Audient Chats With Record Producer & Studio Owner Alec Brits

10th junio 2024


Alec Brits is a record producer, songwriter and product reviewer based in Liverpool, where he runs his successful The Cabin Recordings studio. He’s a LIPA alumnus and his credits include St Catherine’s Child, HOLLOWBODY and Clean Cut Kid among others.



The Cabin is centred around an ASP4816 mixing console, and is also where Alec films most of his YouTube product reviews. He tends to write songs to help actively demonstrate products where appropriate, using the product to capture the audio.  He’s reviewed a fair few bits of audio kit over the years, so Audient is delighted when he decides to keep the EVO & Audient gear that he’s given the once-over.



We catch up with Alec to find out more about how he manages to fit his studio work around his YouTube schedule, what he’s been working on and what he loves about his Audient and EVO gear. But first, we asked him how he’d got into music originally.



I’ve been involved in music since before I could speak, really. I grew up in a home where my father was the leader of the music team in church, and my cousins on my mom’s side ran a small recording studio outta their parent’s place.




Alec Brits
Record producer & studio owner, Alec Brits



At the age of sixteen, I had my first paid drum session for EMI South Africa (Where I lived till I was 18 years old). At the age of 17, a friend of mine had moved to Liverpool to study music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and he made it very clear to me that it was in my best interests to apply and audition.



“The Cabin is a predominantly ‘One Room’ style recording space”



I studied composition and production at LIPA. During my studies, I realised that while I enjoyed playing live, it did not provide me with the same level of comfort and creativity that I got from being in the studio. I got hired as a session drummer by John Withnall, Tony Draper, Chris Taylor and several other great engineers in the city. During all of these sessions I realised that I was more interested in the creation of records than only playing drums on them.



So in 2014 a business partner and I decided to open a recording studio in a rehearsal room in Liverpool. A few years later he moved back to his hometown in America, and I stayed here and kept working on records. Learning to engineer on the job, learning about mixing and arrangement as I went. That has very slowly snowballed into what I now do for a full-time job.




Tell us about your setup.



The Cabin is a predominantly ‘One Room’ style recording space. Although I can access a live room, I rarely use it that much. The feeling of being in the same room as the performers allows for less miscommunication and faster transmission of ideas.



The studio itself sits in a warehouse that is an hourly rehearsal facility for bands in the area. The concept of the studio was for it to feel like you are walking into your best friend from childhood’s home, which just so happens to be filled with the finest instruments and recording equipment: low pressure, high quality.




Music recording studio in a warehouse packed with gear featuring compact recording console at the far end
The Cabin Recordings – studio featuring ASP4816 mixing console




You’ve centred The Cabin Recordings studio around ASP4816. How long have you had your Audient desk now? What do you love about it?



I wanted to purchase the console in 2019 and thanks to the legends at Studiocare here in Liverpool, that became a possibility. ASP4816 has been the central piece of the studio ever since.



ASP4816: “an absolute win sonically”



I have loved how it has allowed me to try different workflows and learn the sound of the analogue workflow both in recording and mixing. The cost-effective nature of this particular console makes it an absolute win sonically, without having to face any of the downsides of console ownership.




We understand that the iD44 that you reviewed recently is now being installed in your home studio for good. Congrats!
What was it about the iD44 that helped prove it was the one for you?



Yes! I’m currently wrapping up the filming of that review. A while back there was a small flood in the warehouse that left the studio without any power. I reached out to Chris and asked if I could review the unit around that time, so the timing was somewhat serendipitous.



Audient iD44 audio interface



It was the perfect fit for my home studio because it could have several different microphones set up at one time. It allowed me to audition speakers, but most importantly it did something that very few pieces of equipment get right: the iD44 never gets in the way.



“the iD44 never gets in the way”



Almost all the main features of the unit are ‘one knob/switch per function’. This means that even with my poor eyesight, I can see or feel each of the switches and operate the unit very easily.



