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Focusrite Liquid Channels rack up sales

Published: Mon September 19, 2005  News Feed

Who said hardware was dead?! Rather than cutting down on gear, some studios are racking it up across the globe…

Wherever you work, be it in a small project studio or a multiplex of
post-production suites, the computer has made more of an impact than any other studio device over the last 20 years. With it comes cheap software that emulates just about everything in your studio so, increasingly, less and less hardware is being used. However evidence is growing that it’s not all doom and gloom on the solid stakes and that some installations are bucking the trend and actually upping their hardware intake!

Steve Honest’s New Music Production studio has just seen the arrival of not one but eight Focusrite Liquid Channels, an entire rack’s worth in fact. He has worked with everyone from Kathryn Williams to Billie Ray Martin and also recently engineered the DJ Easy Remix for the new Texas Single, Getaway, but even with that many clients does Steve really need eight Liquid Channels?

“I know it sounds a bit extravagant if not a little loony,” says Steve, “but they give me the most flexible front end for Pro Tools that I can fit into 16 units of rack! I can offer my clients an SSL front end, or perhaps Neve or maybe Trident, or perhaps something a little more boutique. I can put the most appropriate dynamics across any of these inputs, all at the push of a couple of buttons – I don’t even have to put my tea down! It’s a dream set up as the replicas sound like the units they are emulating and I can use the EQ and harmonics to get it right where my clients wants it to be.”

So with eight units Steve can produce any set-up he wants for any task he wants…
“I have used the Liquid Channels on every project that comes through the door, in one capacity or another: tracking, vocal compression, bass compression, mastering, you name it, it’s had at least one, if not eight Liquid Channels on it.”

And Steve is not alone. Bigger facilities are racking these emulation units up if only to negate the need for so much classic hardware. Over in Frankfurt, Harald Guhn from Fundamental Studios, one of Germany’s biggest post production facilities – responsible for producing film and TV trailers for some of the biggest companies in the world, including O2, Chevrolet, Nestle and Opal – already has three new Liquid Channels as they help workflow for so many projects…

“We do commercials and films but the ad work is quite fast and you cannot foresee what happens next with a client,” Harald explains. “They may request something unexpected and often ask for something at the last minute. So when you can switch between productions easily or just switch between projects and setting of a preamp it makes it much easier to deal with.”

Harald is so struck on this way of working that he wants more, and he even wants to outdo Steve’s record eight Liquid Channels!
 “We are working in seven studios simultaneously and I need two Liquid Channels for each studio! If I had two in each of them I would lose all of the other preamps I work with.” So that’s 14 in total and that’s the record so far!

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