Audio Pro International’s focus on the best of the industry’s young audio engineers continues this week with the latest addition to our Rising Stars section.
This week we chat to audio engineer Alistair Groves…
Where did you study?
I’m self taught; learning from lots of trial and error!
Which band/project are you currently working on?
I’m currently putting together an album with a really exciting band called Readymades. After that I’ll be starting the debut record with Sworn To Oath, who I’ve been working with for the last couple of years.
Where are you based at the moment?
Sandhills Studio in Liverpool. I’ve designed it and helped to build it, and since then it has become my home from home. I have a pretty intimate knowledge of the rooms and I’m always tweaking their sounds.
Which audio console are you currently using? And how many channels?
It’s a refurbed SSL 4000E with VCA automation and brown EQ, cut down to 24 channels. It sounds great, and being a small footprint means I can always sit in the sweet-spot of the monitors. It’s also really economical to run.
What decision process was behind the choice of these consoles?
We had an old Digidesign Control 24 that died on us, and we decided to use it as an opportunity to upgrade. I wanted something that could last with the studio so that we weren’t going to outgrow it and need to upgrade again. The excellent sound is one thing, but the automation is what really drew me towards it.
Do you use any outboard effects/EQ, and if so, what are they used on and why?
I’ve actually been slimming down my outboard collection lately – I use loads of fader automation in my mixes and between that and the SSL I’m pretty happy. Exceptions would be a really old Chandler Tube Driver unit that I have setup on an aux send on the console, that is set up as a really fat distortion channel, and an API 5500 across the mix bus – the API is also used exclusively on kick and snare mics when tracking. I’ve got an old SPL vitalizer that I like on overheads and room mics, especially to pair with my Coles 4038’s – I like how it opens up the top and bottom in a different way to traditional EQ. I recently bought a Thermionic Phoenix and an old Lexicon PCM 70 that sounds really good – I was blown away by it in fact!
What is your console of choice?
I love our SSL, but I also worked on an enormous Neve 88RS that sounded fantastic.
If you could tour with any band/artist who would it be?
AC/DC, 30 years ago!
To get involved in our Rising Stars column, whether you are an engineer who is new to the industry and would like to be featured, or an experienced engineer who would like to nominate a particular student/apprentice, please contact Audio Pro International editor Daniel Gumble on email@example.com or 01992 535646.
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