The Fort Lee, NJ facility, designed for podcast production, music recording and mixing, and voice-over and narration work, takes full advantage of a variety of Focusrite gear in its day-to-day operations, which include the production of the new podcast, Ice-T’s Daily Game
Los Angeles, CA – One of One Productions Studio in Fort Lee, NJ, is a 740-square-foot studio designed for podcasts, music recording and mixing, and voice-over and narration work. The facility, owned by partners Fela Davis, Denis Orynbekov and Joy Pratcher, has hosted voice-overs such as NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz for a BMW X7 television spot and podcasts including R2C2 With CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco and the Webby Award-nominated Holding Court with Housewives of New York star Eboni K. Williams. One of One Productions Studio has been in its current location for three years, opening in March 2020 just as the Covid pandemic was beginning. In fact, says Davis, that location, separated by the Hudson River from Manhattan, which had been largely shut down during the pandemic, made it even more desirable as a production facility from a health and safety perspective. With the variety of work undertaken by the team, they need a reliable, versatile gear infrastructure, and they’ve assembled just that, thanks to an arsenal of components from Focusrite.
A key component for podcast recording at One of One Productions is the Focusrite Vocaster One, a single-input device that sets up quickly and reliably and is specifically designed for podcasting and content creation. This acts as a go-to interface for a high-profile new project at One of One: Ice-T’s Daily Game, produced by iHeartPodcasts and Audity, featuring the titular rapper/actor/producer offering three- to five-minute-long messages each weekday. The two-time GRAMMY Award® winner and four-time nominee uses the new podcast, which debuted on February 13, to pull from his years-long collection of motivational quotes that, as he tells us, “I’ve found inspiring and help me through the game of life.” One of One Productions is using Vocaster to interact with the show’s offsite producers by routing them a live signal in high-resolution real-time audio so they can hear every nuance and comment on what they’re hearing – in effect, a “monitor mix” separate from the recorded track. For the recorded audio, One of One uses an ISA 428 Mk II mic preamp, which helps deliver the colorful character of Ice-T’s voice through his chosen Lewitt LCT 840 tube condenser microphone, used with just a touch of tube compression while recording to Logic software through the Clarett+ 8Pre converters. “The ISA mic pre is amazing sounding, especially with a tube microphone and a voice like Ice-T’s,” says Orynbekov. “It really lets his personality come through.”
“It was very important that the audio quality of everything be as good as the audio quality for Ice-T’s voice,” says Orynbekov, noting how that sonic consistency keeps everyone in the production loop engaged and confident. “The quality of the Focusrite pre-amps and converters is just incredible. They sound natural, which is why we need hardly any EQ or other processing. Everyone knows how Ice-T sounds, and that’s what you hear! The Focusrite [products] make the tech part of this easy just by doing what they do.” In fact, Davis adds, the same microphone and Focusrite mic-pre’s and converters are used for the narration of the animated series Rocket Girl, as well as an upcoming episode of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. “The Focusrite sound is transparent,” she says. “You always hear back what you’re putting in, without any color.”
Another new project for One of One Productions is the new Guesses Make Messes Podcast, featuring Frank David Greene, trumpet player with Paul Shaffer and The World’s Most Dangerous Band, in conversation with Davis herself. “Frank and I talk about the things that he did to become a full-time musician and work on many amazing projects, so you know the audio quality has to be excellent, and with Vocaster, it is,” says Davis. The single-channel Vocaster One works great for Ice-T’s daily monologues, but a back-and-forth conversation obviously requires an additional channel, and they’ve selected the Focusrite Vocaster Two as the interface of choice for this project.
All of the Focusrite gear is at the top of One of One Productions Studio’s equipment list. Davis says Vocaster is the best dedicated podcasting interfaces on the market. “Vocaster is made for creators,” she says. “Audio professionals will like the great sound and mic pre’s, and features like phantom power, so you can use the best microphones, and an output for a DSLR camera. And if you’re new to podcasting and you just want an interface that lets you get up and go, Vocaster is the one.” But, she adds, all of the Focusrite products are in the studio not just for podcasts — they’re used regularly for music production, as well. “Focusrite covers a lot of bases for us, no matter what we’re working on.”
Photo caption: One of One Productions Studio co-owner Fela Davis, pictured with the Focusrite Vocaster Two