“I’ve never had a home workstation for mixing before,” says music producer and recording engineer, Chris Marshall who had to put one together quickly and chose Audient iD14 to be his at-home audio interface. Before Covid-19 hit, he would spend many hours working out of his production hub, 7 West Studios in Glasgow’s city centre. The introduction of lockdown meant he needed to make some swift changes to his work setup. “I just needed something simple and effective to continue mixing while I can’t access the studio,” he explains.
iD14: “the added ScrollControl is a nice feature that’s been helping me navigate my sessions even more quickly”
“At 7 West Studios I have a classic Audient ASP8024 48-channel mixing console – that beast is the workhorse of the studio. So I thought it right that I should have a couple of those great preamps and some quality conversion at home too.” He describes his new setup. “It is centred around a refurbished 2017 iMac running ProTools 2020. I’ve basically created a clone of my studio computer in terms of software and plugins; including all my go-to Waves, Soundtoys, Slate, FabFilter and Drumforge favourites that I love to use in my mixes.“
He’s really pleased with the iD14. “It sounds amazing, is so well built and the added ScrollControl is a nice feature that’s been helping me navigate my sessions even more quickly,” he says. “The Burr-Brown conversion really does sound great, too.”
Determined to mirror 7 West Studios as closely as possible, he went for a pair of Focal monitors. “Shape 40s are very small and compact, but with the clarity and punch that is expected from Focal even at low volumes – a must when living in an old Glasgow tenement flat. I use their twin B model as my main monitors in the studio.” He certainly appreciates the aesthetics of the Audient iD14 on his desk. “The colour scheme and solid build look right at home next to the iMac. So, we have style and substance!”
Up until now, Chris has managed to keep his work and home life separate, concerned that having studio space at home may lead to him never taking a day off. Having only recently moved into his flat, he’s now juggling DIY with mixing – a far cry from his ‘previous life’ at 7 West Studios.
The two-room facility, which shares its space with Lofi Studios, Scotland’s largest recording and rehearsal complex, is where Chris has honed his craft and built up a steady client base over the past eight years, producing many Scottish bands. Riding the wave of the boom in Scottish music, they include The Dunts, Baby Strange and Spyres as well as Gerry Cinnamon whose latest record, The Bonny has already reached number one in the album charts. “That record is filled with some of the best song writing I’ve had the chance to work on in my career,” he is proud to report. Which is saying something, as Gerry’s previous album, Erratic Cinematic earned him his first Gold BPI Award.
“I enjoy mixing, but I love the time spent creating and capturing in the studio”
As for the future, Chris is pleased to have a decent setup at home now. “It will be nice to have access to the equipment to work from home on mixes if I choose to,” he says, although like many of us, he’s looking forward to getting back to some kind of normal again. “I enjoy mixing, but I love the time spent creating and capturing in the studio when people are bouncing off one another creatively. That’s the part that makes this the best job in the world.”
Amen to that. In the meantime, happy mixing!