If you’ve been wondering what Drew Davidson, better known to most as suncontrolspecies, has been up to of late, the answer is simple… The Humble Grove Mastering.
Since putting his legendary progressive project on hiatus last year, the veteran producer and studio engineer has been hard at work building a fully professional analog and digital mastering studio in Australia’s cultural capital of Melbourne.
Drew has certainly worn a lot of hats through his musical career. He is a Southern Cross University-trained composer, real-world trained recording engineer and successful solo artist in his own right. His professional career began in ’98 (last century!) working as assistant engineer to the well-known blind musician and studio owner Ross Mcgregor, of Axent Studios in Sydney.
The effect on Drew of working and learning under Ross cannot be overstated. Axent was at the time Sydney’s longest-running independent studio, having been open since the early 70s. During his time there Drew moved up from fetching coffee for ungrateful punk bands and servicing ancient 1/2″ tape machines to become mix engineer, mastering engineer and project producer, working with hundreds of clients and several big names (and big egos) of the 90’s and naughties.
Ross Mcgregor finally called it a day and closed the studio doors in 2002, embarking on permanent walkabout with his accordion tucked under one arm. After checking in his pockets for loose change Drew decided he could not afford to buy the studio, let alone the chair he used there everyday. Though, perhaps luckily, it was at that time suncontrolspecies was taking off.
The SCS project signed to Iboga Records of Denmark and there Drew released over a hundred singles and remixes, two albums, and played gigs relentlessly as he toured the world for the next ten years. He also worked with the UK’s Ministry Of Sound, Zenon Records, YSE, Plusquam, Digital Structures, Blue Tunes, Tribal Vision, Echoplast, Galore, Midijum and of course, us here at Open. His music featured on Australia’s Triple J and recorded live shows aired for over one-million people in Scandanavia alone.
Yet during this time, engineering and mastering remained a consuming passion, which fed a near-demented interest in boutique analog processing gear. Drew could often be found finalising mixes for other artists and also mastering compilations, albums and EPs for various labels around the world. Now, armed with top-notch gear, a developed ear and sound technical knowledge built from over a decade of real-world experience, Drew has returned to his engineering and mastering roots with the creation of The Humble Grove.
We’ve had the chance to hear the first results coming from his truly world-class studio, and we can honestly say you won’t find a better studio for your mastering needs, be them acoustic of electronic. Plus who wouldn’t want a little bit of that SunControlSpecies production magic on their track, right?!
Analog Signal Processing
– Millennia Media NSEQ-4 Equalizer
– A-Designs Hammer Valve Equalizer
– Tube-Tech SMC 2B Valve Mastering Compressor
– TK Audio BC1MKII Buss Compressor
Digital Signal Processing
– UAD-2 Duo feat:
* UAD Precision Mastering Suite
* Manley Massive Passive Equalizer
– Sony Oxford Plug-Ins
– Brainworx Plug-Ins
– DMG Audio EQuality Mastering EQ
– FabFilter Plug-Ins
– Dangerous Monitor ST
– Dorrough Metering
– Event Opal (active)
– Accusound Full-Range Speakers (passive)
– Avantone Mixcubes (active)
– Reference-quality RME UFX AD/DA converters
*Mogami cabling exclusively and Plextor drives for trusted master creation.
*Other processing units on-hand from Lexicon, Focusrite, ART and more.
If you’ve got down to this part, you’re interested… why not take advantage of his awesome introductory special here.