British DJ and producer Ben Westbeech has invested in a Prism Sound Titan USB multi-track audio interface for his studio in Amsterdam, citing audio clarity as his main reason for choosing the unit.
Westbeech moved from London to Amsterdam two years ago and set up his own studio facility. However, he regularly commutes to the UK to record material for his BBC Radio 1 residency, which he presents as Breech.
"Before I left London, I had my studio in the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, which was an amazing place to be based," he says. "I made a lot of great records in that studio although it was unbearably hot a lot of the time. I can remember having to work in my pants in there in the summer! It was unreal!"
Life is Amsterdam is undoubtedly cooler in all respects and he's delighted with his new studio, which is housed in a complex of seven studios on the famous canals.
"To begin with, I didn't have a huge amount of gear but I've been building it up over the past two years," he says. "I now have a selection of synths and drum machines, all synched through a Roland SBX, including an Oberheim OBX, a Prophet 6, a Macbeth Mx3 and a Verbos modular set up. I use a lot of analogue compressors and I process a lot of sounds through vintage channel strips, including two SSL E Series and two Neve VRs. My main microphone is a beautiful gun metal Neumann U47 and I use a Moses and Moses patch bay, which makes everything a lot easier to connect in terms of signal path."
Westbeech decided to buy a Prism Sound Titan because he wanted to upgrade his sound card. The interface is ideal for music and sound recording, mixing, multi-tracking, overdubbing, stem-based mastering, analogue summing and all critical listening applications. It provides Prism Sound's renowned performance, sound quality and state-of-the-art clock technology in a dedicated unit compatible with both Windows and Apple platforms, and once configured with a computer it can also operate as a stand-alone interface.
"A friend of mine who also has a studio introduced me to the Prism Sound Titan and I was super impressed with the clarity and cleanness of its sound," Westbeech explains. "Now that I have invested in this unit, I am recording in 96khz, which I wasn't doing before. I'm noticing that it is giving me a lot more headroom and depth of stereo field, and all of the synths and vocals I'm recording through it sound a lot better than they did with my previous soundcard. I'm getting some killer results."
Westbeech adds that using Titan for mixing allows him to hear lower and mid frequencies more accurately.
"I work at a slightly lower level of monitoring now," he says. "I used to mix so loud, so that's a good thing for my ears! I love the clarity of sound that the Titan gives me."
Although Westbeech has his own studio set-up, he still uses commercial facilities, especially when he wants to record strings or larger ensembles.
"The Dairy in Brixton or Kyteman in Utrecht are among my favourites, but I prefer to use my own studio as much as I can," he says. "Early this year I produced and wrote my first album with a Manchester-based band called Everyone, which was really good fun. We recorded everything at my studio and it inspired me make the most of all my equipment. It was a little cramped at times but we got a really great sound, and I hope to produce another band next year as I really enjoyed the process with the Everyone."
Westbeech is about record his third vocal album and hopes to start that by the end of the year. He is also busy working under his Breech moniker and DJ-ing in various countries around the world.