Pearl Jam and Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron (pictured) now boasts two work spaces to practice what has become more than a hobby—his home studio, located north of Seattle and aptly named Space Studios in downtown Seattle, where he and former Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain produce and engineer songs for their side project, the Wellwater Conspiracy.
Cameron has recently added a Yamaha 02R96 digital mixing console. “I was not a previous 02R user,” he said. “However, I changed my mind after reading an interview with Madonna’s producer Mirwais, where he was talking about how much he liked his Yamaha 01V. I definitely wanted to make the switch to digital and wanted to replace my analog board with something that would be more comprehensive, as well as a good songwriting tool.
“The 02R96 looked like it did a lot of things in a compact package, which was very important since my home studio has some space limitations. Once I got it in there and got it all set up, it basically rocked my world.” Cameron said that there was a slight learning curve for him with the new board. “I had to read up on the recall functions and take time to figure out how the channel layers interact with the channel effects. But once I basically plugged my stuff in, it was good to go.”
Cameron’s home studio equipment also includes a Mac G4 system, MOTU Digital Performer recording medium with FireWire interface, a pair of Universal Audio 2-610 tube preamps, a UREI 1176, a NORD Lead synthesizer, Yamaha PSR2100 keyboard and Yamaha Motif Rack module, an ADAT machine and various playback pieces.
“I try to get as many channels going as possible,” Cameron said, “and since the FireWire has eight ins and eight outs, the 02R96 can be used for that, as well. The old outboard gear is still there, but definitely not used often, since the console’s onboard effects are great. The greatest feature, by far, is being able to program different board settings and recall them. For instance, if I have a setting for a live Wellwater rehearsal, or if we’re actually tracking or mixing, just one switch and we’re all set.”
Cameron is currently working on songs for the next Pearl Jam release, slated to go into production in summer 2004, and recently put the 02R96 to the test recording and mixing an Internet single for Wellwater Conspiracy. “I know we’re barely scratching the surface with this, but so far, having a completely digital signal path can’t be beat,” he said. “The fidelity is noticeably bumped up. The sound is different, as we grew up on analog, but the versatility and convenience of digital far outweighs any fidelity issues.”
For more information on the Yamaha board, visit www.yamaha.com/proaudio.