Recording and mix engineer Edward J “UK” Nixon of the Grammy Award winning US production team J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, has been using a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface on a number of high profile projects including the mixes for Dare To Dream and the Mobb Deep single Street Lights.
Nixon, who carried out the projects at both Metropolis Studios in London and a private facility, says the natural, clean and detailed nature of the Orpheus allowed him to record every nuance and character of both vocal performance and the performance and character of a vintage Neumann U47 microphone.
“A further increase in perceived depth, width and height were obtained during the mix process thanks to the Orpheus converters, resulting in mixes that we were all very happy with,” Nixon says. “Simply put, the ADC and DAC enabled me to see and hear the bigger picture, which perfectly marries to my approach. Using Orpheus I can create and capture an exact image and place elements within that image with pinpoint accuracy. We don’t cut corners and neither have the Orpheus designers – they deserve the crown, because the Orpheus is King!”
Nixon’s decision to try out the Orpheus was initially inspired by fellow engineer James Towler, Steve Winwood’s Front of House, Studio and Tour Manager.
“James uses Prism Sound ADA-8X multichannel converters and had expressed his opinion and recommendation, in particular to the quality of the converters,” Nixon explains. “After Avid released Pro Tools 10 last year with increased PDC, I decided to look at making the transition from Logic Pro Audio for mixing duties as I had, for the majority of the time up to that point, been tracking in Pro Tools and mixing in Logic Pro Audio 9. The Orpheus has integrated seamlessly into my set-up. The microphone preamplifiers are perfect for tracking vocals or instrumentation, both in a studio environment and on location in a hotel room – something I have done on many occasions with great results.”
Nixon adds that another great feature of the Orpheus is its stack-ability, which has allowed him to daisy-chain up to six units for 48 channels of analogue I/O.
“This is reassuring for expansion going forward,” he says. “Also, the headphone amps are perfect for editing, with detail enabling my assistant M to hear everything, every unwanted click, pop, artifact or extraneous noise. M carries out the majority of mix preparation using headphones as we find that the isolation aids concentration. The level of detail provided between Orpheus and our Sennheiser HD650 headphones has resulted in zero edits falling through the net and impacting the mix process.”
Nixon adds that the sheer accuracy of the converters has enabled him to be in complete control of everything from image and transient information to frequency representation.
“Most importantly, it gives me peace of mind because it is totally rock solid,” he says.
Born and bred in the Lake District, Edward J “UK” Nixon has been based in the US since joining the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League (which stands for Just Undeniably Some of The Illest Composers Ever) in 2010. His first project for the team was Maybach Music III featuring Erykah Badu, T.I. & Jadakiss. This was included on Rick Ross’s Gold selling Teflon Don album, which also featured the J.U.S.T.I.CE League–produced No. 1 Billboard single Aston Martin Music featuring Drake & Chrisette Michele.
In recent months Nixon has been using his Orpheus to mix albums in the UK for Mercury Records’ Dot Rotten and Island Records’ AnGel, both of whom he describes as ‘super talented artists destined for unequivocal success in 2012’. Dot Rotten’s first official single Are You Not Entertained from his highly anticipated debut album Voices In My Head will be released on March 5th, 2012. Other recently completed projects from the team include Yelawolf’s Write Your Name featuring Mona Moua, Ace Hood’s Body 2 Body featuring Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole’s Long Way Down, Young Jeezy’s F.A.M.E. featuring T.I” and Trapped featuring Jill Scott both from TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition, the No. 1 selling RnB/Hip-Hop album on Billboard over the Christmas period (F.A.M.E. & TM:103 Hustlerz Ambitionhave in recent days been certified Gold).
“Here inEngland, I have been mixing at Britannia Row Studios and a private facility, while in theUS I work at Tree Sound Studios inAtlanta,Georgia, which the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League calls home,” Nixon explains. “We also have three extensive home based rigs in the city and I am currently in the process of finding a suitable home inEngland.
“It really is a privilege to work alongside such talented musicians, writers, producers and friends and to have the opportunity to evolve and adapt. The team challenge me to shape the sonic signature of each and every record that we make, forever inching closer toward perfection.”