Easton, MD (September 1, 2006)–Jeff Juliano has platinum mixing credits for the likes of John Mayer, the Dave Matthews Band, Lifehouse, and O.A.R., among others. He’s integrated API 8200 summing mixers and API 7600 input module channel strips into the DAW setup at his Joel Dubay-designed studio, The Nerve Center, which has taken his “mixing in the box” approach to a whole new level.
Jeff Juliano is currently mixing five studio tracks and eleven live tracks for Robert Randolph in his API-loaded studio in Easton, Maryland. Photo Credit: Kirsten Beckerman”I have this theory that nothing sounds good until you put it through at least five pounds of metal,” Juliano commented. “I’ve been mixing in the box for some time now and I thought my mixes were in a good place, but when I started putting them through API summing mixers, the results floored me. The API 8200s have given me a console sound in just two rack spaces.”
Juliano has built a career on making the very most of the rough mixes that get sent to him, no matter how high–or low–the quality of the recordings. Once he integrated two API 8200 eight-channel line mixers into his Pro Tools HD setup, however, Juliano discovered the difference that 16 channels of classic API circuitry could make to his highly discerning ears. “The API units opened up the imaging tremendously and added depth and punch,” he remarked. “The result of the summing is as if you set your speakers ten feet farther apart. If you take the mixes you make in the box and pump it through sixteen–or even eight–channels of the API 8200s, you’re going to sound 70 percent better right off the bat. It’s undeniable.”
For Juliano, integration of the API 8200 summing mixers into his DAW setup was a simple operation. After selecting the appropriate outputs in Pro Tools, Juliano sends signal out through his Apogee D/A converters straight to the dual API 8200s. With all of his busses split out evenly over the 16 channels of API summing, Juliano perfects his mixes, then sends the stereo outputs of his 8200s back through a stereo buss compressor before printing back into Pro Tools.
“By spreading the tracks of your session out over the API 8200 summing mixer,” said Juliano, “you’re taking a lot of the summing workload off of the computer, really widening the audio funnel, and taking away a lot of the math that’s been killing the sound of records the last few years. Another great feature that the API 8200 has is that it gives you the availability of hardware inserts, so you can easily insert your favorite compressor on any channel.” Continued Juliano, “I can’t tell you how may times management calls to ask what I’m doing that improves the mix–even when they hear a cut on the radio.”
One such box that Juliano reaches for frequently is one of his two API 7600 input modules, a discrete four buss channel strip which features the classic 550A three-band EQ with seven frequency choices per band, along with the same 225L compressor that graces API’s all-discrete Legacy console. “The 7600s can make any track sound amazing. It’s the ultimate carving tool,” he said. “You can air something up very easily with it, and definitely sculpt the mud out of any track. The compressor section is killer on bass and any drum sounds that might be kind of weak. And it really makes my job easier on vocal tracks, because it rides the peaks in a very musical way.”