"It's like I've found the Holy Grail!"- James Towler on the VR2
James Towler is an award winning Recording Engineer and Producer. He is also Steve Winwood’s and Wincraft’s front of house, studio, and tour manager and has worked with the likes of Eric Clapton and PiL. James kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to sE Electronics about his career, working on Steve Winwood’s upcoming West Coast American tour and his new love for the sE Voodoo VR2...
"I started out DJing in Bristol in the early 90's, and then moved onto running a record Label with Flynn (from Fresh Four) & Flora called Independent Dealers. This is where I really started to understand production and began wanting a career in music."
"I moved from Bristol to London to work for Richer Sounds and consequently became involved in the creation of a new chain of stores called X Music selling high tech music equipment. During my time at X Music I met a lot of musicians who were buying samplers, keyboards and outboard gear. After a few years of running the store I received a phone call from Mike McEvoy and he offered me a job as a keyboard technician working with Steve Winwood. Over the next few months I worked for various artists such as Des’ree and Shola Ama before working for Steve Winwood full time and setting up Wincraft Studios."
"For the last 15 years I have been splitting my time between studio and live music, working with numerous bands from PiL, Eric Clapton, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Suns, Gifford Circus, Paul Booth and Mirrorkicks, to name a few. I was also fortunate to receive the Recording Engineer of the Year Award in 2008 from the Music Producers Guild (MPG) and also received two Grammy nominations and a further MPG nomination for my work on 'Live at Madison Square Garden' with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood."
"I started using sE mics a few years ago - initially using the sE1a for ambience. More recently I’ve used the sE Voodoo VR2 on guitar amps in the studio and will soon to take them out for live shows on Steve Winwood’s West Coast American tour."
"The Voodoo VR2 is the first mic I’ve put on a guitar amp that’s made me feel I’m getting what’s coming off the cab without any EQ or compression, which is always my ultimate goal when recording or working live. If I have to mess around too much with a mic I know I've made the wrong choice, it makes sense but it’s all too easy to forget and go with what everyone else is using. A great live engineer called Walter Jaquiss (PiL) always likes to change stuff and push what we do and how we listen. I was pleased with the build quality of the VR2, I wasn’t expecting the weight in my hand when I picked it up. I wish I’d had the VR2 on all my past recordings, it’s almost like I have found the Holy Grail!"
"I am currently finishing up with a band called the ‘Golden Retrievers’ and I have some guitar tracks to do for them so the Voodoo VR2 will be all over that."
Thanks to James Towler for the photos and kind words. Photos taken by Ross Mitchell.
If you would like to buy or audition the sE Voodoo VR2 in your studio via the sE loan service, please email email@example.com