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Guitarist Eric Johnson Adds Euphonix System 5-MC DAW controller to Studio Arsenal

United States
System 5-MC DAW controller and Steinberg Nuendo form nucleus of updated facility

Palo Alto, CA USA, Dec 6th 2006 — Lone Star State Pop/Rock instrumentalist - vocalist Eric Johnson, whose guitar style carries a broad range of musical influences and is, perhaps, best known for his Grammy-Award winning song Cliffs of Dover as well as his latest Grammy-nominated album Bloom, recently selected a Euphonix System 5-MC DAW Controller for his updated studio’s control room. Paired predominantly with Steinberg’s Nuendo DAW application, Johnson’s System 5-MC is an 8-fader setup and was selected for its ability to interface with a variety of music production tools used by himself and his long-time engineer and co-producer Richard Mullen.

Guitarist, Eric Johnson (left) with engineer and co-producer Richard Mullen with their System 5-MC DAW Controller

Johnson’s System 5-MC was installed in September 2006. With just a few months of experience under their belts, Mullen, who in addition to engineering Johnson’s music, serves as his technical advisor, is extremely enthusiastic about the new setup. “Originally,” says Mullen, “I was looking at just the MC, but with Eric’s interest in having some sort of console in the studio, it made sense to expand the workstation into a System 5-MC, as this gives us the flexibility of the control surface, but with the feel of a more traditional console.”

“We had the opportunity to work with Steinberg’s Nuendo,” continued Mullen, “and were very impressed. We were using the Euphonix AM713 24-bit Analog/MADI converters and, together, this made a really great sounding recording system. When I discovered the capabilities of the MC and the fact there was a EuCon-aware version of Nuendo that integrates closely with the control surface via Euphonix” high-speed protocol, I was convinced this was the way to go. Together, the Euphonix - Steinberg setup creates a seamless system. We can still use Pro Tools if we choose, and there are other EuCon-aware applications such as Apple Computer’s Logic that appeal to us. With the System 5-MC, we aren’t tied to any one format.”

Mullen was also intent on transforming the studio from what was primarily an analog production environment into a digital facility so as to take advantage of the extensive editing capabilities found in today’s DAW applications. “Eric has a certain comfort factor with the sound and feel of analog,” notes Mullen, “but we both wanted the editing capabilities found in the current crop of digital recording applications. By going with the System 5-MC, we remain entirely within the digital realm-free from the possibility of any induced sound coloration, with the added benefit of extensive editing control.”

Johnson and Mullen had been working with Pro Tools, but found the traditional computer keyboard and mouse style of navigating the application tedious. “We knew we really needed to interface this type of application with a control surface or console,” states Mullen, “but we were wary of finding ourselves with obsolete hardware in just a few years. Upon taking a close look at the Euphonix MC-with its high level of customization and the ability to run any application-we felt this approach made the most sense for us.”

Mullen feels that the System 5-MC’s ability to be easily configured will also make it easier for Johnson to transition to the digital domain. “While I’ll be the primary operator of the system,” explains Mullen, “I expect to configure a few different setups that will enable Eric to cut tracks on his own and do some basic editing if I’m not available. In the time I’ve been working with the system, I’ve been very impressed with its ability to be configured for a variety of uses and that at the touch of a button, the entire control surface changes personality. It’s much easier than I anticipated.”

Additional information on Eric Johnson can be found online at www.ericjohnson.com.

The Euphonix System 5-MC DAW Controller

The System 5-MC is an audio mixing system based upon the Euphonix System 5 control surface design that seamlessly integrates with DAW applications such as Nuendo, Pyramix, Logic Pro, Digital Performer, and even video applications such as Final Cut Pro Studio. The control surface includes the MC Intelligent Application Controller for master console functions and integral control of the DAW. The System 5-MC can control any software application using the innovative EuCon high-speed Ethernet protocol for control. The System 5-MC is a very powerful and flexible recording, editing and mixing system that is competitively priced-as all processing is handled by the application in the workstation.

The EuCon High-Speed Ethernet Protocol

EuCon is an innovative high-speed Ethernet protocol developed by Euphonix to allow a hardware control surface to directly communicate with a software application. The Euphonix MC and System 5-MC controllers use EuCon to communicate with DAWs and video editing applications. The Euphonix System 5 range of digital audio mixing systems, communicate with DAWs via the EuCon Hybrid PC option. EuCon sends control surface commands, such as knob and fader moves, over Ethernet to any workstation on the network that has a EuCon client application installed, and receives back control status, multi-format metering, and EQ and pan curves. EuCon can support multiple workstations and any application that accepts EuCon, HUI or Mackie control.
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