Can you beat Smartgain? Audient Challenges The Professionals

18th septembre 2023



Audient invited engineers and producers from the online audio community Control Room to come to Tileyard Kings Cross this summer, on the pretext of showcasing the EVO Expanded System being used to record a live band.




Smartgain: Copied Never Equalled



Smartgain Challenge


On arrival however, Audient’s Harry Lewis surprised the participants with a challenge: would each of the audio professionals like to pit themselves against EVO Smartgain?  “Smartgain has been a really interesting feature as the EVO range has expanded into higher channel counts, allowing you to set the gain for your inputs automatically for increasingly more inputs at once. We wanted to see just how effective it could be, by putting it up against some seasoned professionals and seeing who came out on top.”




Luke Ramsay manually setting the levels for Redwood band



EVO 16 + SP8: set the gain automatically for up to 16 inputs at once


The band Redwood was already mic’d up and connected to the EVO Expanded System, which comprised the EVO 16 audio interface and the 8-channel mic preamp EVO SP8. The 16 available inputs were more than enough for the five-piece band to perform and record their latest track, Oh Love.



Audient filmed the proceedings as they unfolded. Reactions ranged from quietly confident to mild panic, as each engineer realised they had to set the levels for the entire band against the clock. Audient then observed the engineers use a variety of techniques to manually dial in the gain for Redwood’s 15 inputs, with only their ears, experience and intuition to rely on.




Smartgain Challenge
Can the professionals beat Smartgain?



After revealing the engineers’ times, we get to see Smartgain work its magic, and automatically set the levels for all inputs simultaneously. Who is the fastest? Can the pros beat the time it takes Smartgain to set the levels for an entire band?  And will it sound as good??






So how did they do? Find out by watching the video.







“to really put [Smartgain] through its paces in a full band setting and have it work so well was brilliant” ~ Harry Lewis



Audient’s Harry was also behind one of the cameras on the day. “It was great to watch seasoned engineers – who may be wary of new tech like Smartgain – see for themselves how powerful and time-saving the feature can be. We’ve seen it used time and again, but to really put it through its paces in a full band setting and have it work so well was brilliant. The reactions from all the engineers say it all really!




Danny Kehlenbeck and Loria Boban – after the Smartgain challenge



Hats off to the talented and dedicated members of Control Room: Romesh Dodangoda, Jake Hillcoat, Loria Boban, Danny Kehlenbeck, Andrea Lepori, Guy Elliott-Davies, Marco Viscito and Luke Ramsay for taking on Smartgain.



Control Room creator, Romesh Dodangoda is giving away an SP8 to a lucky Control Room member this week. If you would like to be part of an active discussion group for all things production & mixing related, have exclusive access to downloadable multitracks and discounts on gear AND be in with a chance to win some tasty kit, head over to Control Room and sign up!