Six-time Grammy Award-winning record producer, engineer, and mixer, Vance Powell, thrives on being a part of making music every day. Vance is the co-owner of Sputnik Sound, a two-room private recording facility located in Berry Hill, TN—just outside of Nashville.
As a 40-year veteran in the music industry, Vance said you have to fight to stay relevant in this business. “I think I speak for all artists, mixers, and engineers when I say we all do it because we love it,” said Vance.
Vance talked to us about his passion for mixing and how he uses OWC drives and products to boost productivity and manage data in recording sessions.
A passion for mixing
About 70% of the work Vance does in the studio is mixing. A self-proclaimed “analog” guy, he doesn’t mix on the computer, but rather on a console. “I love mixing because a lot of times records aren’t always made exactly the way I would make them” said Powell.
What makes Sputnik special for Vance, is that it’s everything he wants it to be—and everything was built specifically for him. In fact, he said of the six Grammys he’s been awarded, the one that means the most to him was for “Best Engineered Album.”
“I like being in the room when amazing things happen. I’ve had a few sessions in my life that have been ‘tingle inducing’—you know hair is standing up on your arm, and you’re like wow, something amazing is happening right in front of me, and I’m recording it. That’s an awesome feeling,” said Vance.
I’ve had a few sessions in my life that have been ‘tingle inducing’—you know hair is standing up on your arm, and you’re like wow, something amazing is happening right in front of me, and I’m recording it.Vance Powell
Reliability is everything
Today’s modern recordings consist of a great deal of data. Vance discussed the importance of how you store, back up, archive, and keep data forever—and he said that’s precisely why he uses OWC products every day. “I’ve had a great experience with customer service. They are fast and easy to deal with,” said Vance.
The following are the OWC products that Vance uses on a daily basis in the studio:
Vance uses the Envoy Pro FX when he travels to take files to a session outside of the building, or when he’s bringing files back to his studio from a session. He said that he likes that the drive is small, waterproof, and drop-proof.
The Accelsior 4M2 is used as Vance’s base drive for recording and playback of all of his Pro Tools sessions. He likes that it is both fast (over 6000 MBs) and very secure.
Vance uses the Thunderbay 4 as a drive holder for OWC SSDs, and they capture exact copies of his Mac Pro drives in the Accelsior every night.
The Thunderbolt 3 Dock is used as a cable port in Vance’s studio, and it allows him to ingest SD cards. He has it connected to a Universal Audio Apollo Interface behind his console.
Reliability is the most important thing in this business. We absolutely and positively have to have great data storage and great data transfer. If I have drives that are failing right and left, I’m not going to use them.Vance Powell