“Absolutely gorgeous – and everything I could want in a large format console,” says multi-platinum producer, engineer and Produce Like A Pro audio educator, Warren Huart, describing his new 24-channel ASP8024 Heritage Edition console, which currently resides in his West Hollywood Harmony Studios.
“If you’re like me, you’re likely to be working on several projects at once […] You need something really flexible […] The Audient does it all.”
“Hundreds of songs have been created here and we have credits on so many big hits,” says Warren, explaining how Harmony Studios’ intimate setup of two vocal booths and a Yamaha C7 piano inspires creativity. Indeed, Miley Cyrus wrote and recorded Wrecking Ball here, and the soulful vocal and piano demo of Adele’s Someone Like You went on to be the one that was released – and became the biggest-selling single of 2011.
Predominantly a writing room, Harmony Studios is famous in LA for recording a lot of demos. Allowing people to be able to sit down and get on with recording is therefore a key advantage of the British desk. “We have different producers, different engineers, mixers and songwriters coming in writing and recording ideas all the time, so we need a console that’s pretty straightforward to use. The Audient is very, very well laid out.”
With so many people passing through, the desk’s flexibility is all important. “It’s all about being able to move swiftly from one session to another. If you’re like me, you’re likely to be working on several projects at once: some of your own, some mix projects, some tracking projects – and everything in between. You need something really flexible that works really easily, doesn’t take a huge amount of programmability to be able to use and frankly just sounds good straight away. The Audient does it all.”
ASP8024-HE “frankly just sounds good straight away.”
Coming complete with patchbay, and Dual Layer Control for full interaction with his DAW, the analogue console is fully featured, enabling Warren to switch easily between tracking and mixing. “These days it’s all about recordability. The functionality of this modern desk makes far more sense than just having ‘some nice mic pres’,” he says. “The inline console just makes so much sense to me.”
Warren knows what he’s talking about. He’s been in the industry well over two decades and reels off a list of classic analogue desks that he’s owned over the years – all of which he bought with earnings from making music. He’s not come up through ‘the normal channels’ however. “I didn’t have a music education, I hadn’t worked in studios – I was just a guy that played in bands and had my own studio gear.”
“Produce Like A Pro is the perfect opportunity for me to share what it’s really like to start from nothing and build a career” ~ Warren Huart
This was where the impetus to start the very successful Produce Like A Pro DIY YouTube channel came from: “Produce Like A Pro is the perfect opportunity for me to share what it’s really like to start from nothing and build a career,” he says, with a clear affinity with those coming into the industry now. “I can say: “This is what I do for a living. Let me show you how I got here and what I do every day.”
So Warren is not so much ‘YouTuber’, as he is ‘mentor’. He’s bubbling over with nuggets that he’s picked up from pros over the years and is passionate about sharing them. Here’s an example: “I learned a great tip years ago in England, from BBC Engineer, Martin Colley – an unsung hero who engineered countless John Peel Sessions, The Cult, Everything But The Girl, The Smiths. He showed me a way to get an amazing acoustic guitar sound by using a small diaphragm mic – and that became one of my first videos,” he says. (See below for that very video!)
“You can’t learn everything immediately. Persevere and be a worker amongst workers.”
His interviews with industry greats also keep his YouTube stats booming; he’s had over 33 million views to date. Watch out for up-and-coming talent, Gary Go who’s appears in a forthcoming Produce Like A Pro interview.
Warren’s back catalogue reads rather like a celebrity telephone book these days, from engineering, production and mixing credits, through to composition and playing – both for film & TV and in the music world. It’s no wonder then, that his advice to youngsters just starting out and wanting to ‘make it’ in the industry, is: “You can’t learn everything immediately. Persevere and be a worker amongst workers.” A mantra that he clearly sticks to, as he also runs audio courses under the PLAP umbrella (three of which are available free to Audient product owners as part of ARC). “I just LOVE being busy!” he laughs.
If that wasn’t already enough, Warren has great expansion plans in the offing, with a view to moving the Audient desk to his main Spitfire Studio, which means it will be appearing in the background of all future Produce Like A Pro videos. We shall wait to see what delights are to come after that.
In the meantime, Audient asks him what he does to wind down (if he does at all). “If I had a completely free day? I’d just play my guitar.”
Sounds like he’s got the perfect job, doesn’t it?