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Ken Andrews

Artist Info
Name
Ken Andrews

Occupation:
artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist

M-Audio Gear :
Axiom 61

Official Website:
http://www.kenandrews.com

Background:
Artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Ken Andrews began his career in 1991, fronting the critically acclaimed alt-rock group Failure. Noted for their expansive wall of sound, the band has often been compared to Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden, but stood out due to their cinematic and experimental sonics combined with dark thematic and lyrical touches.  Their sound, developed over the course of three albums, peaked with the band’s final release, Fantastic Planet (1996). A seminal, groundbreaking 90's rock album, Fantastic Planet is recognized as a “lush and highly crafted recording”, and “a musical and production masterpiece” (Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide).

Exclaim! praises: "Andrews, the ‘alternative Phil Spector’, and brainchild behind the much heralded group Failure, who arguably are the genesis of the chromatic processed guitar sound (currently perpetuated by former member Troy Van Leeuwen, who took it to A Perfect Circle and Queens of the Stone Age), and whom also earned accolades worldwide and gained great support by the likes of other left-field dark rockers such as Tool."

Since producing and mixing Fantastic Planet, a new career opened up for Andrews, as bands and artists found themselves drawn to his aural sensibilities. Easily segueing into his second calling as a producer/mixer, Andrews has worked for acts including Beck, Pete Yorn, Tenacious D, A Perfect Circle, Jimmy Eat World, Mae and Blink 182.

In 2000, Andrews continued as a recording artist with his first solo project, ON (Epic Records), and later the band Year of the Rabbit (Elektra). Now, Andrews returns to the scene with his first solo release as Ken Andrews.  For his 2007 release Secrets of the Lost Satellite Andrews brought in two of his oldest musical cohorts, Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, IMA Robot) and Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker the Star, Abbey) to co-produce the new album with him. The band consisted mostly of Beck’s current live group, whom Andrews had met when he was hired by Beck to contribute to the Nacho Libre soundtrack (Brian Lebarton, Matt Mahaffey, Matt Sherrod and Justin Stanley).

“Secret Things”, one of the album’s standout tracks, combines tripped-out strings with a synth-bass groove creating a demanding, viscerally appeal.  Live instruments (drums, piano, and guitar) mingle with electronic elements. Strong, hooky vocals keep the song on course. “In Your Way”, another stylistically dynamic track pulls the listener into an eerie, enticing space/dream world.

Ken Andrews
Artist/Producer/Multi-Instrumentalist (Beck, Blink 182, Pete Yorn)

Andrews on M-Audio hardware: "The ProFire Lightbridge is an awesome way to connect two DAW’s together. For instance, I work with Pro Tools on one computer and Logic on another connected via the ProFire's Lightpipe connections. Having the two programs on separate machines allows them to run a lot smoother and more efficiently. It allows me to use the best features each program has to offer, and a lot more of them. The ProFire is a fantastic bridge between two different DAW platforms."

“I have a typically modern studio with a Pro Tools HD3 system running on a Mac G5 with a ton of high-end microphone preamps, EQs and compressors to record with. For recording vocals I love the Sputnik—it has an aggressive sound that cuts through the mix, allowing me to run the vocal a bit lower in the mix than normal. This gives the track a size that I like—I used the Sputnik on my new solo album as my primary vocal microphone.

“I love my Axiom 61—it’s just a great controller that packs a lot into a small space. I also use the Studiophile DX4 speakers to check my mixes out on smaller speakers and Digidesign’s MBox 2 Pro with my MacBook Pro while I’m on the road to work on tracks for my albums.”

Andrews on M-Audio software: “Pro Tools is massively important to me since everyone I work with uses the program. Whether they are using Pro Tools M-Powered or I’m using my HD system we can all load up the files up and get to work.

“I use GForce’s M-Tron software synthesizer, it’s a very real representation of the Mellotron. I use iZotope’s Trash and Ozone 3 mastering software as well quite a bit on my projects.”  

His songwriting process: “I write using the computer as an instrument. Everything I do is on my G5—from setting up a microphone in my control room and composing a song using just acoustic guitar and vocals, to sketching out an entire electronic arrangement.”
 
Why M-Audio? “M-Audio has filled a great niche in that it brings really good, solid gear at a good price—the stuff works, and it works well!”