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Monday, July 15, 2024

Big in Japan: Mastering with Audient iD22 in the Mix

Since mixing and mastering Miyavi’s Samurai Sessions Vol.2, and the opening song, ‘Dancing With My Fingers’ topped the Japanese charts, the careers of audio entrepreneur/mixer Joel Wanasek and engineer/mix assistant Joe Wohlitz have been going from strength to strength. The Audient iD22 has been an integral part of their setup, throughout.

“It was my first number one song as a mixer/mastering engineer so it was a great honour,” says Joel, who enjoyed the “cool and unique experience” of working with Miyavi. The Korean/Japanese artist is known for his unconventional guitar playing techniques as Joel recalls, “I have spent many years mixing metal and removing dynamics from guitars. On this record, a good amount of them were actually left in, because Miyavi slaps a lot.”

Today, Joe and Joel also make up two-thirds of Drumforge, a company that makes award-winning sample libraries and drum mixing plug-ins. Knowing how good recording software and drum samples have improved over the years, Joe believes home recordists should aim for simplicity when choosing their gear. “Our philosophy is that anybody who is starting off only needs an interface with two great channels of preamp and conversion. The iD22 goes above and beyond that and is the logical first purchase anybody should be making for an interface until their needs require something else in a much higher price bracket.”

Saying that, when Joel originally bought the unit, it was because his original interface went for repair. “I asked my assistant Joe what he thought could deliver high enough quality without us having to spend a ton of money,” he says, and Audient was what he came up with. “The iD22 started off as my backup, but it was around that time that all my work started going ‘in the box’ so we just stayed on it. It definitely sounds great and delivers a lot of features for the price point.”

Joel is also co-owner of Unstoppable Recording Machine (URM Academy) and has found the British audio interface invaluable for creating content. “A huge thing for me was having four outputs in a compact size. I do a lot of live streaming and educational content for URM Academy. I wanted something that got rid of my patch bay and was compact. The four outputs made setting up a new rig easy.

“The iD22 is also very portable. For example, I backpacked it on the plane with a laptop for NAMM this year and did mixes live from the floor. It made everything a breeze,” he says.

“These days I’m mixing a lot of pop music ‘in the box’. I used to have an advanced hybrid setup with a lot of gear. Now I’m running a pair of Amphion One 18s and Empire Ears ESR for monitoring and using an Audient ID22 as the interface. For my needs it is perfect,” he says.

Joe describes how iD22 helps him in the mixing process. “I’m working on headphones about 70 percent of the time and can say the headphone amp is really great,” he says. “Monitor controls are exactly what I need in my workflow with the dim, cut and mono options readily available and who doesn’t love a giant volume knob?

“Mixing is a large part of what we do, so audio conversion quality is extremely important. The converters on the iD22 hold their own against many units two to three times the price of the iD22. The stereo imaging is great and the low end is very clean and clear.”

The future is looking bright for them both, with Drumforge preparing to release a big sampler update with new features, as well as developing “some really unique and cool new technologies,” according to Joel. At URM Academy they’re working on a series of new courses and gearing up for the annual summit, a several day educational and networking event which this year will be taking place in Las Vegas.

Audient wishes them both every success.

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