Steve Stout wears a lot of hats. Not only is he the guitarist for acts like ØZWALD, Lifehouse, and (formerly) Blondfire, but he’s also a talented songwriter, producer, and audio engineer. In addition to working with artists like Lost Beach, Steve released his debut album, “Dairy Made” in 2021, which he produced and mixed himself in his Nashville home.

Recently, Steve teamed up with Vintage King and Focusrite to record and mix a live version of his song, “Smell the Poppies” using the Focusrite Clarett+ OctoPre and Focusrite ISA One preamp—along with some of the plug-ins included with the Clarett+ OctoPre

Watch the video below, where Steve walks us through the recording process and details his approach to overdubbing drum fills, fleshing out the production with keyboards and guitars, and using the Audified MixChecker Pro to dial in the right sound.

More About Focusrite Clarett+ OctoPre

The Focusrite Clarett+ OctoPre is an eight-channel ADAT preamp that offers a powerful and versatile solution for recording engineers. It features eight high-headroom, low-noise and low-distortion Clarett+ preamps with All-analog Air relay-controlled circuitry for capturing drums, vocals, and acoustic instruments with superb clarity. Additionally, it offers two JFET instrument inputs for that thick, rich guitar tone. 

The Clarett+ OctoPre also has studio-quality A-D converters with high dynamic range, ultra-low noise, and zero distortion for tracking, plus exceptional D-A converters to preserve audio quality when sending tracks out to analog compressors, EQs, and effects. 

The Clarett+ OctoPre can easily expand your I/O by connecting via ADAT to a 2Pre, 4Pre or 8Pre. This way, you can record a whole band together while maintaining analog purity and clarity.

More About Focusrite ISA One

The Focusrite ISA One is a classic microphone preamp featuring the topology of the original ISA110 module, including the Lundahl L1538 transformer and bespoke Zobel network. First introduced in 1985, the ISA preamp was the cornerstone of all ISA and RED Focusrite products, known for their transparency and subtle warmth. 

The preamp is complemented by a line input, independent DI channel, variable impedance circuit, insert point, phantom power, phase reverse, and a 75 Hz, 18 dB/octave high-pass filter. The ISA One also features independent input metering for both channels, a headphone output with dedicated volume control, and an optional state-of-the-art stereo A-D converter. 

More About Audified MixChecker Pro

Audified MixChecker Pro is the ultimate tool for ensuring your mixes sound great in any environment. By adding some background noise and simulating the distortion and narrow stereo base of real listening conditions, MixChecker Pro helps ensure your mixes will translate on a wide range of playback systems. Plus, you can even use it as a creative effect in your mixes! 

The Pro version offers new simulations, the ability to create sets of simulations, custom settings and labels for buttons, distortion modeling, background noise, and advanced stereo modes. Additionally, the Pro version has a lower latency and better phase linearity than the original MixChecker, and also includes an auto advance function, web browser, iOS and Android remote control, and interface zoom. 

Anthony ErwinIf you're interested in purchasing the Focusrite Clarett+ OctoPre, ISA One, or any of the gear mentioned in this blog, contact one of our Audio Consultants via email or by phone at 866.644.0160