Name: Daniel Jakob aka Dubokaj
Nationality: Swiss
Occupation: Producer
Recent release: Dubokaj's Daydreamflix, a collaboration with the late Lee “Scratch” Perry, is out now.

Tool of Creation: Trident 16 London
Type of Tool: Mixing Console
Designed by: Trident Audio Developments
Country of origin: UK
Became available in: 1975

If you enjoyed this interview with Dubokaj and would like to find out more about his work, visit him on Instagram, and Facebook. We also highly recommend our earlier, in-depth Dubokaj interview.

What was your first encounter with the Trident Mixing Console?

15 years ago I saw the console for the first time in a rehearsal room where I used to work temporarely with one of my former bands, Filewile. It belonged to someone that left it there for use.

Later I wanted to have an analog desk for summing and tracking. So I hit up the guy from the rehearsal room and asked him if I could borrow this console for a while. Now the Trident has stayed with me for a couple years.

Just like any other piece of equipment, the Trident Mixing Console has a rich history. Are you interested in it? And if so, what are some of the key points from this history for you personally?

No interest in the history so far.

It’s a Trident 16 London which I guess is similar to the Trident 65 console, but this one has just 8 mono channels and 4 stereo channels.

Nothing really fancy, I guess. But it’s nice how the EQs add smoothness and transparency to the sound.

What interests you about the Trident Mixing Console in terms of it contributing to your creative ideals?

It’s amazing to have this small console as a key element in the creative process.

It both limits and channels the possibilities left after live processing / live dubbing. I'll either go for for 8 mono channels or 4 stereo channels in terms of my set-up. I'll sometimes require those 4 stereo channels as effect returns.

But mostly, I'll loop in the effects earlier in the process on my GL2800 monitor desk by Allen & Heath. Which means I'm using the Trident for analog summing.

What are some of the stand-out features from your point of view?

The EQs just sound incredible, especially the treble feels really silky. The entire EQ range has a lot of power. They make the sound more defined, and thanks to the analog channel compression, all sounds become clearer and more smooth.

This is important for me since the way my signal path is built, there will often be additional movements in the tracks, levels will discretely change, even while recording. And because of the changes in settings and know twiddling, many parameters will change at the same time – which is something which wouldn't happen in a DAW.

I'll send the tracks to the Allen & Heath via the RME Fireface UFX+ and the  Ferrofish A16 MKII AD/DA converter. The A&E's 24 channels and 10 auxiliaries are great for routing all sounds and effects and combining them. The EQs are muted and the levels will stay in the green zone, that way, the A&E hardly adds anything to the mix.

Then, I'll combine the tracks into 8 subgroups and switch to the Trident. I'll use the Trident's EQ sound as well as the sound of the preamps, and the channels and route everything to the DAW with Ableton Live.

Prior to using it for the first time, how did you acquaint yourself with the Trident Mixing Console? Will you usually consult a manual before starting to work with a new device – and what was that like for the Trident Mixing Console?

I almost never check a manual. In this specific case I would ask my friend and most important tech support / engineer Adi from Centraldubs if I have questions concerning this console.

With all of my equipment and software, I will initially try to discover the possibilities myself. Only later will I consult a manual or friends.

It may be a detour but this is how things get interesting in my opinion. This is obviously not what solid craftsmanship looks like. But from my point of view, that's something I can still achieve at a later stage. I prefer to find my own way.

Tell me a bit about the interface of the Trident Mixing Console – what does playing it feel like, what do you enjoy about it, compared to some of your other instruments?

The haptic aspect is pretty amazing, of course. The knobs are big, sturdy and you can make extremely precise adjustments with them. I don't particularly like the faders, even though they're great to use in principle. The console's solid build fascinates me, that wonderful feeling you get when turning the knobs.

It's a stark contrast with my monitor mixer by Allen & Heath. I'm a little dissatisfied with it, the buttons are arranged a tad too close to each other. You can't really work with them very fast. What does make it cool are the many send / returns and the mute function with the four mute groups.

In a way, this monitor mixer is the actual instrument for my productions. This is where I route everything and send it to the Trident Console afterwards.

How would you describe the sonic potential of the Trident Mixing Console?

As mentioned, the console offers a well-rounded sound, more definition and clarity in the bass.

When it comes to the gain / drive, it requires some experience. You need to practise this. Unfortunately, on my desk, the channels aren't all on the same level anymore and could need some revision. I can't do that by myself, however.

I'll record the 8 mono tracks directly into the DAW via the direct out. I'll sometimes need the stereo channels for effects. In RMX mode, I can send the 8 channels to the delays via the 4 aux paths. Then, I'll send them via the stereo channels to the remix master. This allows me to create an L/R mix of the effects. Which has the benefit that I'll only have the stereo track which I can then continue to edit.

The limitations help me in my decision making process. Again, it's not just the sound, but technology as well, which fascinates me.

In which way does the Trident Mixing Console influence musical results and what kind of compositions does it encourage / foster?

To me, it feels as though the sounds and tracks or even the stems gain a certain freshness. This is because I can directly influence the recording and because small changes have big effects. Also because I'm sitting behind a mixing desk and not a screen during the recording process.

Ultimately, I'll listen to the recording differently afterwards, in the editing stage, and will work with the results differently.