Midge Ure

28 Oct 2008
The former Ultravox front man, Live Aid organiser and Masterchef runner up (!) embarks on a new solo album and a whole new Canadian adventure with Liquid Mix in his backpack.
After fronting the uber-successful synth rock outfit Ultravox in the '80s, it would have been easy for Midge Ure to sit on his pile and retire gracefully. That was never going to happen, though, so a quick stint at changing the world followed as he helped organise Band Aid, writing the second best-selling single in UK chart history (Do They Know It’s Christmas?) along the way.
Midge has since enjoyed success as a solo artist and is still gigging around the world to this day – but even that’s not enough. Recently he embarked on his biggest adventure yet: building a new home in the wilds of Canada – but thanks to his laptop and Focusrite’s Liquid Mix, the music continued.
“We’ve had a stint living in Canada, north of Montreal,” he says on a flying visit back to the UK. “We built a log cabin on a lake and I took the family over there – big changes, but fun! I went to finish off a new solo album I’ve been working on for the last three years as well. My studio over there is what the Americans would call a ‘studio lite’: a Mac laptop and a few key bits of gear.”
And one of those choice bits of gear is Focusrite’s Liquid Mix, which Midge chose for its quality and portability…
“The whole idea of the Liquid Mix is that it sits in your backpack and you can take it and use it wherever you happen to be, so that’s what I’m doing! I use the Liquid Mix to keep my set-up as minimal and portable as possible because I come back here a lot playing gigs. Now I can take my set-up, put it in a backpack and off I go, which has always been a dream of mine. The idea is to use all that dead time – waiting in airports, traveling on planes, sitting in hotel rooms – and being able to utilise it. So I need a set-up that sounds great and does what I want – and that’s where Liquid Mix comes in.”
So what else attracted Midge to Liquid Mix, aside from the portability aspect?
“When you read interviews with other engineers raving about something you think ‘hold on a second, if they say it’s good then I’m going to check it out’. And that’s how it works with me as well. Plus, of course, Focusrite have such a good name and track record – they’re never going to put something out that’s substandard.”
And much to Midge’s satisfaction, it turns out his hunch was right.
“Plug in the Liquid Mix and it’s instantly useable – and everything you do suddenly sounds better,” he says. “Whether it’s the EQ or compressors, it just beefs up your sound, giving your music a quality that just isn’t there with my standard sequencer package. Without naming names, it [Midge's sequencer] has all the EQs and compressors in there, but Liquid Mix just sounds better.”