Marta Salogni is an Italian producer, mixer, and engineer. She won the MPG Award for British Breakthrough Engineer last year, and has worked with a string of acclaimed artists including Bjork, Goldfrapp, Django Django, Alex Cameron, and Factory Floor. A couple of months ago, she moved into a new studio in the heart of London Fields. It’s airy, it’s spacious, there’s plenty of natural light (a prerequisite, she says), and some epic analogue kit. It’s also recently been calibrated, so it’s sounding better than ever.
“Before I moved in [during January], I was based in Hammersmith at a studio where [record label] Mute is; I took over their studio about two and a half years ago, when I was on a project for Goldfrapp,” Salogni explains. “My dream was always to have my own studio: my own place where I could put the desk that I wanted to mix on, and build my ideal setup.”
Which is exactly what she’s done. Salogni’s studio centrepiece is a real one-off: a Studer console, which never officially saw the light of day. And it sounds beautiful.
“This Studer was built in 1976; I found it in Switzerland, and it’s a prototype of two desks together,” she explains. “So a meter bridge joins them, but the end of the console can be taken out, and used for mobile recordings, as it has an internal power supply. It’s in brilliant condition, probably as it was used to record mainly classical stuff, so it hasn’t been smashed by too much loud music! So even cosmetically it’s in really good condition, especially as it’s quite an
old desk now.”
Salogni says she wanted the ‘feel’ of pushing the faders up, and to not spend her time just looking at the screen, staring at the blank space between the speakers.
“We spent quite a lot of time integrating it with Pro Tools, because I use Pro Tools to mix, and I have to maintain that dichotomy; you know, the digital and the analogue, to line up all the outputs so that the faders are all the same,” she says. “I modified it so I could have direct outputs on all of my channels, and use it how I think a desk should work.”
Salogni’s first ever studio project took place at State of the Ark in Richmond, which is now in the process of closing its doors permanently.
“I remember seeing an ad for the studio in Tape Op [magazine], and at the time, I was compiling a list of studios that I really wished I could work for, and this was at the top. So I asked if I could come and make teas, and tidy up after a session – and they agreed. Dan, the studio manager, showed me the studio, then a couple of days after, he called me up to do a session as a runner. That was my very first day in a studio, and it was so good, I just felt I needed to be there!”