Mikael Johnston upgrades studio with API 1608

Founding member of Mephisto Odyssey and acclaimed producer and engineer Mikael Johnston has upgraded his studio with an API 1609 console.

As a member of one of the first American Electronic Dance Music acts to sign to Warner Brother Records, Johnston’s musical knowledge led to a stream of writing, production, engineering and remix work with bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Static-X, Soul Coughing and others. In 2008, Johnston partnered with long time colleague Dave Dresden to form the writing and production team of Dresden & Johnston where he used API mic preamps, compressors and EQs to record their Billboard Top Ten Dance hit ‘Keep Faith.’ In 2012, Johnston upgraded his studio with an API 1608 small-format analogue console to complete a mix of rock icon Blondie at the request of the bands producer Jeff Saltzman.

Johnston was first introduced to the API sound while working with other Warner Brothers acts that wanted to experiment with electronics. Johnston explained: “We used API gear for the Jane’s Addiction remixes for the ‘So What!’ maxi single. Shortly thereafter, I co-wrote ‘Crash’ with Static-X. I realised it was time to step up my game. And several friends suggested an API lunchbox was the way to go.”

Johnston filled out his lunchbox with API mic pres, compressors, and EQs. Later he added an API 3124 rack-mount, four-channel mic pre for work with bands such as I Am The World Trade Centre.

Johnston decided that it would be more cost-effective to do the work in-house, stating: “It’s one thing to book studio time if you’re focussed solely on being an artist, but I have a decade of experience as an engineer, remixer and producer. I then decided I wanted to equip my new studio with a first-rate analogue console so that I could take on both roles at the highest level. It’s no secret that I believe a hybrid mix is far superior to an in-the-box mix, and for my taste the most high-end analogue gear that’s involved, the better. While deciding on a console I took several factors into consideration, namely the history of the manufacturer and their longevity in the business, as well as their reputation. I also decided I didn’t want a vintage console because they’re a hassle to maintain. So that left me with a short list of credible names that have been in the industry for decades and also make new high-end, small-format, discrete analogue consoles. The API 1608 seemed to be the only one that was purely discrete analogue circuitry without a lot of extraneous, potentially problematic, and eventually obsolete, computer integration. Therefore between the console topography and the API 500 series format becoming an industry leader, it was a no brainer for me.”

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