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 »