Tony Maserati

With a Grammy-winning career in full flow, recording mixer/engineer Tony Maserati is at the top of his game and making the most of what technology has to offer. Right now, Chandler’s EMI TG12345 Curve Bender studio equaliser is keeping him happy…

‘I first learned of Chandler Limited through engineer Vaughan Merrick, who introduced me to the LTD-1 EQ/Preamp,’ he says. ‘I liked the product a lot, which sparked my interest in additional gear from the company. So, from there, I started experimenting with the TG1 Limiter, followed by the Zener Limiter, and the Mini Mixer – all of which I use regularly.’

It is the Curve Bender that he uses most frequently. Issued to mark the 75th birthday of Abbey Road Studios, it is based on the vintage EMI TG12345 desk used to record The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

Curve Bender‘This processor is found on virtually every mix I do,’ Maserati says. ‘I use it primarily for adding a bit of high frequency, but I also use it to adjust the mid range or low end sound as well as some shelving EQ. For me, the Curve Bender is uniquely well suited to my method of working. I use a hybrid system revolving around Avid’s Pro Tools and its automation, yet I sum externally through the Mini Mixer – with the Curve Bender also being on my bus. This arrangement enables me to incorporate the best of both the digital and analogue worlds as I mix.’

Chandler’s Mini Mixer is the second most important part of Maserati’s hybrid set-up: ‘The Mini Mixer is another key element in my external busing,’ he agrees: ‘I use it on almost every mix I create. The amazing thing is the fact that it has never generated any distortion whatsoever. This mixer has an amazing amount of headroom and the way it works with the high volume internal mix bus in Pro Tools is exceptional. It enables me to go back and forth between an internal mix and one that’s split out across the Mini Mixer without having to do any signal trimming, which is really quite rare. When I feel like my internal mixing bus is squeezing and thinning the overall sound, I go straight to the Mini Mixer.’

The TG1 is a recreation of the EMI TG12413 limiter used in custom EMI and Abbey Road recording and mastering consoles from the late 1960s: ‘The TG1 works very well for a wide range of recording applications,’ Maserati says. ‘I use the limiter quite often on drum overheads as well as room mics on strings, and I’ll occasionally use it on piano. I’ve also used the TG1 for vocals. For the Jason Mraz album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, I used it on Jason’s vocal. In addition to its ability to raise the overall programme level so that I can fit a track into a real high energy mix, the TG1 has a great sonic character.

‘I find that Chandler pays extremely close attention to the sonic quality of the vintage equipment our industry grew up with, yet they have taken that sound to a higher, completely modern level,’ he adds. ‘I no longer have to rely on the vintage gear, which is frequently prone to intermittencies, noise, and other undesirable traits. Chandler has given me products that have many of the vintage qualities without the headache.’

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