I’m time poor, there’s never enough time for me to do what I need to do, so even my down time is precious - if I watch a movie or listen to an album that I think was not good then I feel like it’s minutes or hours I can’t get back and time that could have been better spent.
When I first saw the new ‘The Story of the Focusrite Studio Console’ doing the rounds on social media, although I’m friends with many of the Focusrite team and have huge respect for what they do, I asked myself do I really have 40 minutes to watch what may be a long advert? I’m glad I made the time.
The conceit of the movie is a simple one, to track down the ten Focusrite consoles designed and built over the time they were in production and see what they are doing now. As thrillers go it’s not the complex plot of a CSI episode, but then again anyone who is well read and geeky enough to care will know where many of these desk started and ended their lives. However simple the story is, it’s genuinely interesting and as documentaries go it can stand its ground with anything you will see from the Beeb or Channel 4.
This movie has everything; from the bizarre story of a fully assembled console in a spare bedroom, the heartbreak of a console immersed in water after a studio is hit by a hurricane, right to the stuff of legends, with one console turning up hidden in a Texas storage lock-up underneath a fake Christmas tree.
‘The Story Of The Focusrite Console’ is beautifully shot, skillfully edited and the gentle and unobtrusive style from Chris Mayes-Wright (the man on the mission) ensures that the star of the show is the Focusrite consoles.
This documentary is what I hoped Sound City would be, simply a beautifully shot story of audio history. It is a beautifully shot story of audio history, but on this occasion it does not feel the need to create a polemic on the demise of the analogue recording industry.
If like me you never have enough time to do the things you need (let alone the things you would like to do) then I suggest you make 40 minutes to watch this. I guarantee it won’t be time wasted and you will leave you satisfied by this story, which is without doubt a genuine part of audio history worth documenting.