Longtime Aphex artist—and Grammy nominee—C.J. Vanston is renowned not only for his keyboard playing, but his abilities in the producer’s chair. April 2014 saw the release of Toto: 35th Anniversary Tour - Live in Poland, a Bluray/DVD release that C.J. recorded, mixed and produced for the classic rock band known for its hits “Rosanna,” “Africa” and “Hold the Line.” At the time of that video release, Vanston was in the studio working with Toto on a new studio album, tentatively titled Toto XIV. C.J.’s credits, though, include many more critically acclaimed artists, including Prince, Barbra Streisand, Ringo Starr, Steve Lukather and Spinal Tap. He’s also worked on celebrated soundtracks such as This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and For Your Consideration.
C.J. considers Aphex gear to be essential in the studio. “I’m loving that Channel,” he says of Aphex’s 1U high quality channel strip. “It’s so cool for acoustic guitar, it’s crazy!” He also counts an Exciter as part of his Aphex rack gear. As for headphone mixes, C.J. says the Headpod 4 “is a huge hit in my studio. There’s a kick ass amp in that thing… .” As it happens, C.J. is 25% correct on this count: Headpod 4 has four separate high output headphone amps in it—one for each of its four headphone outputs.
Vanston’s always excited to try out new gear, though, so once he’s put our 500 Series mic preamps and the USB 500 Rack through their paces, we’ll let you know what he thinks. Meanwhile, to stay current with C.J. Vanston, go to his Facebook page.