Producer Ian Sherwin has invested in a Prism Sound Atlas audio interface, which he is currently using to record tracks for Grammy Award-winning English synth pop act La Roux’s third album.
Sherwin, who has a project studio in West London, has made Atlas the backbone of his current recording setup and says he is delighted with the audio quality he is achieving.
“My first impressions of Atlas were really quite stunning,” he said. “The difference when A/Bing between that and my old Avid Omni interface (which I'd always regarded as a reasonably decent converter) was almost incomprehensible; I literally felt as though I was switching between 24/96k and YouTube. By using the Atlas, we can now hear more and therefore achieve more in terms of the standard of music that we're producing.”
Formed in 2006 by singer Elly Jackson and record producer Ben Langmaid, La Roux released its eponymous first album in 2009, which Sherwin also worked on as an engineer, to huge critical acclaim. After notching up a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album, the pair began recording a second album but ran into difficulties when their working relationship started to fall apart due to creative differences. This eventually led to Langmaid leaving the group and Jackson continuing alone, with Sherwin assuming the role of co-producer and, eventually, co-writer on the second album.
“La Roux is not the kind of act where you spend two weeks in a studio and come out with an album - it’s much more of a free flowing, cumulative process than that,” Sherwin explained. “Our approach to recording is very flexible, but that doesn’t mean we want to compromise on audio quality. We still want to produce studio quality recordings, even when we are not in a studio, and this is what Atlas allows us to achieve.”
Sherwin was familiar with Prism Sound because he’d already used the company’s flagship ADA-8XR Multichannel converters in various commercial recording facilities.
Atlas is a USB multi-track audio interface that is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms. Once configured with a computer, Atlas can also operate stand-alone using its ADAT, S/PDIF or AES3 I/O. As well as the built-in inputs and outputs Atlas can accommodate other optional digital interfaces such as Pro Tools|HDX and AES3 multichannel options through its MDIO expansion slot, making it suitable for the home, native or project studio as well as larger multitracking facilities by seamless integration with industry standard platforms.
“What really impresses me about Atlas, beyond all the things I expected to hear such as an improvement in clarity and the depth and width of the soundstage, is how rhythmically succinct it is. It's not that everything necessarily feels tighter; it's more that what I'm hearing is so much more revealing in terms of what's going on groove-wise,” Sherwin concluded. “Atlas is such a cool interface and having eight inputs at my fingertips means I can reliable record a performance wherever we are.”