Founder and guitarist of tech metal band, Monuments and CEO of tutorial website Riffhard, John Browne recently gave the Audient Sono his seal of approval on his YouTube channel. Describing the guitar recording interface as a “fantastic piece of kit,” Browne was already a fan of Audient, packing an ASP880 8-channel mic pre in his comprehensive studio setup.
The multifunctional space in the attic of his Yorkshire home is where he records, practices, mixes and masters, as well as filming hours of content for his already prolific online presence. Alongside his YouTube channel - which he says is “what I'd be doing anyway, but just putting a camera in my face and documenting it for others to see” - he also founded Riffhard in October of last year.
The only online academy specifically dedicated to rhythm guitar, it provides members with hours of learning, hand endurance and strengthening exercises, as well as insider tips on his legendary down-picking technique, songwriting, competitions and more.
“Rhythm guitar is generally the weakest part of 90% of guitar players’ vocabulary. Simply because it's never really been taught. It's often overshadowed by lead playing, because it's not as glamorous,” says Browne, explaining how Riffhard came about. “The weird part about this mindset, is that 99% of the time as a guitar player on stage, you will be playing rhythm. So for me this was an experiment to try and change the mindset of guitar players and make the world a better place for engineers and producers.”
As for whether Riffhard has had an effect? “I've seen some huuuuuge improvements in people's playing in just a matter of weeks from the exercises and the lessons that we devised over a long period of time!” he says, very proud to have helped Riffhard members progress.
The Audient ASP880 is in very good company in Browne’s studio, joined by Antelope Audio, Stam Audio, monitoring by Yamaha and Adam and of course “Tons of guitar gear [...] and a plethora of cabs.”
There is more history connecting him with Audient, as Browne recalls, “Some of the old Monuments material was recorded through an old DDA DCM232 desk, which was obviously built by the people behind Audient. Even all that time ago I remember being amazed by how clean and musical those preamps were. That's why the Audient is perfect. It’s a clean, fast and musical signal from the mic in front of cabs, which is perfect for recording metal guitars and anything that requires that sound.”
When he’s not recording content, he’s playing guitar, writing and touring with his band, Monuments. Just back from a successful tour of South America which was “very fun minus the 17 flights,” the band are playing some dates in the UK this autumn.