When you’re ready to mix, don’t worry about studios or equipment so much, just concentrate on who” will mix.
A killer mix is never actually from the studio it was mixed in or on what equipment it was mixed with. Of course gear can have distinct character and personality, but it still needs to be finessed much more than simply turning it on. Fact is, it’s the mix engineers experience and ability 100% There is nothing really crucially different about the best studios in the world or the greatest consoles ever made. No identifiable sound will be put on your music because of them.
I’ve mixed and recorded in many of the best, what does make the music that comes out of them great are the experienced men and women that use its tools artfully and the experienced artists that can afford to use them. It’s that simple. But since the advancement in audio technologies of the last decade, it is quite easy to have the same audio and mix quality available just like the greatest studios in the world, “if” (and we’re back to the point again) you have a truly experienced mixer making smart decisions and good music flowing through the inputs. Great decisions make great music and great finishes, not machines or software. Look no further than all the great music made with sooo little equipment even 75 years ago. They only had the basics my friends, so somebody made some smart moves back in the day. That will never change.
Look at it this way, put an average or not so experienced mix engineer at the helm of one of these great studios with great consoles/best outboard and they will not be helped by them. Consider that a mix “recall” to fix a bad decision or to tweak a few things will not be possible, or will be very expensive at best. As a matter of fact these big studios and their monolith automated mix consoles are not completely easy to use unless one has an extraordinary amount of experience to be fluid on them. So because of that, a mix engineer has to have the experience of getting it right the “first time” in such studios, and that calls for some necessary big time experience.
I’ve seen it hundreds of times, well intended good people book a fine studio with fine equipment and hire a so so engineer last. It’s mainly because the well intended people that booked the session believe the magic is in the room and machines. They’re always disappointed and think all they need is more time, but experienced mix engineers get it the first time. They should have put their money and effort on the mix talent foremost. The shakers and movers do. Even if you don’t go with my services, search for your mix engineer first and foremost.