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Dan Frampton pulls into PreSonus Central Station

Published: Mon March 01, 2010  News Feed

Mix engineer Dan Frampton's glittering career has included work with some of the biggest names in British pop music over the last 10 years; Atomic Kitten, Blue, Westlife and many of the X-Factor winners have all been treated to Dan's mixing and production skills.

Dan began his musical career as bassist with the band Frampton Hill. But after his band were dropped by Warner Brothers, Dan was given a chance to go back into the studio by Pete Waterman, whose PWL company had been taken over by Warner. What started as a two-week session turned into two years, ultimately as Waterman's chief engineer, mixing all the tracks for Five, Westlife and Steps.

The platform
More recently Dan has been working with Irish band The Script, and on iTunes Live mixes where he first came into contact with PreSonus DigiMax preamps. When Dan got back to the studio to mix the live gig, the PreSonus preamps sounded great - and needing to replace his own monitoring setup, Dan purchased a PreSonus Central Station studio control centre alongside a FaderPort DAW controller.

The input and output options on the Central Station made it perfect for Dan's Studio. "I use a Pro Tools HD3 rig. There are two output pairs from that rig running into the PreSonus Central Station. While I'm mixing in the box, if I want to compare the mix to anything - whether it's other tracks that I've mixed, or anything that's been supplied as a guide - I'll run that along one pair of outputs and my main mix along another pair of outputs so I can switch between the two."

Dan has been impressed by the digital conversion in the Central Station: "I can run a mix I've just bounced out of Pro Tools and compare it to a version off the desktop and it sounds pretty similar to the Pro Tools version, which shows how good the Central Station's D/A converters are."

As well as monitoring the outputs from his Pro Tools rig, Dan also has the digital output of his Mac running into the S/PDIF input of the Central Station: "If I want to run anything out of iTunes, off the desktop or out of Logic - which I run alongside Pro Tools sometimes - I put them through the digital side of the Central Station."

First class
The PreSonus FaderPort has also made an impact on Dan's production, providing him with a single motorised fader, rotary encoder, automation and transport controls. "There are certain things when mixing in the box that you miss faders for. Mainly things that require a little feel or touch, like string rides or brass rides, where you need more than just a line. I used to do this by grabbing the fader with the mouse, but that's not easy to do."

With the FaderPort, Dan is now able to ride these parts just as if he was on a full-size studio mixing desk, without the studio real-estate necessary for a large-format mixer. "The other thing it gets used for is riding the audience mics when I'm doing the iTunes Live shows. It's great if there's any sudden audience participation that you want in the middle of a track, but you know that you want to fade it out at a certain time."

With his new PreSonus equipment fully installed in his studio Dan is now starting work on a new album with The Script as well as pushing his WorldWide Music Mixing service via his website (details below), which gives unsigned artists the opportunity to put his expertise and studio equipment to use on their recordings.

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