Joe Trohman’s 2015 has admittedly been crazy.
As a member of the band Fall Out Boy, he saw the release of their sixth album,
“American Beauty/American Psycho”, debut at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
As the record made its ascent, Trohman took time out of the usual promotional
frenzy to handle a family emergency. Then, just as the band kicked off its
international concert tour May 3rd, Trohman once again found himself
headed home, this time to undergo emergency back surgery. He now finally gets
to rejoin his bandmates and (hopefully) enjoy an entirely uneventful rest of
the tour as they celebrate another album gone platinum. If all goes to plan, he
will be on the road through October as the band brings new hits and old
favorites to fans world-wide.
Like all of the band’s previous efforts, “American Beauty/American Psycho”
reached gold status early on. But unlike the others, much of this record was
cut on Trohman’s personal API 1608 console, purchased last year through
salesman Jeff Leibovich at API dealer Vintage King. The tracking was done
at “The Rat Cave”—which is what Trohman calls his new home studio, based in Los
Angeles. It’s the perfect place for Trohman to apply his considerable skill-set
to Fall Out Boy projects, but it’s also where he also puts time into his heavy
metal band The Damned Things and “other projects no one cares about except me.”
It’s exactly this humility, coming from a man with hundreds of thousands of
followers on a variety of social media sites that is so appealing about
Trohman. He talks about his music and reveals his knowledge about audio gear
with a kind of natural warmth and passion that makes it easy to see why he
selected an API console in the first place.
The first Fall Out Boy album was released in 2003, which is also when Trohman
says he first became familiar with the API brand. “I remember when I was 17 or
18, working on the first proper Fall Out Boy record, using the API 550b. Great
for shaping guitar and bass.” Familiarity with the API sound later led him
to consider the 1608 after deciding to create a studio in his L.A. home.
“Originally, I wanted to have a few EQ’s, limiters/compressors, and maybe eight
mic pres. However, I felt I was only going halfway and that I could get a
little more out of a console. Every time I looked at consoles, it kept coming
back to the 1608.” In the end, Trohman loaded his 1608 with twelve 550As and
four 560s. “Having those at my disposal in line with 16 killer mic pres is a
dream come true,” he states, adding, “The 500 processors and mic pres are
amazing. Everything sounds incredible tracked through the console, and the EQs
take everything to the next level. No matter how incredible plugins sound,
great analog gear still sounds the most three-dimensional to me.”
Typical of a working studio, productivity is every bit as important as sonic
integrity. “I love the aesthetic, as most of us do. My work flow has sped up.
Everything happens faster and it’s way easier for me to dial what I want when
I’m actually turning knobs, versus running it in the box entirely.” Trohman
also notes that he’s “pleased with how easy it is to integrate my DAW with the
1608. I like having a hybrid of in and out of the box going on, so it’s nice
that it was very easy to achieve that.”
When asked what he’s been working on with his console, he says 90% of studio
time still goes towards Fall Out Boy, but alongside work with The Damned Things
and the Danish band New Politics, Trohman also does some work for television
spots. “I’m very happy that I own this console. It has completely changed my
workflow and the quality of what I make” he says. But there’s one thing that
doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, and that’s Trohman’s tendency towards
unpredictability, and keeping things under wraps until the very last moment. “I
have a few bands making their way through soon”, he teases. “I don’t want to
spoil the surprise though.”
API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear
with the Vision, Legacy Plus, 1608, and The BOX recording consoles, as well as
its classic line of analog signal processing equipment.