Stephen Street with Zen deskEquipping his new studio room, UK-based producer Stephen Street was in need of a desk to suit his work with the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Blur and The Smiths.

‘I wanted an analogue console with facilities for DAW control,’ he says. ‘I was well aware of the quality of Audient desks having used one at the last studio [the Bunker] that Cenzo Townsend and I shared at Olympic. The Zen desk features a similar dual-input design to the “big” consoles, with both DAW sends and returns handled through the same channel strip. A demo was sorted out for me really quickly and after ten minutes I knew it would be right for me.’

Supplied by London-based Audient dealer, Media Pros, Street’s Zen is currently in his home studio, where he uses it along with an API Lunch Box with some EQ. With his move into a new studio room scheduled for October, size and ease of use were strong factors in his choice of desk. ‘The Zen was extremely easy to set up, and the manual is very well written and clear which is a nice bonus.’

A few weeks of use has left him satisfied: ‘I like the way it provides balanced inserts for users to plug in their own external processors,’ he reports. ‘I also love the stereo bus compressor built into the Zen’s master section that can help to glue a mix together.

‘I’m now able to enjoy the advantages of DAW music mixing with complete recall and plug-in processing, but then use vintage analogue processing for the final balance. Individual track elements are more present than when mixed “in the box” – they seem to have more “air” around them.’

Street has been spending his time working on several unsigned acts this year, most recently The Funeral Suits from Dublin. ‘There seem to be so many great bands around these days, who 5 years ago would have a deal no problem.’

With a reputation for creating hugely successful recordings, Street wasn’t going to compromise on his new desk: ‘Overall it sounds clean and transparent,’ he says. ‘I’ve not had chance to use the mic amps yet, but if they’re anything like the ASP8024 desk I had in the Bunker, then I’ll be happy.’

More: www.stephenstreet.net

More: www.mediapros.co.uk

More: www.audient.com

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