Sound engineer Mark Jones
David Gray’s live sound engineer Mark Jones, who has also worked with Embrace and Morcheeba this year, chose a list of Focusrite products for Gray’s current tour, including a couple of Producer Packs and no eight Platinum Octo Pre’s.
“I am using the two Producer Packs [supplied by Chris Fitch at Skan PA Hire Ltd] on David’s piano, guitar and vocals,” says Jones. “Overall, when I am mixing live sound, I am looking for a round dynamic sound, something I feel is achievable with the right combination of tools. I will always aim for a warm vocal sound, something an ISA 430 certainly helps achieve.
“I use the mic preamps on the Producer Packs to give me ‘that sound,’” he continues. “I also use the compressor, parametric EQ and de-esser before it gets to the desk. Effectively, this means all vocal processing is done on the Producer Pack. Without any doubt, the EQ is one of the best-sounding EQs I have come across—precise yet musical; it just nails anything down to give it that sweet sound. If I don’t get a unit like an ISA 430, nothing else will replicate the sound I hope to get.”
And when he decided to record all of the shows, Jones looked at various combinations before opting for the eight Octo Pre’s in combination with a hard disk recording setup. “As we are currently running 52 inputs, we have eight Octo Pre’s in one rack,” he says. “We also added the 24-bit/96kHz AES-S/PDIF-ADAT interface cards as we connect to the recording setup via optical. The results have been impressive: The preamps are ever so quiet and transparent. I also love the fact that each channel has a limiter on it, an extremely useful function. This takes care of any sudden peaks and spikes that might result in clipping, and also means we don’t need to be constantly keeping an eye on the setup.”
For more information on Focusrite’s gear, visit www.focusrite.com.