131st AES CONVENTION, NEW YORK, NY, October 21, 2011 — Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro) (booth 839), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, has supplied GRAMMY®-nominated mixer and producer John O’Mahony with a 16-channel AMS Neve Genesys mixing console outfitted with Encore fader automation. O’Mahony, who works out of his own room at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York, is known for his work with artists such as Coldplay, Metric, Alberta Cross, Kashmir and The Cribs. GC Pro is the exclusive U.S. sales channel for the innovative Genesys, a custom-crafted, expandable analog recording console that incorporates digital workstation control.
“When I set about building a smaller setup for myself and owning my own console, I looked around and thought, what’s close to what I love, and what has all the functions that I need?” says O’Mahony. The Genesys proved to be the perfect companion to Pro Tools and the ideal candidate for his new studio. “It’s so forward-thinking in terms of its setup, with DAW control. It’s all there in one package. And it has Encore moving faders, an option that I had installed. I had spent quite a bit of time working on the Neve 88R, which is the big brother of the Genesys. With Genesys I’m able to automate the analog side of things the way that I was accustomed to on the 88R and on Flying Faders, which was the automation system I grew up on.”
As he elaborates, his console purchase was a response both to the recession and to changes in the record industry. “I work with bands from all over the world. Five or ten years ago bands would have flown to town or would have flown me to their town. Now that happens probably for 20 percent of those artists; the rest work via email. So I had to put together a system where I could work on mixes, send them out to clients, get notes back, and get back to working on them quickly.” With Genesys, he says, “I have all of my automation and full-board recall, because the EQs and compressors can be recalled with one button, even though they’re analog. That means that I can come back to a mix with just five minutes of work.”
O’Mahony initially contacted Account Manager Niyi Adelekan, based at GC Pro’s West 14th Street office in Manhattan, for a demo of the Genesys. “I took a song I mixed on a different console, and I did a quick mix of it on the Genesys at GC Pro. I felt, apart from the time-consuming details, I had sonically beaten the other mix in almost a matter of minutes. The Genesys had what I was really hoping for, which is the stereo bus of the 88R – from an audio standpoint it sounds the same to me. It sounded so much better than the console I’d originally mixed that song on.”
He relates that although his new room, which is located on the second floor with a window overlooking Eighth Street, took longer than planned before it was ready, “Niyi was never pushy. Unlike a lot of other dealers, where you feel like you have to avoid their calls after a while, Niyi was always polite and comfortable to talk to. I have to say the guy is fantastic. I never felt any pressure from him; he would just want to make sure I was happy. That’s pretty rare in the industry.”
O’Mahony relocated to New York from his native Ireland in 1998, initially taking a staff position at Chung King Studios before going independent in 2001, and previously operated out of Studio C at Electric Lady. “It has a decent-sized live room and a big lounge and all this space that I wasn’t using – but I was paying for it,” he says, so he decided to scale back. A project with The Submarines in Los Angeles last year also proved to be a revelation, he recounts: “I mixed on a 36-input console and I loved how it came out. I realized I didn’t need all those faders anymore.”
Another huge selling point for the Genesys is its expandability, he continues. “The first day I sat down with Niyi he mapped out how much it would cost in all the different configurations. You can take it up to 64 channels. I don’t see myself going that far, but my intention is to expand to 32 channels.”
But while his days of working on an 80-input console are over, O’Mahony says, working in the box was never an option. “I’ve tried mixing in the box and I felt it wasn’t getting me to where I wanted to be. I need a console just to put electricity into the music, and to sit behind it so I can feel like I’m in a studio.” Plus, he adds, “I started in Ireland when I was 17 and I got my first tape op job. When you’re a kid – I’m in my 30’s now – wanting to do this for a living, the picture you have in your head is sitting behind a big old console with lots of big knobs on it. I’m just not mature enough to give up on that!”
For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.