Ed Sheeran talks Focusrite ISA430 MkII

Ed Sheeran is one of the UK’s most hotly tipped young singer/songwriters. Parts of the story of his rise to fame are familiar: making music from a young age, couch-surfing at friends’ places, playing open mics all over the country before running out of money. But some things set him apart, like playing over 300 gigs in 2009, buying a ticket to LA in 2010 with no shows booked, being spotted by Jamie Foxx, selling 7,000 copies of his No.5 Collaborations Project EP and reaching number 1 in the iTunes chart without any label or promotion. Fast forward to Summer 2011, and Ed has deservedly caught the attention of the mainstream. His single ‘The A-Team’ debuted at number 3 in the UK singles chart, before he played to a packed stage at the world-renowned Glastonbury festival.

Ed’s debut album, due out in September 2011, has been recorded by Jake Gosling (Wiley, Wretch 32, Mark Ronson) and Guy Massey (Beatles Remasters, The Coral, Manic Street Preachers). They have both been using Focusrite equipment on the album to great effect. Jake Gosling, album producer, explains, “I have a Focusrite Saffire interface in the studio, and I’ve used it on every track on the album. I’m not a really techy person, so I normally just go with what sounds good, and the Focusrite sound totally works for me. I was really happy with the recordings we got, they were just really clean and transparent, which is important for Ed’s sound. The best thing was that Abbey Road loved it; they said it was one of the best mixes they’ve heard in a while.

GRAMMY and MPG award winner Guy Massey, whose coup de gras was remastering The Beatles in 2009, recorded two tracks on Ed’s album. “One track was guitar and vocal and the other was piano and vocal – it was all live. I used a ribbon mic and the Focusrite ISA430 MkII. Both songs are just very pure recordings really, and when we came to tracking we had a few preamps to choose from, but I just chose the ISA430 MkII because you can just dial things in so quickly. It’s very intuitive in its layout and I always find it very easy to get a great sound, whether it be a clean and pure vocal or slamming drum destruction.

I’ve been using a 430 for around five years, and always found it to be a great workhorse. I love the clarity it provides when needed and also it’s versatility, which allows you to mangle sounds quickly due to its great ergonomics.

Commenting on the sound of his album, Ed Sheeran adds, “Jake and Guy captured everything I wanted to capture. The album sounds exactly how I wanted it, so thanks Focusrite!Check out Ed’s website for the latest news.


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