Engineer, Mixer, Producer
New York, NY USA
Real Sound For Reel Productions
For Tom Soares engineering is a family affair. At 17, he started working for his sister, a professional engineer at Normandy Sound in Warren, Rhode Island. Initially hired as her assistant to setup mics and wrap cable, Tom eventually took over the studio’s graveyard shift where he honed his craft mixing demo tapes for local bands and jingles. All those late night sessions soon paid off when, in 1991, Soares mixed the #1 Billboard hit Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Eventually Soares left Rhode Island for New York City where he has his own successful record label, Reel 4 Reel Productions. Today Tom travels across the nation with his Artist Control working with artists such as Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Patti Labelle.
The Perfect Carry On
I travel all the time for my work; one day I could be mixing in New York and the next day I’m in Dallas. So, the Artist Series is the perfect portable studio for me. I carry the Artist Control with me wherever I go.
Settled in the Sweet Spot
Typically, I work on large-format analog consoles that do not allow me to have the control inside the DAW that I require. This is where my Artist Control saves the day. It allows for me to stay in the sweet spot and have access to all of the parameters inside Pro Tools. For instance, I can take a group of multiple tracks such as background vocals and use the Artist Control as a balancing tool; creating a stereo sub-mix that then feeds the analog console. On an large-format analog desk, I would have to move away from the center of the console to accomplish this.
The Mixing Ideal
The Artist Control’s touch-screen really helps to streamline my workflow in Pro Tools. I get extremely fast touch access to all the usual functions such as track solos, channel mutes and channel select. But it’s the soft keys and the macros that give me ultimate control of Pro tools. I am able customize my Artist Control to fit my needs, it’s ideal for the way I work.
Striking the Right Balance
I place the Artist Control right on the console where I am working and also use it for balancing panning and effects between my speakers in Pro Tools. The Artist Series uses the HUI protocol transported over Ethernet via EuCon to control my Pro Tools rig. This gear has certainly made my job a lot easier because it gives me a great advantage for listening back and forth between my monitors quickly and easily.