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Producer/songwriter Steve Booker expands creative horizons with SSL Duality
“Duality challenges me to be a better songwriter and producer”
Steve Booker with SSL Duality

Producer/songwriter Steve Booker expands creative horizons with SSL Duality

“Duality challenges me to be a better songwriter and producer”

Dec 11, 2014

Steve Booker with SSL DualitySteve Booker with SSL Duality

LONDON – Steve Booker has expanded his personal production space Cake Sounds Studios, adding a new SSL Duality-equipped control room alongside his existing Matrix powered room. Booker is a Grammy® and Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer who has worked on numerous hits over the years, including John Newman’s Love Me Again and Duffy’s Mercy, selling in excess of 30 million records worldwide. Building on the creative journey he has had with Matrix, Booker based his new, larger recording and mixing space around Duality; a natural progression that is already bringing added creative and sonic drive to his work.

“Having Duality is a great challenge to me to take the records I make to another level,” says Booker. “I am at the point in my career where I want to make the best music possible, both creatively and sonically, no excuses. Duality has been a lovely revelation for me to move further into the analogue domain. I produce pop music and the sound Duality gives me feels very commercial. I come from a songwriting background and to me the feel of the sound is almost as important as the composition itself. They need to work together. Duality can be aggressive, it’s punchy and that sound quality works back into my writing and arranging through the MIDI stage, the choice of instruments and the kind of music I want to make. The console has so much to offer, it has opened my eyes to another dimension of creative thinking. Duality challenges me to be a better songwriter and producer.”

Booker discovered his producer/writer mojo while finishing his second solo project A Far Cry From Here in 1996, while living in the U.S. He co-wrote Too Far From Texas for Stevie Nicks’ Trouble in Shangri-La album and subsequently worked with Melissa Etheridge, Lisa Marie Presley and Dionne Bromfield, amongst others. Moving back to London brought Booker his initial success with Duffy and a desire to open his own recording space. After some adventures with a purely controller-based approach, his journey into SSL-powered hybrid production began with Matrix.

“When I arrived back in London, I moved from in-the-box productions to a controller situation to expand my capabilities,” says Booker. “I was then encouraged by an engineer friend to take a look at Matrix along with 16 channels of dynamics in two SSL X-Racks, and that made all the difference. Suddenly the sounds I was using came alive. After a time, we realised that our productions were getting increasingly complicated and that is when we conceived of building a larger studio with Duality at its heart. For example, we incorporated more instrumentation and live orchestration for our Jessie J release and here is where Duality really shines. Yes, we could do everything outboard, but the ease-of-use and creative capacity of having everything you need at your fingertips is a beautiful concept. Duality has become a part of the creative process for me and the console can handle anything we can throw at it.”

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