When Mel Patrick decided to re-form his surf-rock outfit, the Fabulous Blue Diamonds, he turned to a Soundcraft LX7ii console for his home studio.
Along with lead bassist and lifelong friend Fred Lichota, Patrick set up the LX7ii as the centerpiece to a full recording system.
Patrick and Lichota currently stand as the remaining two members of The Fabulous Blue Diamonds, a self-described “1960s instrumental surf band” that got its start playing in night clubs, local TV stations and battles of the bands.
Although they had a history as live performers, Patrick and Lichota chose to build on their legacy from the confines of the recording studio.
Patrick designed and built the studio’s mixing desk, leaving plenty of room for expansion.
“Almost everything from the LX7ii finds its way out to one of four patchbays in the mixing desk,” he says. “For audio from the guitar amps, everything is DI’d to the LX7ii, then to either my Apogee or Echo Audiofire FireWire interfaces, then back from those to the LX7ii.
“We plan on adding microphones to the amps and blending that with the DI to see if it adds to or takes away from the sound.”
“One of the wonderful things about the LX7ii is that it’s very easy to set up a ‘what if’ mix,” he adds. “The low noise floor is incredible and it’s a HUGE bonus in the sound department. Being able to hear things with a clarity that we’ve never heard before is just icing on the cake, so to speak.”
Patrick notes that he prefers a mixer-concentric studio setup over the more common home studio/DAW arrangement.
“From the day I brought it home and put it in the studio, the LX7Iiihas been rock solid,” Patrick continues. “It offers an incredibly low noise floor, an EQ that actually does something, balanced I/O, decent preamps, and versatile routing. You’d have to pry it out of my hands.”
Given the Fabulous Blue Diamonds’ style of music, the guitar sound on the recordings needs to be as clean as possible.
“We tried some other mixing consoles and while the LX7ii was not previously regarded as a studio mixer, we found that it provided the best all-around sound/control/routing/layout of all the consoles we tried, hands down,” Patrick says. “I’m glad to see that Soundcraft picked up on that and now recommends it as a suitable mixer for studio work.”