SSL 2+ Interface makes legendary bassist Leland Sklar a home recording convert

Legendary bassist Leland ‘Lee’ Sklar has played as a session musician on tens of thousands of songs with some of the best-selling artists of the past 50 years and toured as a sideman with some of the biggest names in the business.  In all those years, Sklar never once recorded a bass part at home. But in order to continue working during lockdown, Sklar hooked up a Solid State Logic 2+ USB audio interface up to a Macbook running GarageBand and began experimenting – and now he’s a home recording convert.

Sklar has documented his experience on YouTube.

“I’ve always been busy enough that I’m one of the guys that has never had a home studio, or done any home recording at all,” he says. “When I would get home from work, I had so much to do around the house that I never really dedicated anything to recording. Plus, I have enough friends with home setups that if something came along, I would just go to their house and do it.”

During the seventies, Skylar played with a group of session men so frequently for Asylum Records that they effectively became the label’s in-house band, known as The Section. Fifty years later, he’s playing with several of those same musicians and lifelong friends in a new band, The Immediate Family, one of whom he called to help him get set up to record at home for the first time. 

“Our guitarist, Steve Postell walked me through all the settings on GarageBand and how it all works,” says Sklar. “I’m really a newbie at this. I’m not doing anything in GarageBand; I just plug my bass in. As a way for my bass to get into a recording, it’s an excellent tool.”

“Like everybody else, I’m finding new paths. And I ended up with a tool that seems to be exactly what I need to do the things I was thinking about doing,” he says. “The SSL 2+ interface is the perfect tool for imperfect times!”

During his 50-year career Sklar has worked on multiple albums, and toured with James Taylor, Phil Collins, Jackson Browne, Toto, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Reba McEntire, Clint Black, Hall & Oates, Kim Carnes, Steven Curtis Chapman, Shawn Phillips, Véronique Sanson, Neil Sedaka and Lyle Lovett. His contributions to motion picture soundtracks include Legally Blonde, The Prince of Egypt and Phantom of the Paradise.

Now in his seventies, Sklar’s bass playing remains very much in demand. With many recording studios still not fully open for sessions, his phone hardly stops ringing now that he has a way to record his bass tracks at home. Offering just a couple of examples, he says, “A friend of mine, Ramón Stagnaro, a great guitarist who I’ve done a number of records with, contacted me about a producer from Spain who wanted to know if I could play on a track. And now I’m getting ready to do a thing for George Shelby, who is the sax player in the Vine Street Horns, which is Phil Collins’ horn section.”

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