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Sounds Of The Focusrite Studio Console

14/10/2019

Recollections of the music made using Focusrite's much-loved recording console.

The Focusrite Studio Console was a rare machine; only 10 were ever made, and they found themselves in some of the finest studios around the world, from London and Los Angeles to Tokyo and South Africa. The big, open sound of the Focusrite found its way on to countless records, from band demos to chart-toppers. Here, we recall a small handful of recordings where the Focusrite console played a role.

Lucky Dube - Victims (1993)

Lucky Dube was one of South Africa's biggest reggae artists, tragically killed in a carjacking in 2007. He recorded the album Victims in 1993 at BOP in South Africa, which was home to the largest Focusrite Studio Console ever made (and also the only one wired internally with silver, not copper, cable). Schalk Janse Van Rensburg, in-house engineer at BOP Studios, recalls the sessions. Lucky Dube was one of the nicest people I ever had the privilege to know. I remember he used to grab me around the neck when he wanted to ask something and say hey rasta!' and then proceed to ask whatever he wanted to ask. His long time engineer David Segal engineered all his albums and created the recognisable Lucky Dube snare sound.

https://open.spotify.com/album/0z8G9eDSGENLbNHtnem6Hq

The Black Crowes - Amorica (1994)

Jack Joseph Puig produced and mixed The Black Crowes' third album Amorica, released in 1994. Following the massive success of the band's first two records, Amorica hit a note with critics, who saw the album as a deliberate leap ahead in terms of their sound. Tracking was done at Sound City in LA, then mixed at Ocean Way Studio A. The result is an up-front energy with an in-your-face sound. Jack Joseph Puig's tenure in Studio A at Ocean Way - always in front of the Focusrite console - was a 15-year period that helped to define an epoch of pop music. Artists including Beck, Hole, Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, Stereophonics, John Mayer, Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt all worked with JJP in Ocean Way Studio A at a time when record labels were powerful and studio budgets were still large. Puig's use of the console ranged from full tracking and overdubs, to album mixes. I started spending time in [Studio A] in '94 or '95 and it just went on for 15 years. It was one thing after another after another, and I never left the room!

https://open.spotify.com/album/73AGj7QlUeUdMdNls4cFXi
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