One of the most unique studios has quietly been attracting attention in Mesa, Arizona. The Platinum Underground Studio, built 30 feet underground, is a 4000 square-foot, multi room facility designed by legendary studio designer, Vincent Vann Haaff. For over 40 years, Vann Haaff has been designing venues such as Capitol Records, Sony’s facilities, Henson Studios, a full production facility for Will iAM, Rick Ruben as well as writing and production facilities for Max Martin.
The Platinum Underground is owned and operated by ICON guitarist John Aquilino. When asked why he decided to build a full fledged studio, Aquilno said, “In an age where it it’s expected to be disconnected musically, email your tracks, upload your files and rarely experience the community of real musicians playing real instruments together in a real space, The Underground is the polar opposite. It’s about getting back to the human experience that happens in a great space with incredible gear, and talented people come together for one purpose, to make great music. There’s nothing like it and you can hear it in the music we produce. ISP and their products are a major part of that process for us at The Platinum Underground.” The studio consists of a large 2,500 square foot live room with 14 foot ceilings. This room was designed not only as an amazing tracking space but also a large enough space to accommodate full live rehearsals and pre-production for both recording sessions and live performance. There are two separate, tuned isolation booths, an acoustically accurate control room and a complete living space with separate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room/game recreation area.
Outfitted with state of the art equipment, the live room includes a full ISP Technologies dual line-array Mongoose PA system complete with XMAX subs and 6 ISP Tri-Reference single 15”, 3 way wedge monitors and 24 custom 4×12 guitar cabinets designed specifically for the studio by Buck Waller, CEO of ISP. The ISP Technologies Decimator Pro Rack G noise reductions units, Beta Bass Pre Amp Pedal and the brand new Theta Pro DSP Floor Controlled Guitar System are also utilized in the studio.
The control room is a hybrid setup that is equipped with a 104 channel Euphonix CS 3000 console. The 3000 boasts a discrete analog signal path that is fully controlled by a digital surface which includes flying fader automation with instant recall of all of the console parameters including not only fader and mute information but also Eq’s, compressors, auxes, mic pres, as well as any and all routing configurations used in a session. All of which can be instantly recalled for a convenient in-the-box style workflow with the sound of an analog signal path.
Artists such as David Ellefson, co-founding bassist for Megadeath, have discovered this hidden treasure and have been utilizing the space for practice and production work. David, who also produces other bands, recently brought his newest project, the all girl Glitter Punk band Doll Skin, to the Platinum Underground to produce their debut EP “In Your Face”. Says Ellefson, “John’s facility will absolutely blow you away. It’s a world-class facility, located 30 feet underground, and goes head to head with the finest studios in the world.” Continues Ellefson, “The tones we got on the DOLL SKIN record at The Platinum Underground took the band to a whole new level and ISP was a huge part of that journey. Fully stocked with the most state of the art tools and ISP gear in the studio makes it the best in class for recording right in our own backyard.”
For more information on the Platinum Underground and a complete equipment list, email John Aquilino at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on ISP Technologies Pro Audio gear or studio quality guitar and bass gear, email email@example.com.
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