Prism Sound’s Lyra compact audio interface has been embraced by artists and producers signed to independent record label Hospital Records, with many of them relying on Lyra for transparent AD/DA conversion.
Based on the audio path and clock circuitry of the award-winning Prism Sound Orpheus, Lyra is the ideal cost effective solution for artists who want high quality conversion but don’t require a large I/O count. The unit’s portability and compact chassis makes it suitable for use in studios and on the road.
Renowned for the excellence of its roster, the support it gives to artists and the creative freedom it encourages among those signed to the label, Hospital Records is a beacon of good practise in an industry that is often criticised for ‘eating its young’.
To encourage high production standards, Hospital Records has its own in-house studio, which is equipped with a Lyra 2 interface. This has given those signed to the label an opportunity to work with the unit and discover its quality for themselves. As a result, Lyra is finding its way into home and project studios where it is proving invaluable for recording instruments and vocals, especially during lockdown when many artists have been unable to use Hospital’s in-house recording facility.
One of the first to recognise the benefits of Lyra was artist and producer Dan Gresham – aka Nu:Tone – who has a project studio in Cambridgeshire. Since acquiring a Lyra 2, Nu:tone hasn’t worked with any other converter and says the unit is now a key part of his working life.
“Prior to getting a Lyra I hadn’t considered an interface to be high on my list of priorities,” he says. “I realised how wrong I was the moment I started using it. The audio quality was incredible and I could hear exactly what I had been missing. Lyra delivers so much clarity and is so transparent that it gives me an enormous amount of confidence. It’s not enough to know that what I am hearing is a good representation – I need to be able to hear everything so that I can be sure of the quality of the final release.”
As well as recording his own music, Nu:Tone is on the A&R team at Hospital Records and looks after most of the label’s mastering. He was also instrumental in choosing equipment for Hospital’s studio, which was built in 2018 when the company moved to its current premises in South London.
“It was my decision to have Lyra in the studio and I’m recommending it to Hospital artists because it is so compact and offers so much bang for the buck,” he explains. “A good interface is really important, especially for dance music artists and producers where so much of your work is done ‘in the box’. Your computer, your interface and your speakers are your three main tools.”
Another Hospital artist using Lyra on a regular basis is Drum & Bass producer and DJ, Hugh Hardie. He installed a Lyra 2 in his Bristol studio in 2016 and everything he has produced since then has gone through the unit, including two albums and his most recent project –7 Tunes In 7 Days – which was recorded during lockdown.
“I love my Lyra because it sounds fantastic, looks cool and has a solid feel to it,” he says. “It has very low latency, which is great for recording instruments and vocals. The low ends come out with more weight and warmth and the highs have a clarity to them that I never got with other interfaces. I also love Prism Sound’s new app – it’s a brilliant tool because it allows me to control everything visually on my computer screen.”
Hospital’s most recent convert to the Prism Sound Lyra is musician and producer Edward ‘Woody’ Allen – aka Etherwood. He acquired his interface during lockdown and is already putting it to good use recording vocals and guitar for his latest project.
“I have used a few different interfaces in the past, but until I got the Lyra I always dismissed interfaces as a necessary piece of kit but not something you needed to spend too much on,” he explains. “I changed my mind as soon as I started using it because I could immediately tell the difference in terms of audio quality. I plugged my guitar straight in and there was no buzz, no electrical hum – nothing. The signal was just so clear and warm. I am really impressed.”
Etherwood adds that Lyra has inspired him to be even more creative during lockdown because its clarity makes him want to write. He has recently completed an acoustic project, taking songs that were drum and bass heavy and stripping them down to just vocals and guitar. The results will be released later this month (July 2020).