Guitarist and Composer Steve Ouimette

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

Steve Ouimette

Guitarist and composer Steve Ouimette

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.

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Lenny Kravitz Engineer Matt Knobel

Lenny Kravitz Engineer Matt Knobel Installs Focal SM11 Monitors in South Beach “Setai Studios”


Matt Knobel at Lenny Kravitz's “Setai Studios” with Focal Monitors

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.

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Sean Beresford: Third Eye Blind

Sean Beresford Chooses Focal Monitors for Mixing New “Third Eye Blind” Tracks

Sean Beresford

Sean Beresford at the Third Eye Blind studios in SF

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.”

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