. Gerd’s Running Back walls are lined with albums, tapes, and other testimonials of the output over these years. [ www.discogs.com/label/9291-Running-Back ]
It is the physical evidence that is the big motivator and gives opportunities to work with other creative people doing artwork and design as well as other engineers in the chain. Digital is obviously essential but is more difficult to relate to and is lacking some of the craft. It is the haptic experience and teamwork that is the thrill. “Nowadays with the energy/CO2 crisis, we are aware of issues that come along with producing records, running studios, etc. Anubis is the mainframe for my modular setup", Stefan says. "I don´t wanna have a huge console that´s on 24/7, eating power all the time. In both studios we have modular setups, so we just switch on the machines we need. With Anubis I could just use our Neumann U67 and do overdubs with the guitar or I could play the big “analog gear orchestra” with the Hapi peered up. It´s so versatile and it sounds amazing.”
There is no doubt that there is an increasing momentum for Dolby Atmos for Music with the number of adopters growing fast and fortunately there is sufficient space to modify the existing rooms to cater for immersive productions. This will come along as soon as supply limitations are overcome. The current shortage of lacquers and replication plant capacity makes this an ideal time to get the cutting lathes refurbished by their Swiss expert. Meanwhile, work continues at a pace producing masters for a huge breadth of musical genres. Neuronavigation or Neuronavi as they like to call it, is an important subject in its own right, so all will be revealed later.
Vinyl archive and turntables
Mixmastering Suite with Anubis