Simon Gogerly has worked with some huge artists over the last couple of decades. Recently he was recording the one and only Tom Jones with his trusty Focusrite ISA430MkII: “Everyone was really happy with how the vocal sounded…”
“I took the classic route – working my way up through the studio,” says Simon Gogerly, looking back at the start of a studio career that would ultimately lead to him receiving a Grammy in 2006 for his work on U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. After rising though the studio ranks Simon worked at several big studios and alongside such legends as Stephen Hague, Sly and Robbie and Nellee Hooper. He has now worked with some of the world’s biggest artists including P.Diddy, Gwen Stefani, Andrea Corr, Texas, Tom Jones and the aforementioned U2.
With years of experience Gogerly has become an expert in choosing the right studio gear and has become a Focusrite fan, owning an ISA430MkII with a Liquid Mix on his shopping list.
“With the ISA,” Gogerly explains, “I was looking for a rack channel strip to take with me to sessions, primarily for recording vocals, and I liked the Focusrite sound from using the big console at Metropolis studios. To me it sounds clearer and more transparent than a lot of the competition, has more features and is very simple to use. I’m getting a Liquid Mix because it has easy access to a bunch of compressor plug-ins without using up the computer processing power.”
“The ISA is used mostly for recording vocals but also on acoustic guitars, amps, even a concert harp. The variable mic impedance switch means that you can get a good sound out of most mics. When I’m mixing it doubles up as an extra outboard EQ/compressor.”
“It’s made the biggest difference for me in my own studio at home.” Gogerly continues. “Since I got it I can record vocals and instruments anywhere up to studio standard. When I’m mixing at home it becomes my vocal chain – it’s a great all-rounder.”And to demonstrate just how great the unit is, Simon recently put it through its biggest test yet.
“I was using the ISA to record Tom Jones. He’s got an amazingly powerful voice and I was a little concerned. But apart from having to do some real time level tweaks on the really loud bits with the trim pot it coped admirably well. Everyone was really happy with how the vocal sounded.”
Simon Gogerly’s top recording tips
“I’m not too much of a purist – I try not to lose sight of the overall picture,” he says. “Sometimes the sound that works best comes from using the crappiest piece of equipment in the studio and sometimes it’s the opposite. I like the sound of quality equipment but if a cheap plug-in or guitar pedal does something special then I use it. My mixing approach is always to make it exciting, whether you’re listening on a great system or on laptop speakers.”