In 2014, renowned pop-punk band Fall Out Boy was preparing to record their next release, when guitarist Joe Trohman faced a tough decision. Could he effectively use outboard gear and mic pres to record much of the band's album or was there a better way? He found the perfect option.
"Originally, I wanted to have a few EQs, limiters/compressors, and maybe eight mic pres," Trohman says. "However, I felt I was only going halfway and that I could get a little more out of a console."
The search for the right console led the Chicago native to Vintage King's Jeff Leibovich (a Windy City resident himself), who extolled the virtues of API Audio's ever-popular 1608 console. Trohman, who had been interested in the recording studio since the band's first effort in 2003, knew of API's legendary sound. "I remember when I was 17 or 18," the now 31-year-old guitarist recalls."Working on the first proper Fall Out Boy record, using the API 550B. Great for shaping guitar and bass."
Thanks to Trohman's familiarity with API products and Leibovich's expertise in setting up studios revolving around the console, the duo decided upon a 1608 packed with twelve 550As and four 560s. Installed at Trohman's LA home studio space, "The Rat Cave," the 1608 immediately began to see use, as the guitarist started tracking Fall Out Boy projects, in addition to his solo work with The Damned Things and the Danish group, New Politics.
"Having those at my disposal in line with 16 killer mic pres is a dream come true," he states. "The 500 processors and mic pres are amazing. Everything sounds incredible tracked through the console, and the EQs take everything to the next level. No matter how incredible plugins sound, great analog gear still sounds the most three-dimensional to me."
In the time since the API 1608 made its way to "The Rat Cave," life has once again changed for Trohman and his bandmates in Fall Out Boy. The end result of the group's tracking on the console, American Beauty/American Psycho, has given way to a rebirth of sorts. As their first full-length release since 2013, the foursome started out an incredible run in 2015 by debuting on the Billboard charts at number one, while also scoring two Top Ten singles, "Centuries" and "Uma Thurman."
"I'm very happy that I own this console. It has completely changed my workflow and the quality of what I make" Trohman says. "I love the aesthetic, as most of us do. My work flow has sped up. Everything happens faster and it's way easier for me to dial what I want when I'm actually turning knobs, versus running it in the box entirely."