Home » News » Knice Gives NYC Hip-Hop a Fresh Voice with Lauten Audio Microphones

Platinum Sound Recording Studios head engineer on supporting the next generation of talent with modern, cutting sounds on the mic


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, February 14, 2024 — Audio engineer and scene curator Devonne ‘Knice’ Knight has been one of the key sonic and community architects of the modern New York hip-hop scene. As senior engineer of Platinum Sound Recording Studios, Knice’s production work on breakout tracks by artists such as French Montana, Rich the Kid, and Desiigner have given a fresh sonic signature to hip hop’s hometown. In addition to his work in the studio, Knice has also been a passionate advocate for up-and-coming talent, generating a welcoming atmosphere in his studios and hosting vibrant, community-focused events such as Pass the Aux to encourage young artists to get involved. As part of his mission to give this new generation a fresh voice, Knice has made the Lauten Audio EdenAtlantis, and Clarion a key part of his recording workflow.

The sound of belief

For more than 18 years, Knice’s workflow has been built around delivering high-quality tracks to his clients at an often astonishing level of speed and quality. A major component in his recipe for success has been his focus on building the confidence of his artists and collaborators from the ground up and encouraging them to deliver their best in a very competitive space. “You don’t want to have to convince people to wait until the mixing stage for them to start believing in the potential of a track,” he explained. “You need something close to the end product as quickly as possible to get people to believe in the record and if you aren’t an engineer, you aren’t used to listening to ‘rough’ versions of music. For me, I’ve always focused on delivering the best that I can from the get-go.”

“Our job as engineers is to inspire artists with sounds to get a quality performance,” he continued. “We have a lot of influence in that way, and if an artist is inspired on a sonic level in the headphones, that feeds back into the performance you get.”

Inspiring belief in his collaborators also extends to giving them confidence in their own voice by curating a sound that is both cutting and powerful on a track. Having exhausted the standard microphone choices, Knice found himself looking for something fresh that could provide a new sound for his artists. “By the time I was working with Brandy and J. Critch I knew we needed a new sound in the studio,” he said. “I was so tired of the same microphone collection and I needed something that could cut through a track without too much processing.”

“That was when I tried my first Lauten Audio Mic, the Eden, and we immediately fell in love with it.”

Lauten Audio Eden in Platinum Sound Recording Studios
Lauten Audio Eden in Platinum Sound Recording Studios

A new sonic signature

In his search for the right vocal microphones, Knice favors those that fit into his high-speed workflow without needing additional processing to get the sounds required. In Eden, Atlantis, and Clarion, he found a trio of useful variations on a specific sonic flavor that serve that exact purpose. “It’s that warm tube sound right away, but it has a cut that you don’t find in other mics,” he explained. “The clarity and the diction you get on them immediately cuts through and that matters more than anything when making music like this. Clients want to hear themselves sound good and you get that right away with Lauten.”

“You get addicted to the feeling of pressing play and hearing the finished thing and you don’t have to saturate them or use EQ to get it.”

Although he’s found himself using less processing since he began using Lauten, part of the signature sound has been his strategic use of Lauten’s Multi-Voicing modes on Eden and Atlantis specifically. Not only has this given him the signature ‘cut’ that his tracks have, it’s also allowed him to give performers a different variation of the same, inspiring sound to suit different ways of performing. “The tone (Multi-voicing) switches give you the ability to get an artist comfortable with a mic while also helping them to better understand their own voice,” he said. “‘Forward’ sounds amazing on rapping and gives you all that cut and clarity, but if they want to sing, you just switch it to ‘Neutral’ and it’s that smooth, warm sound you want.”

“Having it right there in the artist’s hands to help make that choice brings them into the process even more, and you’re able to learn together while creating something.”

Creating something together remains at the core of Knice’s enterprise. Between cutting tracks, training artists and engineers, and hosting events in New York City that champion new artists, fresh sounds, and a sense of vibrant togetherness, he remains a passionate advocate for the community that is at the core of New York’s hip-hop culture. “There’s a huge ecosystem in New York City specifically for music and when I say we want to curate the sound of a particular area, I mean that we want to do something with cultural significance where we’re all making art with each other and everyone can play a part in it,” he said. “I feel very empowered with Lauten products – building community, sonic imprints, education, and just being able to excite people outside of the audio community about all of this stuff. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

About Lauten Audio ​

Lauten Audio is a family-owned maker of original, inspiring microphones. Currently available products include the flagship “Eden” tube microphone, the award-winning “Atlantis” FET condenser microphone, the groundbreaking “Synergy Series” of noise-rejecting condenser microphones, and the new Series Black family of condenser microphones. Lauten Audio and its diverse family of users can be found in studios, on stages, and in homes worldwide. ​

 For more information, visit lautenaudio.com or call 1-877-721-7018.

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