Puerto Rican-born music producer, audio engineer, and DJ Hector Delgado has worked with some of music’s biggest artists, including A$AP Rocky, Selena Gomez, and Playboi Carti. We recently sat down with him to learn about his upbringing, how he got his start, and his thoughts on the music business as we know it today.
As the son of a minister, Hector grew up surrounded by music, since it was the foundation of the church. As his passion for music grew, the self-proclaimed “music nerd” became interested in the technology side of production. Growing up in the age of analog, he saw the evolution to digital, enabling him to learn the best of both worlds to broaden his production techniques.
“In my era that I grew up in, it was more of the ‘discovery era,’” Delgado recalls. “We were still trying to discover techniques and ways to use them, like how to group effects to make a sound. Now, everybody just has plugins and presets set to go.”
These days, anyone can watch a YouTube video to learn how to do just about anything, including how to be a producer. But to Delgado, simply learning how to produce instead of really experimenting and discovering techniques on your own is hindering this new generation of music producers.
“Uniqueness has been lost because everybody’s just mimicking everybody,” he says. “Nobody is discovering what you could do with this to make it your own.”
Delgado’s love for “discovery” and the recording intimacy that Pro Tools brings are what led to him working with A$AP Rocky.
“Rocky’s not the type of person that likes being in a corporate studio environment,” he explains. “Having Pro Tools and being able to set up anywhere—in a living room, in a bus, in whatever environment he felt comfortable recording at to help us get that take—Pro Tools really helped us with that… Being able to have the same exact sound with me anywhere I go, it was a gamechanger for real.”
He’s even helped other A$AP Mob crew members with their own Pro Tools setups, teaching them his tricks of the trade, so they can make their own music with other audio engineers.
“They’ve all progressed so much to be able to do things themselves. They all have their own little setups and their own engineers and their own crew… There’s no studio you can go to and say Pro Tools, and people don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s that integral to our ecosystem and music. If you want to do music, you have to learn Pro Tools.”
Hear more from producer and audio engineer Hector Delgado in our That Sounds Great podcast…