One of the hot bands of 2005, Athlete, recently wrapped up a long sell-out tour bolstered by the success of their single “Wired,” with front-of-house engineer Seneil Pusari taking charge of their varied sound.
“I am using Focusrite Liquid Channels as my stereo bus mix compression,” he says. “Usually you have to decide what unit you like and hope that it will achieve what you need in terms of holding the mix and letting it breathe. This will always compromise certain tracks if you have a band that plays a set of songs varying in style and dynamics. With the Liquids, having most classic compressors built into the unit allowed me to go through different compressors and settings to see what actually worked best. Instead of guessing, you can make a more informed choice.
“It’s something that could never have been done before without a complicated and inefficient use of several various classic compressors,” he continues. “It also allowed me to store settings in a user bank, which made compression settings for different songs far more accurate as well as in keeping with what the track needed sonically. Having the same buttons and dials to push made also setting compressors and A-B’ing different modeled units very fast and straightforward.”
An analog fan at heart, Pusari adds, “I like color and warmth and units that affect sound emotionally and not clinically. I think when people listen to music, clarity and detail are important but this should never compromise what they feel from it. A mix should represent the content of the song and it should move air… Air should always move at a gig otherwise everything would feel flat and uninvolving.”
Now that the year and “marathon” Athlete tour have come to a close, Pusari says he’s going to let his hair down a bit. “We’ve just finished a year of touring. I’m gonna stay up all night and drink a lot of beer.”
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