Woodinville, WA (February 11, 2005)–India.Arie’s studio, in the basement of her Atlanta home, is based around a small Digidesign Pro Tools setup, with a Mackie 32.8 recording console and a pair of Mackie HR824 monitors. While working in commercial studios has its appeal, Arie has developed a fine appreciation for the advantages of working at home.
“I like both scenarios for different reasons, but I love the intimacy of working here,” Arie said. “I’ve got all my instruments around me, and it’s so inspiring to be able to grab hold of an idea as it’s happening. I like to record my own vocals, usually with nobody around.”
The musical ideas and developed while on the road became the basis for her second album, Voyage to India. “My favorite songs on the album were started at six AM after working all night in the studio,” she recalled. “I just stayed up writing, and the songs just flowed out. Looking back, that was really my favorite time, just recording demos on my eight track at home, then going into the studio the next day and laying it down, while it was still fresh and raw.”
Typically, her songs begin with a guitar/vocal demo, with her Godan or Takamine guitar miked direct into the Mackie mixer, and vocals captured by a vintage Neumann via a Neve preamp. “I usually record my vocals right up front, really close to the mic. I just set up with my guitar, right here in front of the mixer, and that’s how I work. The Mackie is really easy to work with.”
For India.Arie, her home studio is a sanctuary for laying down ideas and working on arrangements. “I’ve only done tracking in this room up ’till now, but my next album will include material recorded here,” she explained, adding that lately she’s feeling more confident in the mixes she’s getting out of her own studio.
“My Mackie monitors have really made a difference in the way things sound in this room. I love they way they sound–they’re so crisp and clean. They’re the first pair of really good speakers I’ve ever had in my studio, and they’ve done wonders for my mixes. They’re not going anywhere.”