Show Us Your Space: Jean-Benoît Dunckel's Studio Atlas

Last year, we ran an interview with AIR's Nicolas Godin about the gear the French duo used to record their debut album, Moon Safari. Today, Jean-Benoît Dunckel, the other half of the band, is showing off some of that gear, along with many more pieces from his Studio Atlas recording studio.

Below, you can hear about the studio straight from Jean-Benoît and scroll through the images of the space, along with picks of his impressive instrument collection. You can also explore Atlas in 3D, with a seriously impressive site that allows you to guide your own virtual tour. For more information about the studio, visit the Studio Atlas Facebook page.

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This studio used to be the AIR Studio. We had it built in 2007 by an architect named Christian Malcurt, who partly built the Parisian mastering studios Translab. He's a famous studio architect that has also built the Plus 30 Studios (which has since been destroyed).

The space is hidden in between Belleville and les Buttes-Chaumont. It's in a beautiful, poetic closed street, and it has been turned, years afters years, into a useful professional studio. The acoustics in the main room are totally dry, with no reverb at all, to get a pure dynamic sound with no reflections.

I'm working there most of the time, but I rent it to some artists who like the vintage way of recording. Christine and the Queens (Chris) recorded her last album there. Charlotte Gainsbourg did a few sessions there too, but not for her last album. And there are also some French mainstream stars who have recorded there.

The studio has high-quality vintage equipment that works great, especially the rare vintage keys that I used all the time and made the AIR legend. The console is a Trident and works fine, but nobody's mixing with a console nowadays, as artists are mixing in-the-box. I have some nice mics, and the sounds of these vintage Neumann U 47s are rich and unique.

I also have guitars and basses, and everything's usable [to clients]. The idea is to come with just your hands in your pockets. You can record everything here: keys, guitars, voices, drums, percussion, vibraphone, Rhodes... the engineer, Michael, speaks better English than me (not so hard), and he's talented.

The space is accessible for video filming too, because it's so easy to deliver gear here. But I try to avoid the films to keep the place secret. I rent it because I like to meet other artists and to have my gear used.

Show Us Your Space
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