It’s difficult to place Detroit-based singer songwriter, musician, engineer/producer Nadir Omowale into a box. He’s best known as an artist and performer, laying down his own unique blend of guitar-driven funk, rock and Distorted Soul. But over the past few years, the Tennessee raised multi-instrumentalist has spent much of his time engineering, producing and collaborating with talent as varied as RocNation phenomenon Mayaeni, spoken word maven jessica Care moore, indie soul stalwart Amp Fiddler, Detroit techno legends Underground Resistance, Midwest Americana queen Jill Jack and a growing client base of young rock, soul, hip hop and even country artists.
And though he trained on old school analog gear at Middle Tennessee State University’s award-winning recording program, Nadir’s current weapon of choice is a trusty Macbook Pro running ProTools, Reason, Cubase and Ableton. “Until very recently, I’ve always been on the go, and in the box. Making tracks on the road, editing in coffee shops, and then bringing it all back home to mix,” Omowale says. “That’s changed now that I have kids.” The father of three year-old twins is more of a home body these days, banging out tracks and mixes in the basement studio of his suburban Detroit home.
Now the center of his studio is his Icon Qcon Pro. “It really is the bridge between my days mixing on old Harrison and Neotek consoles, my later Trident and SSL sessions, and the many years I’ve spent living entirely in the box,” he says. “It makes all the difference in the world when you have that tactile feel. It sounds funny, but the Qcon’s motorized faders and dual function knobs bring an emotion back to my engineering. The laptop is an essential tool. There’s no doubt. But the Qcon feels like I’m playing another instrument.”
The Qcon Pro played an integral part in the production of Nadir’s latest single, “The Right Kind of Crazy”, soon to be released on his own Distorted Soul Detroit label. “It’s a fun, high-energy funk rock tune that I cowrote with one of my longtime production partners, Reavis Mitchell.
“The mix presented some minor challenges because we stacked a ton of guitars and vocals. But the Qcon was really helpful in sorting everything out. Plus there are some shifty automated pans and fader moves, all of which were nearly effortless with the Qcon Pro. I see why so many people love it! I’m already clearing space on my desk for a Qcon EX so I can add eight more faders. I can’t wait!”
Here’s a sneak preview of Nadir’s latest single, “The Right Kind of Crazy”, recorded and mixed on the Qcon Pro at EkoBase Media, Ferndale, Michigan.