Billy Decker (pictured) is a mixing and recording engineer who works with some of Nashville’s hottest country music acts. Decker recently worked with Chris Young, the winner of USA Network’s Nashville Star talent-search competition, which completed its fourth season, for a release on RCA.
“I’ve got a song that I mixed for Rodney Atkins (Curb),” Decker says. “He’s at Number 16 on the country chart. I just mixed Sammy Kershaw’s record for Category Five and a Gary Nichols record on MCA. I’m currently working on Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s record for a Canadian release. I’ve got Mark Wills’ new record on Equity coming up. And I mixed eight sides on Trace Adkins’ record.”
Decker states that he relies extensively on Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in. “I mix 100-percent in-the-box, just for the recall ability and the ease,” Decker says. “ChannelStrip is my main EQ. Most EQs have either three or four bands. ChannelStrip has six, so I can literally get in there and use two of them as filters, if I need to, and the other four for EQ. A lot of times, I’ll use all six of them. Plus, it’s got the built-in compressor with the auto-gain function, which emulates the SSL compressor. I also like the presets that come with it. It’s really user-friendly.
“I can put ChannelStrip across every channel; it’s on every single instrument,” Decker continues. “Here in Nashville, I do predominantly country music, so you’ve got a drum kit, bass, acoustic guitars, electric guitar, piano, fiddle and steel; then, sometimes a dobro or banjo, but that’s it, other than the voice and the backgrounds. So they’re not huge sessions, as far as track count. But I’ve got ChannelStrip running across the board at the top of the inserts on just about everything.”
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