Perhaps better known in the industry as “Tommy Rat” or“Tommy Magnum,” Tommy Dubielak has mixed numerous actsincluding Debbie Gibson, Bobby Brown, Color Me Badd, The Offspring andthe Red Hot Chili Peppers. We caught up with him just as he finished asold-out run with Washington rockers MxPx, who were touring with SimplePlan.
What's different about working with MxPx?
I still think less is more. I did the whole tour of 2k to 4k venueson 18 inputs. I didn't use much compression or any gates, as the wholeidea of this band is to evoke a raw, garage sound. Why change that orcompress the life out of it? About the only compression I use is bass,so I can keep levels up in a smaller P.A.
What about vocal processing?
On Mike's [Herrera's] vocal, I use finger-on-the-fader compression.Effects are minimal: On smaller rooms, I'll run some 'verb, but nothingon the older songs. On some of the newer songs, I run a 900ms repeatdelay swept from left to right with a vocal hall sweeping right toleft, letting them cross in the middle. New engineers read huge gearlists in trade magazines and think they need an XL4, two 960s and arack of expensive tube gear. My usual rack has a PCM60, an SPX-990, anSDE-3000 and a REV7. You don't need a lot of effects to do a great show— you just have to know how to mix.
Any cool gear you've discovered lately?
When I first got the Audix D6, I thought it was just another kickmic, but it's amazing. It's what the D112 wants to be when it grows up.I'm also using the new Audix Micros — they're great on toms.
What do you do when you're off the road?
I like to spend time at home, watch TV with my daughter and notlisten to music for a while.