Show Us Your Space: Influx Studios in Bern

Welcome to the latest installment of our Show Us Your Space series, in which we ask musicians and producers to share their recording studios and other music-making environments. Last month, we toured The Closet Studios, a beautiful space full of vintage tube mics and amplifiers in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Today, we’re globetrotting to Bern, Switzerland, where Influx Studios sits on the Aare River in Bern’s Matte district, the oldest in the Medieval city.

WunderWerk GmbH

Influx Studios was started by Gert Stäuble and Luk Zimmerman in 2001. In addition to the main facility in Bern, it also has an affiliated studio in Berlin, Germany. Stäuble and Zimmerman started Influx after outgrowing their home studio space, having recorded many records for Swiss and international artists before making the jump to the bigger, more professional setup.

With the addition of Slade Templeton, an American producer and mixing and mastering engineer (who just wrote our rundown of the best Empirical Labs Distressor-style plugins), Influx has become a one-stop-shop for any artist interested in writing, recording, mixing, and mastering under one roof, with some of the best gear this side of the Alps.

Keep reading below, as Luk and Slade walk us through their space.


Control Room

This is the brain, the center of it all. From the control room, we are patched to each of the four recording rooms and guitar cabinet isolation boxes. The whole studio is set up to be plug-and-play.

We have a huge focus on workflow—the quicker and easier ideas are made during production, the better. There’s no reason to have to run around chasing cables and burn up valuable time. Anything hard-patched we also can tweak as needed by rerouting or routing with our patch bay.

In this photo you can also see our monitor setup: A pair of Barefoot MM27 Gen2 speakers serve as our main monitors. We then also have NS10’s as our B monitors, Logitech as our C monitors, and some crappy computer speakers as our D monitors (to check even the worst systems for reference).


DSP Room Mode Correction Console

Here is a really cool thing that is unique to our studio. It’s a custom-made DSP Room Mode correction console by our good friends at Rocket Science GmbH, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Christian Frick, the guy behind Rocket Science, is an absolute genius with room acoustics—the name is not just clever but very accurate.

Rocket Science built four subwoofers that sit in each corner behind our monitors along with this custom DSP. What’s special about this is Christian has been able to find the room mode and any problems with freestanding waveforms and instead of trapping them, he replaces them. So if, say, we have a problem at 80Hz to 110Hz, his DSP and subwoofers are told to push at a certain frequency and latency in order to replace the phased frequencies. This allows us to have a complete room mode that is super flat and gives us extremely accurate mixing or mastering decisions.


API, Neve, and Studer Mic Preamps

These are some of our mic pres. What we have done, since we did not want the studio to revolve entirely around a certain “tone" or “character," such as an SSL console or Neve, we have instead decided to use a various amount of selectable and assignable mic pres.

We have API, Neve, Studer and more. When recording, we can then choose where we want to send the mic or instrument to hone in on the desired tone. We have our drum room hard-patched to the Studer Strips and have them dialed in for a sort of template. Then it’s all about tweaking the kit. It is very hard to beat the sound of these Studers on the drum kit. Absolutely great sound. (Go ahead—steal our strip settings.)


Drum Room

This is one of our drum rooms. Long and narrow, this room really kills the resonating frequencies in all the right places to get a huge drum sound. We have a bigger back room (which we’ll get to below) that we have for more of a “live" drum sound as needed. We’ll also track vocals here or in our back wooden room.


Guitar Amps and Mics

This is the other side of the drum room pictured above, where we keep four of our guitar amplifiers, including a Fender ‘65 Deluxe Reverb and a Fender Princeton. This room also houses our mic shelves, where we have a massive selection of Neumanns, Pelusos, and other classic microphones.


Marshall Room

Down the hallway is our Marshall Room. This is a very dead room acoustically and is amazing for guitars (or vocals). The best thing about our setup for guitars is from anywhere in the studio, whether it is from the Control Room or another recording room, we can patch the guitar feed into any of these amps, heads, cabinets, or combination thereof.

We use a Voodoo amp selector that is tethered to A/B selector boxes which we can assign to the back rooms or front rooms as needed. You can walk into our guitar room, pick up your ax of choice, plug in, and then choose which room, amp, or cabinet all at the touch of a button. As we said above, it’s really all about maximizing workflow.


A Wall of Guitars

Speaking of guitars, we have lots, and I mean... lots and lots. This is just one row in one room. We have about four times this amount of electric guitars, acoustics, and basses. We also have many other instruments, such as a Wurlitzer, and plenty of extra percussion for anything you need to get laid down into a recording or for experimentation. Our studio is filled with instruments that any of our clients can use.


Our Schmidt-Flohr Piano

This is our piano, and man does it sound great. We open up the front just like you see here and it is in our ‘wooden’ room. It has such a cool, “roomy" tone to it and so much character that it’s practically oozing out of the strings. Sounds absolutely fantastic, and can get as clean or as dirty as you want it when recording. We like to run it into our custom-made Neve 1073 mic pre/EQ combos and hit the Culture Vulture on the FX send, which adds some serious grit and glow to the piano’s natural sound.


Outboard Headquarters

Back in the control room, here is our outboard headquarters. We have mastering-grade compressors along with our those better suited for mixing or recording, and a variety of reverbs, delays, EQs, and effects units. The Space Echo is probably our favorite piece of gear in the entire studio. It is with all original parts and sounds so noisy in the right ways. It is its own beast and just how we like it.

We also have the guitar pedal board that is all assignable to the guitar setup and amp selection. Just plug and play. All of our outboard is hard-patched within our Pro Tools system but also can be rerouted or routed with the patch bay. They are assignable inside Pro Tools as a direct insert, which is cool, because it is like plopping in a plugin in the chain except… its analog outboard. Dial in and you’re good to go.


The Venue Room

This is our big room. And also… our venue room. The reason we say venue is because we also do something super cool that is called Bern To Vinyl (www.berntovinyl.ch). We are one of the only studios in the world that offer a direct-to-disc (or direct-to-vinyl) recording in real time, not only from studio sessions but also from a live concert.

Bands and artists can use this room to play their show to a select VIP fan base. Their signal runs on an entirely analog signal path through our Influx Studios and into our friends’ Centraldubs next door, a cutting facility with a VMS70.

Of course when we aren't doing a direct-to-disc recording this back room is also great for all-in-one band room recordings or just a big room for drums and the rest. It sounds great and looks right over the river, which is beautiful and inspiring for creative energy.


Studer Console

We will leave you with a little gem. Our Studer Console is great for summing or recording in our side studio room. We also use this for our Bern To Vinyl a lot when recording direct-to-disc. Still in perfect mint condition and oh so sexy. It’s not just that Studer is Swiss that we love Studer so much—it’s also that Studer sounds so fantastic. This little blast from the past gets work done and sounds as analog should.

Have you assembled an awesome music space that you want to show off? Contact us at showusyourspace@reverb.com


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