We visited Germano Studios in New York to record a number of producer features and we were very lucky to bump in to Ann who very kindly said she'd record a short video too. Since recording this video Ann has opened Jungle City Studios.
Ann is best known for her work with Alicia Keyes and here she talks about her engineering and production work.
Ann say's that Mic selection is really important, what it sounds like in the studio and here in the control room is different, don't be lazy, make sure you hear what the musicians are hearing. Work with the drummer to tweak and get the sound right at the instrument before placing mics or even thinking of recording.
Ann makes the point that it's worth taking care with mic placement, use proximity effects etc to change the tones that a microphone captures. She suggests finding a perfect drum sound to start with by using a mono room mic, moving it around, even moving hi hats to get the mono room tones. One of he tricks with drums is using 3 kick drum mics, she explains in detail on the video! On bass amps one of Ann's techniques is to use a Yamaha Sub Kick Mic as it can get more roundness from the amp.
Regarding vocals, Ann prefers to not use auto tune if possible and say's listening to vocals on many records now is like hearing a puzzle. If possible Ann goes for performance, maybe using a vocal take from start to finish if the record calls for it.
When it comes to what equipment to use she say's that there aren't many choices today for consoles. She has recently installed an SSL Duality alongside a classic EMI desk at her new studio Jungle City Studios. Ann much prefers working with a console with great mic pres like SSL's and hates working with a big mouse saying how she can't imagine an artist working on a computer. Simply put, she loves sonics. Tweaking a plug in is so much less intuitive and slow and little less musical for her but it's "great to have the option to have both".
Ann loves to be challenged and work with artists pushing the envelope.
Special thanks to everyone at Germano Studios and to Ann for giving us time to record this interview!
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