As the basis for the new documentary, The Story of the Focusrite Studio Console, the Focusrite desk remains a favorite among vintage collectors and recording engineers around the world. The only problem? There were only ten of these consoles ever created.
The history of the famed Focusrite brand starts in 1985, when Rupert Neve built a module for Sir George Martin. The thought behind this initial Focusrite ISA 110 was to build a no-nonsense microphone preamp and equalizer. In the end, Martin and the staff at Air Studios loved Focusrite products so much that Neve began creating other gear for the studio.
Around 1988, Focusrite pushed ahead in designing a whole console, two of which landed in Master Rock Studios and Electric Lady. Yet, as a result of high production costs, the company's rights were purchased by Soundcraft Electronics leader, Phil Dudderidge. His leadership moved the company forward into a new territory, as the brand's tech team worked to create the well-known Focusrite Studio Console.
Built using Rupert Neve's original design of the ISA 110 as inspiration, the Focusrite Studio Console is thought of as one of the last blasts of British console innovation. Finding homes in studios all around the world, the list of recordings that feature the Focusrite is expansive and includes Green Day, No Doubt, Hole and so many more.
Beyond navigating the past of Focusrite, The Story of the Focusrite Studio Console picks up with the brand's Artist Relations Manager Chris Mayes-Wright attempting to find all of the original consoles. While what he finds is both devastating and inspiring, the film does an amazing job of explaining what made this specific console a classic.
The entire film is available online for free and included below, but if you're a fan of seeing movies in the theater, the film is having a special screening this Thursday, July 17. Taking place at the YouTube Space Los Angeles, the movie will start at 7 PM and you can reserve your space by contacting Miriam at Focusrite.