Live from the wasa-corner
with Ali Staton
Producer / Mix engineer
If you've turned on a radio in the last twenty years, it's more than likely you'll have heard a track produced by Ali Staton - a critically-acclaimed producer/mix engineer currently based at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios.
Ali cut his teeth as an assistant in various London studios before heading to Island Records' Fallout Shelter Studio where he was appointed head engineer and worked on seminal records with artists including Tricky, Lewis Taylor, Pulp, and PJ Harvey. Following his fruitful collaboration with Island Records, Ali made the leap into the world of freelance production working with Madonna, Seal, Turin Brakes, and Razorlight - much of his work during this time has gone on to be nominated for Grammy and Brit awards.
We had a chat with Ali about his experiences so far with his Wasaphone MKII (his second MKII is in the post as I type).
"Sending the Wasaphone MKII signal to a plate reverb gave the vocal a lovely otherworldly sound..."
Wasaphone collection: Wasaphone MKII (pair)
Q.1: What song have you got going around your head today?
"Talk Talk – Happiness Is Easy."
Q.2: How did you first stumble across Wasaphone?
"The guys at Real World Studios where I’m based mentioned the mics."
Q.3: What have you been up to with your Wasaphone MKII?
"So far vocals and drums mostly. Sending the Wasaphone MKII signal to a plate reverb gave the vocal a lovely otherworldly sound that worked really well on a couple of tracks. I also used the mic for additional gritty room ambience when tracking the drums which worked a treat! Also worked well capturing some lo-fi piano flavour."
Q.4: You recently went to Rockfield Studios accompanied by your Wasaphone – what fun did you get up to there with it?
"I was there with Turin Brakes to record their forthcoming eighth studio album titled ‘Invisible Storm’. This is the third album I’ve had the privilege to work on with them. As they are a great live band, we always track to analogue tape on the lovely Studer machines at Rockfield, focusing on capturing the live takes and then building from there. On this occasion we worked in the Quadrangle Studio using the MCI console, an amazing collection of mics including a few ribbons and, of course, the Wasaphone."
Q.5: What do you think the MKII will bring to your future recording sessions, and do you have any specific projects in mind for it?
"It’s a great mic to have in the collection, it gives instant attitude to any source. I’ll be back at Rockfield in the new year and look forward to experimenting further."
Q.6: If you were giving a Wasaphone mic as a gift, to whom would you give it?
"Matt Johnson of The The, I’m hoping that they release a new album in 2018!"