The AD/DA of the unit is stunning, and the fact that there are two headphone outs (with a 3.5mm additional input!!!) just makes life a lot easier. I have one set of closed-back headphones, and one set of open-back headphones for mixing and tracking respectively.



The mic pre’s are of course familiar as well.  It’s a solidly built unit that feels like it can also be used in self-defence if needed. (You never know ~ Audient)






What do you get up to in this home studio space?



The home studio is dedicated to songwriting, mix prep and video editing. Sometimes The Cabin is dry-hired out to another producer, or my intern is working on one of her own projects, so the home studio picks up the slack that is generated in those moments, and sometimes allows two things to happen at the same time.



iD44: “The AD/DA of the unit is stunning”



How is your home studio different from The Cabin?



The room is much smaller and sounds very dry and tight. It allows for the opportunity for a fresh perspective after a long day, week, or month in The Cabin. Less gear which provides less option paralysis.



Also, it has a fridge filled with my cooking. That’s always a win.






You’ve also been kind enough to review EVO 4 as well as EVO 16 & SP8 (aka EVO Expanded System) which is great! It sounds like they have made the grade to stay in your inner circle, too.



They have been great products to use, and continue to be useful in a tight spot. When I travel, the EVO 4 is one of the first things in my carry-on with my Neumann U87.



SP8: “eight clean and easy-to-mix mic pre’s”



The EVO 16 is used in my intern’s home as her primary interface. On days where I run out of mic pre’s the SP8 gets patched in to allow for another eight clean and easy-to-mix mic pre’s.




So SP8 is providing extra inputs on busy tracking days. Are you finding yourself using Smartgain? Any other features you’re enjoying?



I think the Smartgain feature is used more on days when it’s just me alone in the studio and the SP8 is outta reach. I think it will likely be coming home to be with the iD44 to make the home setup a little more flexible for future use cases.






Who have you had coming through the doors at The Cabin more recently?



It’s been a solid start to the year here at the cabin, currently finishing the pre-production for the new St Catherine’s Child album, which we are starting to record in April.



We also had the lovely Bubba Shrimps over from Switzerland for some writing and pre-production before they headed off to Italy to start their next album.



The latest Honey Motel EP is currently being released, as well as some absolute bangers from HOLLOWBODY. Both of those projects were produced and mixed here in The Cabin. The drum sounds on both of them are the ASP4816 getting absolutely battered (but like in a good way).



“When I travel, the EVO 4 is one of the first things in my carry-on”



We love your YouTube product reviews, too. It looks like you write a new song every time you review something. Do you?



Thank you so much! They take quite a lot of time to put together at the moment, as they have to be fitted between productions, mixes, and songwriting.



I do write a new song for every video when the product is used for the capture of audio. Usually, that means Microphone and Mic Pre’s get songs, while compressors, eq’s, reverbs and other effects get more of the talking head with demonstration treatment.





How do you fit all this in? (Do you ever sleep?)



It’s a delicate balance really. I would love to be able to split my time more evenly between songwriting, production and YouTube. Eventually, I’ll gradually move more of my time towards YouTube taking the majority of it. However, in these early stages, mixing and production pay the bills!



And yes, I think sleep is super important, as well as a solid morning routine to get your head ready for the day.




Did you always want to be doing what you’re doing?



There is a photo somewhere of a 4-year-old Alec standing on a stage with his classmates from nursery. All of them had awesome signs like ASTRONAUT or FIREFIGHTER.



Mine said, DRUMMER.




What should we be looking out for? What’s coming up for you?



The next few months are looking pretty solid here, too. Lots of writing coming up with some wicked artists and I’m working on my album as well this year, which should be a fun and challenging project.



There are some lovely YouTube videos in the works that I’m pretty excited to share in the future as well as some wonderful products that are in the works to help solve some simple studio problems.




Audient can’t wait to see what’s next!






Visit The Cabin Recordings website for more info, and keep up to date with Alec by following him on Instagram.


Head over to his YouTube channel to check out some more of those amazing original songs!