Artist, producer and drummer, Terl Bryant has added an ASP880, eight channel mic preamp to his studio, taking advice from some music industry greats. “When I was exploring options for my setup, I really got into studying the spec of everything out there,” he explains. “Producer friends Steve Levine (Culture Club), Cameron Craig (Adele) and Nik Fairclough (Northwind, Durban SA) were all super helpful with pointers. Each gave the thumbs up with my decision to go for the Audient ASP880.”
ASP880: “Quite a game-changer, to be honest”
Terl certainly moves in some impressive circles. Unsurprising, given that he’s worked on over 1000 recording sessions and clocked up thousands of international touring miles over his four decades as a drummer. His list of credits is ridiculously long and includes working with Peter Murphy, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Elizabeth McGovern, Faith Hill and Peter Gabriel among many others.
“Much of my journey has been touring and playing in bands, but it was in the early 2000s that I first invested in some gear to start writing and recording. It brought a whole new perspective and transformed my relationship with music,” he says.
Studio nuts and bolts
Terl’s studio is in an oak beamed barn annexed to his home. It is here that he has worked on “literally hundreds” of remote sessions for artists and producers, including Cameron Craig, Arthur Brown, Jim Kerr and Elizabeth McGovern. Describing his studio setup, he says, “I mostly track using Ableton Live 11 with 16 active pres made up of the Audient ASP880 connected via ADAT to a Presonus Quantum and MAC M1. I am also an sE artist who supply all my mics. I use a mixture of dynamic, small and large diaphragm condensers and ribbons around the kit.
“Drum-wise, I use three main kits for recording; a beautiful custom birch Jalapeno kit (which I toured with John Paul Jones with), a ’79 Sonor rosewood kit and a lovely mid 70s vintage Ludwig kit, plus an arsenal of snares, including Ludwigs, Yamaha, Sonor, Jalapenos and VK custom drums.”
ASP880: “a remarkable improvement to the audio”
So, how has the ASP880 made a difference? “It’s proved to be an excellent addition to the setup. Quite a game changer to be honest. Not just as it offers the ability to switch phase and adjust filtering on each channel, but the Burr-Brown converters have added a remarkable improvement to the audio. I run 2 kick channels, 2 snare channels, overheads and room audio through it, leaving the Presonus Quantum to handle toms and hats.”
A lot to be proud of
Having left school at 16 to follow his dream of being a drummer and travelling the world, there wasn’t anybody in Terl Bryant’s orbit that thought this was realistic – or long term. Over the last more than forty years however, he has proved them all wrong. “Here I am still playing drums, writing music, travelling, performing and collaborating with all sorts of wonderful artists, some of whom have been very successful in their own right,” he says.
“Authentic creativity is not about ‘likes’ it’s about ‘love’ ” – Terl Bryant
Terl continues to be dedicated to his craft, dividing his time these days between working as a session and live player, collaborating and writing, and also running a non-profit, which supports creative initiatives. “Over the last couple of years I have recorded so much stuff that I am pleased with,” he says. “Les Belles Habitudes by the Stefano Ianne project (a trio that I am a part of), New Buryin’ Ground by The Grace Machine (a collaboration), I also got to do a fabulous version of House of the Rising Sun with Paul Mitchell and John Etchells featuring Arthur Brown for the Help Musician charity – and I am also currently collaborating with Ben Reed (Frank Ocean) on some new material that will be out later this year. All of which I’ve tracked here at my studio – and in March and April I’m out touring the UK with the lovely Barbara Dickson.”
Terl Bryant’s Inspiration
Terl also finds time to hang out with his wife Jules, six semi-grown-up children, his dog and two fat cats. When asked what advice he’d give himself when he was just starting out, he was particularly insightful. “ I think I might suggest to anyone following that inner call to the arts to keep a copy of ‘The War of Art’ by Steve Pressfield nearby,” he begins.
“Producing something of worth in the arts is not easy, but remember it’s not a competition. Authentic creativity is not about ‘likes’ it’s about ‘love’. So, stay kind, be generous, invest at a heart level, listen deeply, say your prayers and don’t be a doormat for all the angry voices out there.”