When it comes to making the floor move, Soulful House super-hero Kerri Chandler knows every trick in the book. He has, after all, been honing both his gear and his technique for 15 years. And his essential piece of equipment? “The Liquid Mix is my favourite!”
For Kerri Chandler, music is life. DJ at 13, recording engineer at 14, and by 16 he was head engineer of New Jersey recording studio Mirror Image. In his quest for knowledge Kerri ruthlessly deconstructed every piece of gear he could get his hands on in an effort to master the recording process. Before long he was doing more production than engineering, but it wasn’t until some 15 years back that the moment of epiphany hit – and hit hard.
“I had the pleasure of mixing on a Focusrite desk back in the early ’90s. It came loaded with ISA 110s [mic pre and EQ] and from there on in I was hooked. Ever since that moment I saw Focusrite as something I knew I needed to get the sound I wanted – it was kind of my secret weapon in a way.”
Fast forward to 2007, and Kerri’s current rig bears the hallmarks of that fateful session: “In the studio I’m very particular about the gear I use to get my sound, which is why I have a Liquid Mix, two VoiceMaster Pros, two VoiceMasters, an ISA428, a Novation BassStation and a Novation DrumStation.”
“I’ll take my Liquid Mix with me if I'm mixing someplace else. I can just put it in my bag and keep on going. When I break it out someplace it's so small that some people [other engineers] don't take it seriously – until they hear it! Then they want to go get one… I’ll laugh and just say, “Well man, it's a Focusrite!”
“Plug-ins have changed a lot of how I work and I am so happy that the Focusrite guys came up with Liquid Mix – it absolutely goes on every track I make now! I love the way you can make old and new EQs and compressors your own. I’ve made presets for everything. And it doesn't touch my CPU – that's the great part. It's also instant recall, so I don't have to write anything down, each channel pops up with what’s on it, and there are real controls with real meters. So I don't have to give up any of the sound I’m used to having. And I don't need a million patch cables to do it!”
“I think my Focusrite gear is the only thing that I didn't modify in my studio. Everything else had been ‘Chandlerized’ [modified by Mr. Chandler himself!] as my friends like to say! I know it sounds like I’m plugging Focusrite, but this is a big part of the gear I use to get the sound that I love.”
“When it comes to production, speak with your music – it’s always worked for me. And forget about the studio standard, just do what you feel sounds the best for you.”