If you read our recent interview with Air, you'll know that their Atlas studio facility is a relatively new appearance in Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicholas Godin's recording career. First used on their Love2 album and later on the new project, Le Voyage Dans La Lune,a re-imagination of George Méliès groundbreaking 1902 cinema piece, the studio is quite the wonderland of classic gear.
Click through our gallery to see the synths and studio and read what Air have to say about their choice pieces of hardware.
JBD: “We built the place around three years ago now and we were actually searching for a place for three years before that. But in Paris it was really hard to find somewhere that had enough room, with the right neighbourhood.
"Before we had Atlas, we would just rent rooms and put all of our equipment inside to make the album.”
The live room
JBD: “We got Christian Malcurt to do the acoustics, who also did Plus Trente [XXX] and a few other big studios in Paris. We had all the gear in storage but we did buy some new microphones when we moved in - Neumann U47s.”
JBD: “This is the PPG I swapped for a Urei compressor and I don’t regret it one bit. It’s great for doing bells and using it like an electronic glockenspiel.
"It’s a totally crazy keyboard and I’ve been told that you can get some amazing metallic bass out of it.”
Minimoog Model D
NG: “This provided the bass for Kelly Watch The Stars. It’s in fantastic condition and that’s why I bought it, but I’d love a much earlier model.
"It was always hard to find a Moog in Europe, it was much easier to get Roland and Korg gear when I was younger. It’s a fat sound but the earlier models are the fattest.”
NG: “This one is tricky because we really don’t know how it works.”
JBD: “We fell in love with the drum machine and went to Sweden to meet the company and we loved the sound, but it’s not used very often we use it because we can’t waste time learning how to use it.”
NG: “It’s not very ‘Air’ but you can do some really good modern pads with it and the sequences you can get are also very interesting.”
Trident Series 75 console
JBD: “We didn’t want to have a very expensive console as it can require having a technician there all the time. This Trident is very musical and has 24 tracks on the right, 28 on the left and the patchbay which is also very important.
"The tracks are mixed on the side of the console that has no EQ, just pan, which makes it a little cleaner and means you have to get it right when recording. Plus, when you do get it right, every track sounds good.”
Sequencial Circuits Prophet-5
JBD: “We can get some amazing Giorgio Moroder- style sound out of this. It’s so easy to use and just an amazing keyboard that’s probably one of the most used in the studio. We love all the Sequential Circuits gear.”
NG:“We use a lot of different monitors actually and they get swapped often. We still haven’t really found a set that we can 100% rely on. It was really tiring on the last album trying to find a set.”
JBD: “I was reading the cover sheets of Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder and saw the Arp String and Sound. Then I bought this and was amazed because you can get everything from really warm funky sounds to cold, haunting The Cure-like sounds.”
NG: “This is all over our 10,000Hz Legend album. It’s so fat you can’t use too much ofitinatrack because it makes it impossible to mix.”
JBD: “Very nice pads with a great timbre. We sometimes use the ribbon controller, but the movement you can get from the tremelos and such is great.
"It’s quite a mysterious keyboard and often used in the shadows of a mix – the pads that fill up the track. We have actually bought a second one now.”