Berkeley, CA (June 10, 2020)—When singer/songwriter Fantastic Negrito took home the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Please Don’t Be Dead, it was the result of hard work—not only on his part but also that of Grammy-winning producer, arranger and engineer Nahuel Bronzini.
Bronzini, who works out of both Airship Laboratories Studios and his private mixing and production room in Berkeley, CA, brought his experience in R&B—most notably writing string arrangements, playing shows and engineering studio sessions with R&B legends Tony Toni Toné!—to bear on the project, applying that knowledge to the tracks.
“For the Fantastic Negrito record, there were a lot of drum tracks or programmed loops that had a lot of the character and punch to the groove, which came in as a stereo print,” said Bronzini. “In some of those, the low-end was a little problematic when mixed together with the bass and other low-end-heavy elements, like kicks and stomps, so EQ’ing out the low-end wasn’t the answer. I needed that low-end, but in a more controlled, focused way. Nugen Audio’s Monofilter was perfect for that; I love the interface and the flexibility of the width control tool.”
Nugen plug-ins popped up again in the production process, with ISL getting used on the vocals, he noted: “I had a dedicated bus that was after my main lead vocal chain. It helped me achieve an even, transient shape across the song to keep the vocal controlled; and it did that in a really transparent and musical way.”
For the final mixdown, Bronzini came back to a print track in Pro Tools, where he monitored levels with the company’s MasterCheck plug-in as the audio was recorded. “Sometimes it feels good to mix a little louder, sometimes it doesn’t; it all depends on the song and the processing that’s involved,” he reasoned. “Some pieces of gear like to be pushed, and then a little more level is needed. Nugen’s MasterCheck is great for getting a real-time assessment of how loud my mix is coming back and how dynamic it really is, both instantaneously and within the context of the song. The Nugen software really helps me get to where I want to be.”
Nugen Audio • www.nugenaudio.com
Nahuel Bronzini • www.studioburgundio.com