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Studio Bonsai Sprouts From Focusrite Hub

Six-time Grammy-nominated record producer, engineer, mixer and remixer, songwriter and programmer Damian Taylor has built out a Dante-networked setup at Studio Bonsai, located at his home in L.A.’s Frogtown neighborhood, centered on Focusrite components.

Damian Taylor has built out a Dante-networked setup at Studio Bonsai.
Damian Taylor has built out a Dante-networked setup at Studio Bonsai. Damian Taylor Productions Inc.

Los Angeles, CA (August 18, 2020)—Six-time Grammy-nominated record producer, engineer, mixer and remixer, songwriter and programmer Damian Taylor has built out a Dante-networked setup at Studio Bonsai, located at his home in L.A.’s Frogtown neighborhood, centered on Focusrite components.

Studio Bonsai, which is set up for mixing, programming and writing, is located in a former mastering room that was built by the previous tenant of Taylor’s house. Taylor has pared down his racks of vintage synthesizers to a more focused collection, including a Eurorack modular system, which interfaces to the Dante network via the two RedNet 2 units. “I’m able to have all of my instruments patched in. Everything is immediately available all the time, and that’s really wonderful,” he says.

With a credit list that already includes Grammy-nominated releases by Björk, The Prodigy and U.N.K.L.E. and projects with The Killers, Arcade Fire, TR/ST, The Temper Trap and Dizzy, Taylor is currently bringing his production and mixing talents to bear on a new album by Colombia’s Bomba Estereo. “And I just wrapped a second album with an Australian artist called Odette,” he says.

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Taylor, who was born in Canada and arrived in L.A. via New Zealand, the UK and, again, Canada, is no networking novice. He has used Focusrite’s Dante-enabled equipment since the company’s first RedNet units were introduced. “I got the very first RedNet 5s, which tied in with the Avid I/Os. But I’ve been really happy switching over to the Red 8Pre and getting rid of all my Avid interfaces. It’s a far more integrated and slicker way of being able to integrate Pro Tools,” he says of the unit.

Taylor controls his Avid Pro Tools|HDX system, which is hosted on hardware from Pro Tools PC, with an Avid Dock. “I have a set of Focal Twin6 Be monitors, which I mostly just use for loud listening. But I get most of what I need out of the tiny little Avantone speakers; I’ve been really into those for years and years,” he says. A RedNet AM 2 stereo headphone device is available for visiting vocalists, he adds.

With the hub of his setup, the Red 8Pre interface, offering both Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and dual mini-DigiLink ports, Taylor can switch between digital audio workstations. “I can use the same setup really seamlessly and jump over into different DAWs. I do a ton of work in Ableton Live as well, so not having to run everything through the HDX Core Audio drivers allows it to work brilliantly,” he says.

He has also implemented Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback software. “It lets me handle the additional level of complex routing between applications and between computers. But it’s using the Red 8Pre’s 64-channel interface as its journey in and out of the computer, and then Dante as the way to shuttle it over to the PC as well.”

Focusrite Pro • http://pro.focusrite.com

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