The former president of Soundscape Recording Studio has revitalised his interest in music recording with a versatile mobile set-up based around JoeCo’s BLUEBOX BBWR24MP Workstation Interface Recorder.

Robert Sanderson with his BLUEBOX BBWR24MP
Robert Sanderson with his BLUEBOX BBWR24MP

The name of Soundscape Recording Studio is synonymous with the New York music scene of the 1980s and 1990s. Having served as President and Chief Engineer on more than 1,000 sessions during a 14-year period, Robert Sanderson was obliged to explore new horizons when the studio market began to contract. Ultimately he moved into audio and video analysis as the owner of Audio Video F

orensic Lab – a company that he continues to run successfully to this day.

But in recent years he has felt “a distinct desire” to get back into music recording on a more regular basis – both to capture performances by two locally-based bands of which he is a member, and to help support the budding career of his daughter, Star. “Music recording was my original passion, so with these various projects going on I began to consider what I would need to put together a modular, audiophile-quality location recording set-up,” says Sanderson.

With access to a “wonderful-sounding” church in Hudson Valley, New York, Sanderson set about devising a system that would combine the flexibility and quality of digital with the “rich and warm” feeling of analogue. API preamps and recreations of classic EMI equipment produced by Chandler are among the integral components of the live rig, while the recording capability is facilitated by JoeCo’s BLUEBOX BBWR24MP Workstation Interface Recorder.

Robert Sanderson's recording rig
Robert Sanderson’s recording rig

The only high-end studio interface that also offers professional-grade field recording capabilities, plus a unique back-up facility to ensure no audio is ever lost, the BLUEBOX BBWR24MP is being used by Sanderson “primarily to capture the tremendous energy that you get with everyone playing together live”. The recorder’s 24 high qual
ity microphone preamps operate at up to 24-bit/96kHz and offer the user comprehensive control parameters. Connection options include individually switchable mic/line inputs and balanced outputs, with audio clocks locked to timecode, video, or word clock inputs. Local audio is recorded direct to an external USB2/3 drive in Broadcast WAV format for instant ingest into a workstation, while alongside BBWR24MP’s multi-channel recording capabilities there is also provision for creating a simultaneous stereo mixdown.

“When I began to discuss my requirements with other studio friends and in online forums, JoeCo was recommended time and time again – so much so that it ultimately became a bit of a no-brainer,” Sanderson admits. “I am glad to say the BLUEBOX has more than satisfied these expectations. We are getting remarkable quality out of the JoeCo recorder using a wide variety of microphone inputs, not least our prized selection of vintage ribbon mics.”

Sanderson – who hopes to record sessions by a number of other bands based in or visiting the New York area – also highlights the “fantastic support” offered by JoeCo Managing Director, Joe Bull. “I had a lot of questions at the beginning and he was always there ready to help,” he says. “That level of support is pretty rare these days, so I really appreciate it! The result is that we have been able to get the very best out of the BLUEBOX from the earliest stages of use.”