Recording and Production in the News
Producer Glen Nicholls extols the virtues of Prism Sound's OrpheusCambridge, UK: Producer/re-mixer Glen Nicholls has recently acquired a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire computer interface, which he put through its paces during the recording, mixing and mastering of his latest Future Funk Squad album, Disorders Of Skill.
Producer Glen Nicholls and Orpheus
Over the past decade, London-based Nicholls has produced and remixed a wide variety of bands including The Prodigy, Bomb The Bass, Erasure, Yazoo, Sia, Hybrid, UNKLE, Mylo, Lamb, Robin S, Moloko and many, many more. He uses various different aliases, depending on the style of music, but the most established of these is Future Funk Squad, which has developed from an underground club act into a crossover, full vocal sound that is renowned for its edgy and tough production.
Nicholls does most of his production work from his own studio, The Funk Vault. This was originally housed in a freight shipping container but is now permanently located in an old warehouse in London, which also doubles up as his home.
"I gave up using a desk about eight years ago when I got used to the dual screen mixing functions in Logic and Pro Tools," Nicholls explains. "The main equipment in my studio includes two Urei's (1176 & 1178), a Neve 1073, a Crane Song STC8, a Lexicon M300 reverb, an Eventide H3000, Dynaudio Acoustics monitors and UAD plug ins. I also have a lot of old synths that I like to patch in as they have a lot more weight than the plug-ins, although these are getting better all the time."
Earlier this year, Nicholls decided to upgrade his equipment list by investing in a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface, which he specifically wanted for his forthcoming Future Funk Squad project.
Launched in 2007, Orpheus is a 1U, 19-inch rackmount 192kHz-capable unit that is designed to appeal to both recording professionals and serious project studio owners. With Orpheus, Prism Sound has succeeded in creating a computer-based Firewire interface that retails at an attractive price point without sacrificing many of the features and the quality of its top-of-the-range products, like the ADA-8XR.
Orpheus is fully software-controllable via a cross-platform control application (available for PCs running Windows XP or Macs running OS X), and is therefore ideally suited to the computer-based musician who wants to work with the flexibility offered by modern computer-based DAWs but wishes to maintain the quality of signals from analogue recording sources or processors in his digital production environment.
"I had seen Prism Sound converters in virtually every recording and mastering studio I'd work in and decided it was time to add that kind of quality to my own studio, Nicholls says. "The Orpheus was ideal for my requirements and I was really surprised at how easy it was to install and use. It's a stunning piece of kit that works like a dream and I'm really pleased I decided to make this investment."
Nicholls adds that he particularly likes the Orpheus Overkillers, which he uses in conjunction with his STC-8 during mastering sessions to give him more options for tightening the sound. He also routes all of his outboard equipment through the Orpheus (some via a patchbay). "This is awesome," he says, "because the convertors are so good you don't lose a thing."
Since installing Orpheus, Nicholls has also produced an album for Melody Klyman. This featured plenty of live instruments, which he recorded with the Orpheus.
"It was a real pleasure because everything sounded so clear and crisp," he says. "The interface makes it very easy to monitor what you are recording and the unit gives everything much more depth and clarity, which really brings the sound to life. Anyone out there who is professionally making music and doesn't already own an Orpheus ought to go out and buy one - you will not regret the investment."
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