Instagram isn’t just for cute, filtered images of yourself and your dog or gear! It’s a great community uniting musicians and artists brave enough to put their best work out there. One of those Instagram accounts is run by our friend and Studio One user, Adam Sullivan—one of the front men for New Arcades, a UK duo inspired by nostalgic memories of 80s cinema and vintage synth sounds. Think of blue skies, urban nightlife, and hazy sunrises and you have the New Arcades!
Studio One is Adam’s go-to DAW since 2.0! He also has a FaderPort and StudioLive 24R.
Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?
I’ve been a musician from a very young age, nowadays I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I obtained a degree in music technology and sound engineering/composition at Lancaster University (UK). We started creating music and mixing tracks in 2008 and haven’t quit. It has become more and more serious in the last few years. This all in conjunction with being one of the main FOH Engineers at my church in London, Holy Trinity Brompton. Now I mix various artists’ tracks and create my own music for New Arcades. Additionally, my side project is known as “Shred Ministries” which has developed quite a decent following from the church/Christian scene as a comical reproduction of modern worship. Check it out on YouTube for a laugh.
How has the music industry changed since your early days?
Less and less are the labels willing to part with cash in order to promote, the risk is far greater for the artist it seems unless you are manufactured by the giant label themselves. Back in early days with medium independents, there might be a decent(ish) advance in exchange for the master copyright recordings. But it’s tragically at the point now, where for a promise of exposure, and (hopefully) enough money made is usually in exchange for the masters… I think now you have to do so much work, have many friends help push and support you and really drive home the music you create and believe in passionately. I stand by never giving up my masters indefinitely, and I would encourage all artists to be the same even if the promise of a bright future is tempting. Another area: digital music plugins have just stepped up… I now use a kemper when I play live, it’s just fantastic! It sounds incredible and it now would be for me favored over a guitar amp in a room! which I feel is insane! Nothing better than authentically playing the instrument though–somehow that’s always been the same.
Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?
It was a co-write with my fellow band members. I’ve always produced and mixed the tracks but my first one was a pop/Indie/Rock track. I was dead proud! I look back on it now though, it was the early days, I’ve progressed, as has the DAW and the plugins! 😉
Who has been an influence in your life?
Chris and Tom Alge. Absolutely phenomenal mix engineers. Clarity and Punch. Love them.
Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going?
A few times I have thought about stopping but I absolutely cannot help my need to create and ultimately, I persevere. I think also having a writing partner and bandmate always helps! Especially when you are both in tune, have similar styles and principles in your songwriting.
What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye?
The first thing that caught my eye was back in 2011: Studio One 2.0. It had this simple “Drag and drop” feature. I just loved how easy it was to slap something on the channel… The layout of the mix window and the integration of Melodyne. That, along with the power and depth of the EQ, Room Reverb, and Compressor that came with the package as standard had me hooked!
What PreSonus products do you use?
Studio One 4.5, FaderPort, various bundled software. StudioLive 24R rack mixer. I also use it in conjunction with the StudioLive 24 mix desk that I TOTALLY love!) It works great for all my function work, and is such a flexible setup.
When did you first hear about Studio One?
I was actually referred to it by a friend. They said they’d seen a review in Sound on Sound, which is very well respected. I went home, downloaded the free trial and haven’t looked back!
What features are you most impressed with your gear?
The interface of the Q-Mix and UC Surface app is great. The sound of the preamps in the Series III equipment. Capture 3.0 is fantastic also. Onboard SD card stem recording on the desk itself. I’ve yet to put the StudioLive 24 in with my DAW, but I’ve seen it can be a great surface, along with the remote control iPad app for vocal booth recording.
Super easy actually! I had a decent understanding of several other DAWs. But Studio One was quite intuitive. I watched a few tutorials and just trial and error massively reap benefits. Studio One 4 is so powerful and versatile. Go exploring!
Where do you go for support?
YouTube, forums, etc. I have friends who are also well-established producers/mix engineers who I can pick the brains of on the regs. But I’m quite independent and I hate being defeated by things—so I usually resolve things myself!
Where do you go for inspiration?
I listen to other artists in the scene or genre I’m in, I watch movies that inspire creativity and put you in a hungry mindset… A bit like watching the movie “Creed” would make you want to train your socks off and chin someone in the ring. 😉 I do similar for my music. There are so many inspiring artists and creators out there, listening to fantastic scores and tracks just make me want to compete to be the best and make something as exciting and epic.
Recent projects? What’s next for you?
I just finished my album for my band New Arcades. I’ve been working on it since 2012! It’s being mastered as we speak, so hopefully won’t be long before it drops. Recently also did a track for well know acoustic/folk artist Roo Panes. He is a fantastic performer and the song we worked on together was called “Thinking Of Japan.” Everything has been recorded and mixed on Studio One. Next, will continue to do loads of live events and functions using all the gear, hopefully, make my own second album and work with more and more artists.