Producer and guitarist, Carmelo Luggeri has released a brand new album with pop legend Kiki Dee, recorded using his ASP8024-HE mixing console. Entitled The Long Ride Home, this is their fourth studio album – and their first recorded using his Audient desk.
“The Audient desk is at the heart of the setup”
Located in his private studio – which doubles up as his writing and rehearsal space for himself and Kiki – the British analogue desk has been a part of his setup for over four years now. He explains its appeal: “Apart from it looking great, I love that it’s all neatly integrated for my needs: the DLC and the patchbay. Using the tactile, intuitive layout appeals to the ‘old school’ side of me, yet the DLC means I can control all the software with proper faders if I want to get away from the mouse!”
He uses Logic Pro X software and multiple plugins, and a few choice pieces of hardware, including a couple of Lexicon effects units, TLA compressor and EQ, a DBX vocal strip and two more compressors, along with a Drawmer noise gate. “I like to work using a combination of analogue and ‘in the box’ recording, hopefully getting the best of both worlds.
“I control all the software using the DLC, and I can easily incorporate the hardware outboard gear into the setup”
“The Audient desk is at the heart of the setup with everything going through the desk first and being controlled from there. I control all the software using the DLC, and I can easily incorporate the hardware outboard gear into the setup,” he explains. He is particularly taken with the desk’s sound, too. “The great EQ and not forgetting the mix bus VCA compressor. I haven’t done a single mix without using a touch of it – it really works!”
This latest album was recorded during lockdown, which presented its own, unique problems. “The guests we had on the album were recorded remotely and the files sent across from as far as Brazil and Los Angeles, so sometimes synching files went awry,” he says. That was not all. “The more difficult things lay in creative decisions. Initially it was going to be a relatively simple album, but the more I experimented the more I found sounds and parts that I liked. So I just kept going until we were in love with what we were hearing.”
“I just kept going until we were in love with what we were hearing.”
It’s this tenacity and attention to detail that has kept Carmelo and Kiki’s musical relationship so fresh over their 28 year collaboration. “Whilst we only have four studio albums and two live albums to show for it, it is definitely quality over quantity. I’ve always wanted to do something unique in music and I realise that we have achieved that! Perhaps stubbornly we still try to make albums that are a complete listening experience from start to finish – like the old days when we used to listen to records in their entirety.”
Their live shows are also unforgettable. “There are only two of us on stage, but what we have developed over the years is quite an experience to perform and listen to,” he says, with well-placed pride. “I am proud – and lucky perhaps – to still be out there performing and creatively going forward.”
Long may that continue.
Available from 22nd April, The Long Ride Home is available from all good record stores – online and in real life. Visit https://www.kikiandcarmelo.com/ for more information.