Jem Godfrey and Avid’s Carbon
With international writing and production credits such as Whole Again for Atomic Kitten and Kiss Kiss by Holly Valance, music producer and songwriter Jem Godfrey is in constant demand. Therefore, improving quality and efficiency is top of his priority list. We sent our marketing manager, Stephen Ferguson, to find out how Jem’s purchase of AVID’s Carbon from Elite Reseller Mediaspec was an easy choice to help make his studio more effective.
Mediaspec: What does your current studio set-up consist of?
Jem: I’ve always been a huge fan of Pro Tools, so I have Pro Tools Ultimate running on an 8 core i9 2019 iMac with 64gb RAM. Before I switched to Carbon, I was using an HDX rig with an AVID Omni audio interface. Now it’s an HDX/DSP hybrid.
Mediaspec: What made you decide to acquire Carbon?
Jem: The number of audio inputs was a big reason. I have a fair amount of hardware synths in the studio and I was unhappy with the collective noise issues running them all through my analogue rack-mounted sub-mixers. It just didn’t feel like a particularly elegant way of working. Previously, when I had lots of racks, I would run things into the Omni using ADAT Lightpipe equipped mixers. I had a big clear-out during last year and I realised that Carbon’s input spec more than covered what I needed in the new set-up. Now I can input directly into Carbon for a cleaner signal path when I’m using the analogue gear. And I love the sound of the pre-amps.
Before Carbon, I monitored through a Drawmer MC3.1 including the iMac audio output which was okay, but it meant yet more wires and clutter and kettle leads and plug sockets! Carbon offered me a way to clean up my workspace significantly, as it meant I could get rid of the Drawmer, run the Mac audio through Carbon, get rid of the racks, the mixers, the Lightpipes, but have four independently-controllable headphone feeds as well! Plus, I felt that the Omni was getting a bit long in the tooth after eight or so years and perhaps the sound would be improved with the newer hardware. I certainly wasn’t disappointed!
The onboard HDX DSP acceleration was also a huge plus – being able to track using effects with sub 1ms latency has been a game changer. There was always a bit of a performance sapping lag when tracking before – even when running super lean sessions – but now it’s right in the pocket, even on big mixes.
Mediaspec: It sounds like switching to Carbon wasn’t a difficult decision to make?
Jem: Not at all. I saw the review in Sound On Sound and was immediately onto the Mediaspec website. It was one of those rare news products that come out where there isn’t a debate about getting it. It was like, “Well I’m having that right now!”
Mediaspec: How has it changed your workflow?
Jem: It’s made things a lot simpler and cleaner both physically and sonically. I really like how it handles the Mac audio through its own Carbon channel, whilst also having a dedicated ProTools channel too. I believe I could have another DAW integrated into the system alternatively too if I wanted to, talking to ProTools digitally, which is a very powerful feature.
Mediaspec: How will you use Carbon?
Jem: Actually, I’ve already recorded and mixed an album using it. The HDX DSP acceleration when tracking live instruments or vocals was so easy and sounded great. The way the hybrid engine works is super user-friendly – literally just a click of the record arm. Carbon does the rest and off you go!
Mediaspec: Are there any upcoming projects where you plan to use it?
Jem: I plan to use it on every project coming up! It sounds, to my ears at least, a big step up from the sound I was getting before. Since I’ve started using Carbon, I’ve found there’s more depth and clarity to my mixes. I’d like to say it was my mixing skills getting better, but I think in this case I’ve definitely had some help!
Mediaspec: Choosing the right supplier can be an important decision, so why did you choose Mediaspec?
Jem: In my experience Mediaspec always go one step further than other pro audio companies. Eric and the team are extremely knowledgably and friendly – that inspires confidence in me when I’m looking at new tech that perhaps I need to get my head around to begin with. Nothing’s too much trouble with Mediaspec and they never vanish into thin air after a purchase. They want to make sure that everything’s okay and that it’s doing the job they advised me that it would. It’s a bit of a rare thing these days.
Mediaspec Marketing Manager