Focusrite's Liquid Channel goes on tour
Live engineer Dave Wooster insists on Focusrite for Leona’s vocals: “The Liquid Channel continues the high standards I’ve come to expect from Focusrite…”
Dave Wooster is no stranger to Front Of House engineering duties. When not producing critically acclaimed albums in his own Koolworld Studios, you’ll find him riding the faders for legends such as Van Morrison and Gary Moore. His reputation for getting peerless live sound for his artists is such that he’s now in demand by some of the biggest talents on the planet – including multi-platinum artist Leona Lewis.
Leona became a household name when she won X Factor back in 2006, but since then has re-written the musical record book. Her debut single was downloaded 50,000 times in 30 minutes, going on to become UK Number One and outselling the rest of the Top 40 combined. And with her first album, Spirit, she becomes the first solo artists to top the US Billboard Chart with a debut album. Did we mention she’s only 23 years old?
“At the moment we’re concentrating on major promo work with Leona until she heads into the studio next year to record her second album,” Dave explains. “We brought in Focusrite’s Liquid Channel predominantly for live work, mainly because I wanted to achieve a very definite sound to support Leona’s vocal.”
“Me and Mat Collis [one of Dave’s in-house studio engineers] have been so impressed with the results that we’re planning to buy two more Liquid Channels before the end of the year – this time specifically for the studio.”
“The unit hasn’t exactly changed how I work, but now I can take the Liquid Channel wherever we need to be in the world and I can be sure to get the same level of consistency for her vocal. With Liquid Channel you get flexibility – the combinations of preset models, the options to tailor them to your needs and the fact that you have total recall whenever you need it. What more could you ask for? If I were to carry one of each of the units modelled within the Liquid channel I would have a tour manager asking me for a great deal of the shipping money to take it all with us!”
Using Liquid Channel on the road has proven to be as smooth as in the studio, Dave reveals. “We’re currently using it in-line with Leona’s Sennheiser radio system, using the insert return of most desks so as to bypass the desk’s onboard preamps. With a standard setup of EQ and compression the only minor adjustments that need making are to the input gain and compression threshold. Pure simplicity!”
“And in the studio, well, it’s just done what all Focusrite products do – help capture the true essence and life of a recording. You can use the analogue front end direct from the mics, go either digitally or analogue into Pro Tools while recording, and then still have the option to use it as a digital insert while mixing. Flexibility – always what you need.”
“I’ve used Focusrite equipment for a long time now, both live and in the studio. The consistent quality and results from their units has always been unparalleled, and it’s this quality that guides me in choosing units for specific tasks. The Liquid Channel continues the high standards I’ve come to expect from Focusrite.”
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