Adam Young of “Owl City” Mixes on Focal Monitors
New chart-topping artist chooses Focal Twin6 Be monitors on breakout album ‘Ocean Eyes’
With a growing fan-base and a world tour that continues throughout 2010, Adam Young, the creative force behind the band “Owl City,” is taking off. His first independent release in 2008, ‘Maybe I’m Dreaming,’ received much praise and made Young into a phenomenon, with over 16 million profile views and over 80 million plays on MySpace, all stemming from posting a few songs from the year before.
That’s led to Owl City’s newest CD – ‘Ocean Eyes’ – released in 2009 by Universal Republic Records. The album has sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone, while the first single “Fireflies” hit #1 in 23 countries. During the making of the ‘Ocean Eyes’ album Young discovered Focal Twin6 Be monitors, then got himself a pair. “I absolutely love the Focals. I had mixed with other brands over the years, but it was always a bit deceiving. Other monitors seemed somewhat overly polished, bass heavy and even ‘clubby.’ The Focal Twin 6s are so transparent, but still easy to listen to and work with: they really help my mixes translate to anything I play them back on,” states Young.Read More »
Mixer Jeff Juliano Chooses FOCAL Monitors
Twin 6 Be Powered Monitors with Sub6 are now his Main Measure of a Mix
Mixer Jeff Juliano has used a lot of different speakers, and in the past 10 years he’s relied on the supposed ‘industry standard’ Yamaha NS10. But no more. Juliano recently tried the Focal Twin 6 Be powered monitors at his Delaware mixing studio and has now made them his number one choice. Having mixed a host of platinum-selling albums for artists such as Jason Mraz, Josh Kelly and Lifehouse, as well as John Mayer, who won a 2003 Grammy for his album “Room for Squares” which he mixed, Juliano has a great ear for sound, but was ready for the change.
“I’ve been going through so many speakers in my time mixing, I was an NS10 guy for so many years, and started to believe that was the only speaker in the world that mattered. The Focal Twin 6 Be monitors are the best that I’ve used in terms of studio-to-consumer listening translation for car stereos, clock radios — iPod ear buds, you name it. They really translate: what I hear in the studio is what the outside world hears, in my experience. When I go to the car and check a mix, it’s what I hear in the studio. That’s the end-all, that’s what matters,” stated Juliano.Read More »
Engineer Chris Prinzivalli on the Focal Twin6 BE Monitors for TV Production
These days engineer Chris Prinzivalli and his Focal Twin6 BE monitors go everywhere together. His specialty is live music recording and mixing, and he is working on a lot of music for TV. He has mixed live music projects for TV with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Julio Iglesias, Huey Lewis & The News and many others. When at Kaufman Astoria Studios to mix the Sesame Street Workshop music, he brings in his Twin6 monitors. Prinzivalli honed his live mixing and recording techniques from behind the desk at countless shows, festivals and television specials. Along the way he has worked with Record Plant Remote, MTV Networks and ABC Television. These days, when he gets the call to record and mix in a TV studio or remote truck, he brings along his Focal Twin6 monitors. A sound he can trust.
A friend of Prinzivalli’s and distributor for Focal Professional who always offers him new gear to try out, told him about the Twin6 BE monitors, he got to try them and liked what he heard. Remembering the first time he tried the monitors Prinzavali said, “My friend always calls me up and says ‘Hey I just got a new piece of gear, I want you to check it out, I want your opinion.’ Focal had released a new series of monitor, so I grabbed the Twin6s from him and they were absolutely fabulous. They sound great and they look great.”Read More »
Engineer Ian Boxill Mixes an Urban Sound with FOCAL Monitors
Focal Solo 6 Be Monitors are Key to Mixing in his Personal Studio
Engineer Ian Boxill recently installed Focal Solo 6 Be monitors in his personal studio, and has begun mixing a top-secret project. With the past three Prince albums behind him, and a 2008 Grammy for “Best Male Vocal” on the Prince penned song Future Baby Mama, Boxill is primed for new and great things. Deciding to upgrade his studio with new monitors, Boxill chose Focal and is loving the sound, “Focal speakers have the rare quality of being very musical sounding, while maintaining clarity and detail. Not a very easy feat to pull off. While listening to my favorite recordings on a pair of Focal Solo 6 Be’s I heard instruments and parts that I had not heard before. Wow. Well done Focal, well done.”
Known for his deft touch with powerful R&B and Urban vocal artists such as Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Aaron Neville, K Ci, Jo Jo, Christina Milian, and Prince, among many others, over the past 15 years Boxill has divided his time between working in his personal studio and studios that artists choose. Now with his own personal studio upgraded with Focal monitors he’s embarked on a mixing project that will be revealed in early 2009.Read More »
Producer Nathan Chapman Chooses Focal Monitors for Taylor Swift’s Chart-Topping Release
Focal Solo6 Be powered monitors used in producers’ studio for all his production work: “I love these monitors,” says Chapman, “the Solo6’s are perfection.”
Nashville Producer Nathan Chapman is on a roll with his country music productions, scoring a hit again with Taylor Swift’s latest album “Speak Now” – and continuing to use his Focal Solo6 Be powered monitors in the studio, “I used the Solo6’s on the Taylor Swift album, I love these monitors,” Chapman says. The Grammy-winning producer’s credits also include Jewel, The Band Perry, and Laura Bell Bundy, among many others.
“The first time I heard the Focal Solo6 studio monitors I was beyond impressed,” explains Chapman. “They were true and accurate and at the same time didn’t sound ‘boring’ like other monitors I have used. Hearing what is actually going on inside a mix or recording session is just as important as any other part of making a record. Focal monitors are my top choice. For my small home studio, the Solo6’s are perfection. And FYI, I didn’t get them for free or at a discount. I bought these monitors because I loved them.”
