Renowned score recording and mixing engineer John Rodd (pictured) recently added a pair of A-Designs Audio EM-PEQ modules to his set of essential hardware tools. Rodd works in a variety of Los Angeles facilities, as well as his own private studio.
In films, television and videogames, Rodd’s work ranges from large-scale orchestral recordings on the finest scoring stages in the world to hybrid scores that blend orchestral music with rock, jazz and electronic elements.
A-Designs Audio’s new EM-PEQ module emulates the classic Pultec EQP-1A, a sound that Rodd chose several times in a blind test performed at his studio. “I set up blind, level-matched comparisons with an engineer friend on a couple of different occasions, so we could take turns comparing high-end hardware EQs with a wide variety of source material,” he explains. “It turned out that once the identities of the EQs were revealed, I had consistently preferred the EM-PEQ for adding size and low-end punch. The EM-PEQ has an amazing low-end ‘muscle’ and a great top end that is ideal for certain tasks. The EQ shootouts were all I needed to convince me to purchase a pair of EM-PEQs to add to my current arsenal of hardware EQs.”
Nominated for Best Score Mixer as part of the 2007 Film & TV Music Awards, Rodd’s recent credits include mixing the orchestral score for the upcoming animated feature The Legend of Secret Pass, the recently released live-action Bratz movie and the horror-thriller Primeval. He recorded the orchestral score for the film Victim and the videogame The Golden Compass, as well as music for the videogames Stranglehold and Conan. Rodd recently mixed the orchestral score for the videogame BladeStorm: Hundred Years War and serves as scoring mixer for NBC’s Journeyman television series.
Rodd works on differently sized analog consoles and uses DAWs including Pro Tools, MOTU Digital Performer and Apple Logic, as well as a wide range of outboard hardware. He uses the EM-PEQs to add unique character to audio sources that need some improvement. “The beauty of the EM-PEQ is that I can EQ to make the bottom end huge without it getting all ‘flabby’ or ‘woofy,’” he says, “and I can make the top end pop without it getting harsh.”
Recently mixing an orchestral film score for an upcoming animated feature, Rodd found his new EQs particularly useful. “The EM-PEQs were invaluable for making the overdubbed Taiko drums and other low percussion sound massive,” he reports. “I also recently mixed a Hollywood blockbuster film trailer where the EM-PEQs were extremely useful at sculpting some low-end elements.”
Rodd also records and mixes for album projects. “I’m about to mix a few more songs for an upcoming album by a rock-electronica artist and I’m positive my EM-PEQs will be put to good use,” he says. “No one hardware EQ is perfect for every application, but for some tasks the EM-PEQs are more than perfect!”