We went to the famous Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood to record Katalyst – a 10-piece instrumental band – with engineer Matt Pliskin and renowned producer/musician Mark de Clive Lowe.
Katalyst was formed in 2014. Their style of music can best be described as “contemporary instrumental”. Every member of “The Kats” writes and composes as well as playing. Katalyst’s instrumentation includes drums, bass, guitar, two keyboard players – one of them playing piano in this case – tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet, trombone and a sousaphone player who also played a Novation Bass Station synth with his free hand on this recording.
Engineer Matt Pliskin works with Focusrite as a Red and RedNet product specialist. “Given Katalyst’s style of music,” he said, “it was a natural choice to track them together, live, rather than in an overdub-type approach. This meant we needed more than the typical 24 inputs that the studio is equipped for.”
The Red 8Pre was used to get all the audio in and out of Pro Tools | HD. Expansion was simple, because the Red 8Pre allows connection to Dante audio-over-IP networks. This allows Dante-compatible systems such as Focusrite’s RedNet range to be added via Ethernet. So, augmenting the Red 8Pre’s eight mic pres, Pliskin added two portable racks with four RedNet MP8Rs spread between them, giving a total of 40 mic inputs.
The Red 8Pre was used to get all the audio in and out of Pro Tools | HD. Using the Red 8Pre’s built-in monitor mix capabilities, the artists were able to control their own headphone mixes, using the Focusrite Control App for iOS. RedNet AM2s provided headphone sends to the artists. A single Ethernet cable running into each of the live rooms brought all the audio in and out of the control room.
Designed by legendary acoustic designer Don Davis, Grandmaster, located at the heart of Hollywood since 1971, has played host to hundreds of classic artists and albums. In pride of place in the control room is the 1973 Neve 8028 Console – the last standard Class A console that Neve ever made.
Katalyst was formed in 2014. Since then, they have gone on to play in the prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, backing recording artist Dion at Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek’s Reflection Eternal concert at the Belasco Theater, and a host of events and concerts in the Los Angeles area.