Studio, Mastering and Live Sound Engineer
London, United Kingdom
Belgian-born Wes Maebe is equally at home recording and mixing in the studio as he is mixing FOH for live performance. After studying audio engineering in the UK for two years, Wes started his career at Belgium’s Galaxy Studios in the Neve Capricorn room. He returned to London in 2003, and has amassed an impressive client list over the years, from recording Yusuf Islam and the Buzzcocks to mixing FOH for Sting on his tour with Edin Karamazov.
Tactile Mixing Solution
If the budget allows it, I will always take my projects to studios, but sometimes the budgets are so tight that I end up mixing in-the-box. I've always disliked using the mouse for fader moves and sends. So to save time you end up drawing them in and you get a rather soulless result. Artist Mix has brought back the human touch and I get a more dynamic mix as a result. When mixing, Artist Mix is the centre piece for fader, pan and send moves and I do use the transport controls on it quite a lot. I even use it when I am mastering to flip between mastered and unmastered tracks and to do manual fades. The thing that really blew me away was that I can control all of my plug-in parameters with the rotary controls! That means so much to someone who was brought up on a console where there’s a control for every function.
Big Console in a Small Box
Artist Mix has brought tactile mixing back to my little room. Space is an issue, so I need something that doesn't take up the entire house. Artist Mix's size was one of the main purchasing factors, as was its price and ability to talk to both Pro Tools and Logic. Getting started with the Artist Mix took me 5 minutes. Install, plug in and you're off. With more and more studios closing down (Hey you artists and labels, go and book studio time right now!) we have to find other locations to record. Those places can range from hotel suites to private homes, churches and warehouses. So a portable desk is becoming more and more important. At the moment there aren't many affordable small format consoles about, so having something that is easy to transport, that talks to your software and on top of that gives you the tactile interfacing like a full-on console, gets my vote!
Old School/New School
When I’m working at the Sonic Cuisine I generally mix in Logic or Pro Tools. I have my Artist Mix right in front of me and use a combination of digital and analogue. When I started out, there was still a lot of tape around. Pro Tools wasn't as powerful as it is now and Cubase and Logic seemed to be more at home in the bedroom studio environment. Now we're hoping that companies like ATR and RMG are going to continue manufacturing tape. It all seemed to go completely digital for a while, but I think people are realizing that Analogue has so much to offer sonically speaking. Personally I am using the DAWs like tape machines. I use a handful of plug-ins and will resort to outboard whenever I can. So it feels like Analogue and Digital are working side by side, giving me the option to use whatever tool seems most suited to the job at hand.