Hit Music Producer Chris “C-Rod” Rodriguez Streamlines His Workflow with Focusrite Red 8Pre
Chris “C-Rod” Rodriguez is among the top producers and remixers working today, with credits ranging from Latin artists Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez to a string of recent smash successes in EDM and dance music (Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys), and everything in between. Coming up in the melting pot of the vibrant Miami music scene, his talents range across genres and traditions, which has served his career well. Recently a series of events came together (“like destiny,” he remarks) to help him streamline and modernize his workflow and recording/editing/mixing setup.
First, his run of chart success found him working more and more in a mobile fashion as he traveled around the world to collaborate with top artists. This coincided with a period in which he had left his third studio but hadn’t yet moved into his newly opened fourth space. “I realized that I was traveling with my laptop as my workstation, and no matter where I went or what gear I hooked up to it, I was essentially making recordings in the box, which was a shift from my earlier years working with great large consoles and tons of outboard gear in place. It hit me – what if, when I moved into my fourth studio, I got rid of the console altogether?” And as fate would have it, just then he learned about the recently introduced Red 8Pre, and C-Rod realized that it could be the piece that streamlines his setup once and for all – whether at home in the new Miami facility, in other studios around the world, in a hotel room or airplane, or anywhere else the work took him.
He notes, “When you take a console out of the equation, obviously a key element you need is analog-to-digital conversion. I knew I needed great conversion going in and great conversion going into the headphones or speakers. So I heard about the Red 8Pre, with its three types of connectivity. When I got mine, I hooked it up in no more than a few minutes and plugged headphones in, and it blew my mind – it was like I could hear every single detail in every one of the mixes that I had done. It became a key element of my setup immediately.”
The Red 8Pre has proven valuable for his monitors in the room too. He remarks, “I use Cubase, and it has a great center section where you can select different monitors in your setup, and the Red 8Pre is completely compatible with this function. I can isolate my ATC 300’s, my Genelec S30’s or my Yamaha NS10’s – all the way they’re supposed to be heard. Working with Cubase, it’s like the Red 8Pre can act as its own mini console in that regard. It’s like the center of my studio.”
And the Red 8Pre gives C-Rod the inputs he needs: “The mic-pre’s, with the ‘Air’ function, are phenomenal. It’s like you don’t even need to have any kind of external EQ. I plug a Neumann U87 or U47 in, or even a Shure SM57 – mics I’ve had for years – and they just sing. The top end is all there and the bottom end is solid. It’s all so easy to use and easy to control. And naturally the Red 8Pre can offer real-time headphone monitoring for the artists I’m working with. It’s really a great device that has what I need. It just works!”