Damien Lewis Competes with the Top-40 from Home with Amphion One18 and FlexBase25
Grammy-nominated producer/engineer on staying in touch with listeners and his ‘lean and mean’ home setup
Los Angeles, CA, USA – Grammy-nominated producer and mix engineer Damien Lewis is thoroughly in touch with the sonic demands of Top 40, helming hits by major chart-topping artists like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Lizzo, and Skrillex. Preferring to do his work from home away from the distractions of big studios, Lewis has recently taken to using a purposefully chosen ‘minimalist’ setup designed to allow him to focus completely on the music without any compromises in quality or detail. Citing the importance for the best possible monitoring in these situations, Lewis uses Amphion One18 and FlexBase25 bass extension system which have given him the perfect balance between his needs as a mix engineer and the ears of mainstream music listeners. This has allowed him to focus on everything that matters in his work without losing sight of the hooks and grooves that drive his career.
Lewis went on to explain how important is to have a ‘magnifying glass’ on the midrange when mixing, as much of the important information for pop such as vocals, and important drum frequencies, are there. Ensuring that these things sit in the right place not only makes for a great mix but can be a make or break on a song’s longevity. “If a song is going to stand the test of time you really want the placement of these important elements — vocals especially — to be pleasing to the ear,” he said. “What’s been great about using Amphion is I’m hearing the mid-bass better in vocal tracks so I can dial in all the thickness and richness while still getting a clear picture of the upper extensions. That totally sealed the deal for me and I think for the end listener it’s going to make a much more enjoyable listen.”
The revolution beings at home
Lewis is part of a growing class of producer/engineers — including fellow Amphion users Finneas O’Connell, Sounwave, and Lu Diaz — who find themselves doing their best work away from the major recording studios and using minimal, but highly effective home setups. Lewis sees this change as a natural progression given the quality of ‘in the box’ tools available, but also notes that there has been a shift towards the impact that this has on workflow as well. “I used to feel self-conscious about all of this because I think there was this stigma for a long time that you had to have all the ‘right’ stuff,” he explained. “I realized though that I was working on all of the same big records and I was so much happier with my workflow because I was able to focus and really dial in what I needed without the distractions that can sometimes come with a big studio. I’m really happy that the industry is moving in this direction because people are getting great results working this way.”
Lewis’s home setup consists of a MacMini with an Avid S1 Control Surface, Apollo interfaces, and a variety of favored plugins in addition to his Amphion One18 and FlexBase25. Calling his setup ‘lean and mean’, he points out that choosing the right tools and knowing them well has ultimately benefited his process more than accumulating the most gear, and also allowed him to work in a space that is comfortable and focused. “When you get to know your equipment well and develop a relationship with it you are always going to do your best work and unlock the full potential of what you’re doing,” he said. “I’m always conscious of that approach when I pick my tools, and in the case of the Amphions they really spoke to me right away.”
“They quickly became a fixture in this room because of how well they work and how easy it was to get them to sound great without doing much tweaking,” he concluded. “And at the end of the day, they’re just fun to listen to. I love how honest and accurate they are, but the fact that they still sound exciting makes them rewarding to use. It’s something Amphion does incredibly well.”