Baby Brown: I love the steampunkesque RZ062 Equalizer
This nice person, great artist, and producer, is one of the first people who touch our new plug-ins. Mostly. Baby Brown says, the only focus should be on the song and not being a huge douche bag. Using his words: the song tells you how to move forward. And it often tells him to move using Audified plug-ins.
What are the main projects you are proud of?
I’d have to say Mala Rodriguez ‘Malamarismo’ album on which I produced four songs back in 2007 with DJ Rectangle. I think the main point of pride was the fact that we conducted the project entirely on instinct. When Universal originally contacted us they asked for only one album track. By the time we were done they took four, one of which became her biggest single. We ended up with a nomination for ‘Best Urban Album’ at the Latin Grammys that year.
What is your current most important musical project?
I'm currently producing records for two number one artists - neither of which I’m allowed to talk about and I’m working with a brilliant DJ/Producer called Romina who is hyper-focused - just like me. I also started a music-tech magazine for producers earlier this year called www.audioproducernews.com which I love because it helps producers to make great gear-decisions and really see the world of production in a way they recognize. APN is created and run by working producers who are testing and engineering with these products in the studio every day.
What was your first contact with Audified software?
To be honest it was the STA Delay… that tube sound is tasty and addictive, like bacon-wrapped rock.
What Audified tools do you use?
U78 Saturator is dank. It’s my go-to for the brightness and sheen I look for on lead vocals. It’ll illuminate or darken a singer without removing focus from their performance. I was privileged enough to be asked to provide presets for the final product which is dope for me because I just created the exact list of presets I need for my work!
What makes you want to use a particular product?
Well, without trying to sound like a total w****r, I think that a plugin being modeled on something classic (unless it’s very rare) is largely unimportant to me these days. I already have all my favorite versions of 1176’s and LA-2A’s so I’m psyched to see something left-field or creative. I used to be a real plugin-prostitute but I’m much more picky about what I use now. I think when you’re working in the studio every day you begin to tire of the endless VST folders. It’s annoying and time-consuming. What I look for in a plug-in are practicality and character. If it can consolidate multiple processes (like MixChecker) then I want it. If it sounds correct or has just one specific tone that I like (U78), then I must have it too.
You are one of the first users of the new RZ062 plug-in, what are your thoughts?
I love the RZ062 EQ for its simplicity and authenticity. Sometimes you need to use broad strokes on buses and in mastering. Just be sure to set up the calibration to get the most from it (-15 dBFS is the choice for a little coloration) and drive the inputs a little (+1/2 dB is usually enough). You get a great visual from the gently pulsing saturation indicators.
You'll get dramatic results on buses and groups too by using the RZ062 to gently fatten the low end and elevate the highs for some billboard style clarity. Interestingly, the RZ062's most unique strength is its sophisticated 'Tilt' behavior, which is controlled by the 650 Hz mid band. As you rotate that frequency band one way the bass will increase whilst the treble simultaneously decreases and vice versa. It's a very effective way of altering the overall frequency balance of your material in a fashion you otherwise might not.
For mastering, you'll probably want to take advantage of the Mid/Side capability - where you can EQ and assign a different amount of drive to both center and side signals. I fell in love with the RZ062 immediately because it's as easy to use and has that similar sonic signature to the Abbey Road Brightness controls but with the added advantage of bass and midrange adjustability.
As an aside, this is probably one of the best looking plugins released this year. It has an instantly iconic look with a tactile GUI and vintage style controls. The emblem is very true to life and overall it has a strident, steampunkesque appeal. Love it
How do you check your mixes?
I have a lot of tricks to check my mixes. Aside from a custom pair of 'tuned' headphones and two big monitors on which I run a full-screen spectrum analyzer on the right, one of the most important tools for me is a plugin called MixChecker. Audified brought it to my attention last year. It really saves me an arse-load of time by letting me catch mix vibes from different modeled consumer devices whilst being level-adjusted. I can also mono check without having to employ a separate Utility or Pan plugin. Probably the most important of all though is wifey who decides the final potency of the mixes by go-go dancing - or not. She calls it ‘The Booty Test’ - if the song doesn’t pass then it’s back to the drawing board...