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What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?

A Yamaha AW-1600 Audio Workstation



How did you come across this particular item?

We were looking for a more robust playback system after our first few tours. iPods were restricted to mono if you were to have click in one ear and laptops didn’t handle the vibrations too well, so we needed to look for something else. We researched what other MDs and artists used and I think it was Usher’s crew or someone like that who swore by these machines. In the years since, we’ve moved to Roland sampling pads for the live show, giving our drummer more control. I now use the AW-1600 in the studio for its live sampling capabilities and multiple inputs.


What is that you like so much about it?

It’s robust and super responsive in a way that a DAW at the best, or worst, of times isn’t – that’s probably the thing I appreciate the most. But it also has a really interesting and quite nice sounding preamp, particularly when running a vocal through it.


How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?

It speeds up my workflow when demoing. Well before we start tracking any new piece of music, when that moment of inspiration hits, it’s far quicker to just switch on the AW-1600, with all my gear running through it already, and lay down an idea. It’s also very easy to start layering around that idea without getting bogged down in Logic or Ableton or whatever program you’re using on a project.


Any other interesting points/stories about it?

They’re really hard to track down. We found this machine in country Victoria – we’re not sure if the guy who we bought it off realised how rare they were to get a hold of, but he must have had an inkling as we bought it for cost price! Which is pretty crazy for a machine that was already several years old.


When’s the next show?

We’re heading out on tour with Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood from December 6-17. I think we’re doing about eight arena shows all around Australia, so a pretty crazy schedule indeed. Name of member answering these questions? Josh Simons – plays the singing, guitar and piano.