Birmingham, UK – Producer, remixer, engineer and composer, Chris Budd relies on Audient’s iD22 audio interface in his studio, where he does most of his writing for BUDD, his current project which was recently signed to deadmau5’s independent mau5trap label.
Releasing Triangular, his first EP with the Canadian record label in October, he’s been warmly welcomed according to the Mau5trap website: “...the latest addition to the label has arrived and he’s brought progressive back with him”, as well as garnering support at Radio1 from Pete Tong.
Chris has a lot going on right now, with his next EP with mau5trap (part of a run of releases) out on 6 March, and an album towards the end of the year. He’s also finished up remixes for Dirty Vegas and the new single from The Wombats. Then there’s his ongoing position as resident percussionist with the Ministry of Sound, including their brands Hedkandi and Housexy, and work on soundtrack music for FIA Formula E electric car racing, which he describes as “a great challenge which gets me out of my comfort zone.”
So how does his Audient interface fit in? “iD22 is the main hub of my home studio. I also use it a lot for tracking; for things like little vocal samples and especially percussion or quirky one-hit sounds,” explains Chris, citing a number of features that help him produce his unique progressive house sound. “The pres in the iD22 are pretty transparent which is great for dance music, as I can record in drum or percussion samples then treat them pretty heavily knowing they won’t be too coloured.
“The headphone out is also one of the best I’ve heard; I do a lot of reference work in various sets of headphones. It’s always useful to know that what’s coming out of the headphones is a true reflection of what’s really happening sonically.
“Even just simple features like being able to quickly toggle between stereo and mono are massive for me when I’m mixing, as that’s one thing I tend to do constantly, as well as bouncing between monitors or headphones - it’s super quick. The dimmer switch is also a nice little touch as my phone is always ringing!”
Describing his gear, he continues, “It’s a very simple setup at home. I write completely in the box using Cubase, iD22 as the main sound card and monitor controller for two pairs of monitors (Dynaudio BM5a and KRK vxt6s). I also have a couple of Roland SPD-S samplers rammed full of drum and percussion sounds that I’ve collected from touring and other studio sessions.”
“I probably don’t make full use of the expansion possibilities of the unit, but it’s cool knowing I can take that and a laptop out wherever I want to go and record a full drum kit or a multiple mic setup.” He adds, “The unit is also built like a tank so I know I can take it out on the road and it can take a good battering.”
No stranger to Audient, Chris uses the compact ASP4816 mixing console in a larger studio to track guitars and vocals, and re-amp sounds. “The functionality of the smaller desk is super-quick and easy - and again, sounds clean as a whistle. I like to treat my sounds quite heavily, or if re-amping guitars I want to build the tone off the amp/cab combo itself. I think more and more people are leaning towards smaller desks - especially for project studios - and the ASP4816 is up there with the best, in my opinion. It’s versatile and sounds great, whether it’s for a pop-tastic clean-as-a-whistle vocal record or for cranking up guitars and driving them pretty hard.”
As a result of his relatively recent signing to mau5trap, Chris already feels the benefit of the “... huge, loyal and very engaged fanbase from all over the world. It’s great to have a label who will let me make the records I want to make, have my input with things like press and artwork, as well as how to work the project as a whole. I’m also aware that the association brings a certain pressure to deliver, but that’s all good!”
It turns out he works well under pressure. “The challenge to strive to be that bit better with every record is a good motivator,” he says. “Especially when there is so much good music being made at the moment.”