Prism Sound hits The Steam Rooms

Founding member of UK band The Bees and owner of The Steam Rooms studios Paul Butler has invested in a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire multi-track audio interface from Funky Junk to help assist his work with other artists.

Butler, whose recent work with Michael Kiwanuka has already topped the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2012’ poll, explained the key reasons behind the purchase: “I’m a sort of producer/musician/engineer/writer/performer: it’s the integrated approach to recording and playing music that helps me do what I do,” he said. “The Bees has been my training in many areas of music and the industry, and recently I’ve had opportunities to branch out into the world of producing other artists. I run a studio on the Isle of Wight that uses choice pieces of kit from the last six decades.”

The Orpheus interface was added to the studio’s inventory after The Bees borrowed one during a writing session, and will also join Butler’s mobile recording rig. “The idea of the rig is that we rent inspirational spaces (out of season), utilising the room and surroundings for the perfect creative environment for writing,” he commented.

Having utilised his mobile rig during his work with Kiwanuka on a couple of EPs, and most recently on his critically acclaimed debut album Home Again, Butler was keen to point out the benefits of adopting such an approach to the recording process. “Our mobile rig consists of four additional lunchbox Mic/Line pres, one channel of quality compression, a laptop, a bag of mics, and a pair of small near field speakers,” said Butler. “Along with some quality instruments and reasonable musicians, the Orpheus sat at the heart. The results were much better than expected. It was like an older-era style of recording, only using a handful of outboard bits, and its success was down to strategic mic placement and good use of the large room we rented.

“The amount of channels available meant we kept it raw, but the quality of the recordings has opened up the possibility of not needing a full studio,” he continued. “Headphones were split out the two outputs on the front of the Orpheus to accommodate the four musicians – everything was covered.”

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