Chapman co-produced Swift’s latest album “Speak Now” which sold over 1 million copies in its first week of release, the album garnered the number 1 slot on the Billboard 200 album charts as of December 22, 2010. Chapman also produced Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” album, which became the biggest selling album of 2009 with over 3 million copies sold. Earlier this year the country music industry declared Swift’s album “Fearless” the most awarded album in the history of country music, as the only album to win the Grammy for ‘Album of The Year’ and ‘Country Album of the Year’ from the Grammys, the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and the American Music Awards.Read More »
Engineer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten Mixes ‘Slash’ on Focal Monitors
Live & Studio Mix Engineer Moves Up to Focal Solo6 for Slash’s “Live From The Roxy” Online release
As a mix Engineer, Ken “Pooch” Van Druten divides his time between mixing front of house for top live rock acts and mixing releases in the studio, one of his latest studio mixing projects is the “Live From The Roxy” Slash online release. Van Druten is a three-time Grammy nominee, his latest as mixer for the 2010 ‘Best Hard Rock Performance’ nomination for “Linkin Park: Live at Milton Keynes.” No stranger to live rock, from Kiss, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down and Kid Rock to Slash, Van Druten has worked with almost every top hard rock act touring in the past 20 years, mixing FOH or monitors, or as the production/tour manager.
On the live Slash mixes, Van Druten made a switch to Focal Solo6 monitors. “I actually own several types of high-end speakers. All of them are now my second choice,” states Van Druten. “I still use them for reference, but I mix on the Focal Solo6s now.” He mixed stereo (as well as a 5.1 surround version) for the Slash online release, “This was the first time I used Solo6s for a project. It came out spectacularly. I was really impressed by these speakers.”
“What I found most interesting with the Solo6s was the amount of time I could spend mixing without getting fatigued,” adds Van Druten. “I can usually only spend several hours before I have to take a long break. But do to the excellent reference of the Solo6s I was able to listen at lower volumes and not get fatigued, whilst the mix reference remained correct. Thus allowing for many more hours of work and expediting the whole process.”Read More »
Guitar Hero’ Steve Ouimette Shreds Riffs with FOCAL Monitors
Possibly the Most Heard and ‘Studied’ Guitarist Today Creates Blistering Guitar Solos for “Guitar Hero” Video Game
At last count Guitar Hero games sold over $800-million around the world in the various flavors up to the latest “Guitar Hero: World Tour.” And when players try to match many of the game’s blistering guitar solos note-for-note, they are actually copying true life ‘guitar hero’ Steve Ouimette who crafts each solo in his Scottsdale, Arizona recording studio. Recently Ouimette upgraded his studio with FOCAL Twin6 Be monitors, and loves the new sound he gets when recording, monitoring, and mixing.
“I needed self powered monitors and wanted a set that didn’t require a subwoofer, a monitor that had a natural top to bottom, but no hyped frequencies. Mercenary Audio suggested I try out the FOCAL Twin6 Be monitors to see if I liked them. They said they’d take them back if they didn’t suit my needs, but it’s been over a year they’re never getting them back!” said Ouimette with a laugh.Read More »
Lenny Kravitz Engineer Matt Knobel Installs Focal SM11 Monitors in South Beach “Setai Studios”
In the late 1980’s Matt Knobel started out working in several in New York studios including Media Sound and Platinum Island learning the ropes, then continuing with jingles on hundreds of recording and mixing sessions from American Express to Yellow Pages at JSM Music in NYC. “It was a great experience. I got to work with some great engineers, world class musicians and to work in a lot of amazing studios,” says Knobel. “I then started working a lot with [bassist] Will Lee.” That work eventually led to meeting Lenny Kravitz and starting the Setai Recording Studio in Florida’s exclusive South Beach area in 2008 where he has install the Focal SM11 monitors. Along the way Knobel has done mixing and/or recording for Sheryl Crow, Ricky Martin, Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Mary J. Blige and Mick Jagger, just to name a select few artists.
In 1997 Knobel started working with Lenny Kravitz. “He called me in for a few days to help him with his Pro Tools system. He had never used one before. I went over for a few days, then he asked me to work the next week and then he asked me to do the record. It turned out to be the record ‘5’ with ‘Fly Away’ and ‘American Woman.’ It was a great experience; we got to do a lot of recording, a lot of traveling. It was just a lot of fun to work with an artist like that on a record, as diverse as Lenny is,” recalled Knobel.Read More »
Sean Beresford Chooses Focal Monitors for Mixing New “Third Eye Blind” Tracks
Sean Beresford has engineered, edited and/or mixed Vanessa Carlton, The Explosion, The Star Spangles, The Upwelling, The Donnas, Brain and Buckethead and The Echo Falls as well as continued a long-time connection with San Francisco Bay Area band Third Eye Blind. He recently was the recording engineer on Third Eye Blind’s upcoming new album “Ursa Major” on their own subsidiary of Sony/RED due out late summer 2009. The band recorded at Stephen Jenkins new Carriage House Recording studio in San Francisco, where Beresford is also mixing 6 of the songs. The new album was a long creative process and included a serious studio monitor evaluation, between a host of top contenders which ultimately ended in the purchase of a pair of Focal Solo 6 Be monitors.
Although the Carriage House Studio has several sets of larger and smaller speakers to choose from, for those all-day mixing sessions Beresford likes to mix on the Focal Solo6 Be monitors, he says “I don’t really enjoy listening to mains that much. I prefer mid-field or near field monitors. The Focals sound really, really good. The top end seems to be really accurate and I find them more than adequate for understanding where I’m at with the low end.”Read More »