5 Top Mix Engineers You Should Know in Rock! (+2)
Who are the top mix engineers in rock music? Well that’s somewhat debatable, but you are almost certain to find the names below sprinkled through everyone’s list. In our rock edition of “5 Top Engineers” series you’re going to get familiar with heavyweights. These Mix Engineers have “gear porn” to die for, as well as, careers you might only dream of, and that’s one of the reasons our “5” couldn’t be contained! This edition has a “+2”, and you can’t argue the “+2” so don’t even try, lol ;-). As in the other posts on Pop & Hip Hop, & Country, I want to make it clear, I am very aware that these engineers mix many, many genres. By no means are we saying with this article that these engineers only mix rock music. We decided to include these engineers in this category because they’ve either mixed some of the most recent rock hits, or they’ve worked with some of the genre’s biggest artists. Get ready to learn a little more about some of the industry’s most elite mixers:
Where do you start explaining the history of Grammy Award winning engineer Andy Wallace? The “Walk This Way” engineer is HUGE in the rock world, hits with Slayer, Bruce Springsteen, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, and System of A Down describe only a portion of his catalog. He’s even worked with an up and coming chap named Paul McCartney. He’s also done his stint in France at “Mix with the Masters” like many of the other engineers we’ve mentioned in the Pop, Hip Hop and Country sections of this series. Over 80 million units have been sold including credits to Mr. Wallace according to mixonline.com. You’ll also want to check out his feature in SOS where his contribution to Metal and Modern Rock is highlighted. Trust, Andy Wallace’s name is teflon in the Mix Engineer industry, and you should know more about his career and his contributions.
Jack Joseph Puig
Hole, Weezer, Green Day & No Doubt have had JJP at the helm of their mixes. JJP is one of a few engineers who has a Waves plugin line designed after some of his gear and techniques (we covered Tony Maserati in the Pop article as well as others in this article). It’s pretty interesting that JJP is the only engineer we’ve covered so far that has also held positions on the business end as an A&R and an E.V.P at Interscope. In addition, here’s a choice article highlighting his work with Fergie on her debut solo album. Based in L.A., JJP’s been doing a lot of work in famed Ocean Way studios, and his engineer career is something every engineer can aspire to.
Chiccarelli’s career began in Boston. He got his break in the way many things happen in life, by chance. He was working at L.A’s Cherokee studios as an assistant and Frank Zappa’s engineer couldn’t make a session one day, and he decided to give Joe a try. His career began just like that. On to working with Alanis Morissette, The Strokes and Tori Amos, Joe’s had a long and varied career. 10 Grammy Awards and many more nominations. One point of note for me is his work with Jack White and The White Stripes along with The Raconteurs in which he received a Grammy for “Icky Thump” and “Consolers of The Lonely” respectively. A great resource in SOS, here’s his feature in “Secrets of The Mix Engineers”. Much like many other engineers here, he’s also spent his stint with the “Mix With The Masters’ crew in France.
(photo credit: sound on sound magazine)
Muse, TV on The Radio, The Shins, Rage Against The Machine. You’ll know Costey’s work from all of these acts as well as Fiona Apple’s “When The Pawn…” which garnered the attention of Rick Rubin who grabbed Costey to mix albums he was already working on. From Vermont, Costey moved to NY and then to L.A. working in radio, as well as engineering bands. While working as an assistant in a recording studio he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston as well. Here’s an SOS article on his work with the Foo Fighters. You’ll know his most recent work from music with HAIM, Foster The People, Young The Giant and Kimbra.
One of the most legendary engineers in Rock music history is in the photo slightly above this sentence. Eddie Kramer has helped to develop the sound for some of Rock’s greatest artists. Artists such as Kiss, Jimi Hendrik, Foghat, Anthrax, Janis Joplin and Led Zepplin are just to name a few. His Waves plugin collection is available here, and sounds quite awesome I might add. I’ve used a few of his plugins on acoustic guitar here and there. If you visit an AES convention you may catch him demoing the plugin collection in the Exhibit Area up close and personal. From South Africa, Eddie Kramer made his way to England where he began his recording career, and was eventually hired by Pye studios to record top acts like Sammie Davis Jr. according to his bio on allmusic.com. Kramer engineered all of Hendrix’s groundbreaking albums and engineered the Beatles memorable hit “All U need is Love”. He was also the engineering influence in Hendrix’s famed Electric Ladyland Studio in New York. If you want more Eddie Kramer info, check out his 3 hour instructional series entitled “Adventures in Modern Recording” here.
Beginning as a Producer/Engineer, Tom Lord-Alge is a mix engineer almost exclusively now. A 3 time Grammy winner with credits like, The Rolling Stones, SUM 41, and Annie Lennox he’s had a long and storied history in the music industry. Here’s his feature in SOS, which chronicles his very wide range of mix success. Tom is actually the younger brother of famed engineer Chris Lord-Alge and credits him with helping develop his career. In the same vain as his brother he’s known for his love of compression, and its heavy influence in his mixes. Tom is based out of South Beach Studios in Miami, and to this day still mixes a large variety or artists.
Another name you’ll know from your Waves plugin emulations is Chris Lord-Alge or as is known on the plugin “CLA”. Known for his use of heavy compression, you’ll notice these tendencies in the CLA plugin presets as well. You’ll also know CLA’s work from artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Slipknot and Smashing Pumpkins among others. Here’s his website where you can get more in-depth news about his current works along with his past mixes. Another resource is his SOS feature, where he gives specific info on his “My Chemical Romance” mix. Not to be denied, Chris Lord-Alge is also a multiple Grammy Award winning mix engineer.
**What are your views on these Mix Engineers and some of the other top engineers in this genre? Let us know in the Forum!**
mixrevu.com audio blog
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