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Tommy D goes hybrid with Matrix
Tommy “D” Danvers integrates his DAW to the analogue sound.“Matrix gives me the best of both worlds“

Tommy D goes hybrid with Matrix

Tommy “D” Danvers integrates his DAW to the analogue sound.“Matrix gives me the best of both worlds“

Mar 25, 2009

Matrix user Tommy D

LONDON, UK - After hooking up with SSL after adding a Duende to his setup last year, Tommy D started to think about how he could give his writing and production studio that last final tweak. After a demo of Matrix at SSL’s Oxford headquarters, he decided he couldn’t leave without taking a unit home. One swift sweep of the credit card later, and he was set! Tommy installed his Matrix in December 2008, and SSL caught up with him to see how he was getting on with it.

What kind of work do you do?
I'm a writer of ditties and a maker of moments! Well more accurately I’m a songwriter and producer, but that doesn't sound quite as good.
I started out as a DJ, playing all over the world in the glory days of house and then graduated to production and writing. I wanted to get closer to the essence of music and I got fed up with trying to fix things that weren't good enough in the first place - so put my heart and soul into writing. I've had the likes of KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Janet Jackson, Kanye West, Jay Z, Cerys Matthews, Tom Jones, Bryn Christopher and Michael Jackson in my studio at some point or another.

Why did you choose the Matrix?
I was looking for a desk that had a pro sound but didn't have hundreds of channels - I don't need that. I was also looking for something that was really flexible, something that was easy and quick to move around different projects. I work with really diverse sounds and styles of music from dance through to rock and even classical, and often all in the same day! The Matrix moves as fast as I do.

What do you like most about it?
The big “Focus” button. Press it once and you have all your analogue outputs on the 16 faders, press it again and you’re in the DAW's mixer. Such a simple operation but one that really speeds up the mixing process. I find Total Recall invaluable when you’re moving between projects as I do. It also has that really solid, sturdy SSL construction.
You feel you could drop it down stairs and it would still be fine. I love the little touches Matrix has as well, like the Focus on the Master Fader which lets you balance the Lead Vocal in the DAW while moving its Analogue output. Other touches like the recessed faders so you can put your computer Keyboard or laptop on top of them without it interfering, and the mini jack input for your iPod. These little touches all make my life easier.

So what particular aspects of the console have made life better for you?
I can now confidently provide master quality demos or productions from my own studio, and in this age of reduced budgets that's a very important thing. Before there was always that nagging doubt, I wonder what it would have sounded like through an SSL?
There's a really interesting synergy now between the audio and DAW outputs, where you’re always comfortable balancing on the fly. A project is no longer split in your brain between the two elements - which I have to say I always found creatively stifling…… Where was that fader again? When you’re balancing things like 12 tracks of Drums or 40 tracks of BV's on the Matrix it's all in one place and makes it a doddle.

What impact has the sound of the console had on your work?
It's the SSL sound! Loads of solid bottom, airy top and Punchy n Crunchy mids, just how I like it! At the end of the day, a huge proportion of hit records of the last 25 years have been mixed on a SSL so there's also that acceptance by the A+R and more importantly the public.

Are you happy with your purchase?
Extremely. SSL have shown the way that future desks should and have to be. I hate mixing in the box. It's not as instinctive as grabbing a fader and it just doesn't sound as good. Matrix gives me the best of all worlds.

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