New York, NY—April 2018… Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer Steven Wright-Mark writes, records, plays all instruments, and produces everything in his studio. Wright-Mark has released three solo CDs, most recently My Plastic World (2012), and he recently started producing other artists. Since 2013, though, Wright-Mark mostly has stayed busy recording and touring with rising country star Jessica Lynn, including three successful national tours and a 2017 tour of Europe and the UK, with more to come.
The Jessica Lynn Band’s extensive touring led Wright-Mark to reconsider his live guitar rig, resulting in a new approach based on a TASCAM US-20x20 USB audio/MIDI interface with mic preamp/mixer. “One of the challenges, especially with international touring, is that you have different a backline from venue to venue,” he observes. “I have been looking for a long time for a way to faithfully reproduce the sounds I get in the studio onstage. For any given song I might have electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards with different sounds, and vocals. I was looking for a way to make things consistent no matter where we were and no matter what kind of backline we had. I needed a device that would allow me to flexibly route all the separate inputs and outputs to different areas. The TASCAM US-20x20 was exactly what I was looking for.”
TASCAM’s US-20x20 provides 20 channels of analog and digital I/O, including 8 mic/line inputs with TASCAM’s premium HDDA preamps, enabling Wright-Mark to connect mics and keyboards. Two instrument-level inputs let him plug his guitars straight into the rig without a direct box. The interface’s onboard digital mixer features parametric EQ and compression on each channel so he can shape his sounds and create custom submixes. Its 20 simultaneous outputs include 10 TRS line outputs, so Wright-Mark can send submixes and individual instruments to the front-of-house and monitor systems.
First and foremost, the US-20x20 is a USB 3.0/2.0 audio/MIDI interface that samples up to 192 kHz. It’s class compliant, making computer connections simple. “The US 20x20 interfaces easily,” confirms Wright-Mark. “As soon as I plug it in, my laptop recognizes it. I have a set list set up, song by song, that I step through with a footpedal. It’s the first time that I have been able to really reproduce live, with authenticity and consistency, what’s been going on in the studio.”
Because all of this I/O and mixing power is packed into a 1U rackmount device, Wright-Mark has been able to put together a compact, portable travel rig. “Using the 20x20 in my main stage setup, I no longer need an amplifier at all in my live setup,” he enthuses. “All I have to take is a four-space rack that’s the equivalent of my carryon. It goes in the overhead rack in an airplane, and that’s my guitar rig. From show to show, venue to venue, it makes traveling for gigs a lot simpler.”
With the Jessica Lynn Band on a roll, new tours are surely coming soon. Equipped with his TASCAM US-20x20, and no longer at the mercy of whatever backline he encounters, Wright-Mark is ready. “The TASCAM US-20x20 is the tool that was missing all of this time,” he reflects. “I couldn’t do my live setup without it. It’s the critical element that makes this all happen.”