Casino Baumgarten

David Küblböck, first engineer at Casino Baumgarten

The legendary vintage studio, Casino Baumgarten, ramps up its recording power with RADAR 6, the latest RADAR system by iZ Technology Corporation

Interview with David Küblböck, first engineer at Casino Baumgarten, May 2013

The legendary vintage studio Casino Baumgarten is one of the few recording studios in the world that still works with the original tube equipment from the 1960s. When first built, it was outfitted with only the finest gear available at the time, including seven Neumann M269s, a Studer C37, and three Fairchild limiters. Since that time, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Austrian jazz legend Fatty George, Friedrich Gulda, the Eurojazz Orchestra, and many other legends have recorded their works in this historic environment.

In 2012, it was time to revitalize and completely renovate the all-analog studio. The idea was to preserve the original feel but simply energize it with today’s cutting-edge technology, including the advantages of modern digital audio recording. “We only wanted to have the best possible digital recorder to fit our high-end analog gear, and that’s RADAR 6”, says David K√ºblb√∂ck, first Engineer at Casino Baumgarten. “I have known and loved the sound and reliability of RADAR systems for many years, so this was the only way to go.”

RADAR 6, the newest version of the established and proven RADAR system, has been updated with new features and improved speed, storage technology, editing, audio performance and user interface. Built with world-class converters, Adrenaline DR technology, dual digital/analog power supplies, near-zero jitter, and near-zero latency up to 192 kHz, RADAR systems transcend the digital barriers of sonic quality.

“We wanted a recording system that gives us the feel, sound, and ease of an analog multi-track recorder but without the need to cut tape, background noise, and tape costs. We needed a system that allows for fast file transfer to our clients. We are not interested in plug-ins, mouse fiddling, or ‘in the box mixing’”, says K√ºblb√∂ck, “We focus only on the sound and the musicians’ performance. Using an outstanding recording system like RADAR 6 allows us to produce outstanding music. When we record a live-album at Casino Baumgarten, there is no need for a second ‘emergency’ recording system which is definitely necessary when recording with Pro Tools. We have our RADAR and that’s it. I have never seen the RADAR stop recording, but I have seen many sessions with Pro Tools dropping out.”

K√ºblb√∂ck is also impressed by the life-span of a RADAR system: “A really stunning fact is the unique upgradeability, life-span, and value-preservation. You can upgrade a RADAR 2 from 1997 to a RADAR 6 from 2013. That is unique in the audio-market. I have used my 48-track Radar 2 system built in 1998 until early 2013 – 15 years! There is no other recording system with such a long lifespan and this makes each RADAR system a smart investment.”  Compared to a Mac based recording system, users often have to buy three or four Mac Pro’s over the same time period, and re-installing or fixing these products can result in a lot of downtime which is not the case with any RADAR system.  K√ºblb√∂ck is of the strong conviction that users will save time and money when investing in professional gear right from the start: “There is a common misconception that all gear labeled as ‘vintage’ is great and a must-have. High-quality gear has always come at a higher price-tag – that is a fact that hasn’t changed over the last five decades. Many less expensive products will not sound great, while today’s high-end gear, such as the RADAR 6, will keep sounding fantastic (as any true vintage gear). My advice: If you need a compressor buy an UREI, a Fairchild; if you need a console buy a WSW, a Studer, a high-end Neve, or a high-end SSL. If you need a recorder, buy a RADAR and record! If you can’t afford these products, consider renting them.”

Thanks to its high-quality equipment, Casino Baumgarten is now again a sought-after destination for popular artists. Right after the official opening of Casino Baumgarten in June 2013, the line-up includes: Iceland’s √ìlafur Arnalds, who will record parts of his current tour in the studio (olafurarnalds.com), Georg Breinschmid, a former member of the Vienna Philharmonics, who is going to produce a vinyl record at the Casino, as well as Violetta Parisini (Universal Music). Their music will be pristinely recorded with iZ’s RADAR 6, great now and forever.

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