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Music Production

Paczosa Sticks with Manley Glue

10-time Grammy-winner Gary Paczosa considers his signal chain.

Nashville, TN (August 16, 2018)—The Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor was in the mixdown path when 10-time Grammy-winner Gary Paczosa and assistant engineer Shani Gandhi co-engineered and produced Other Arrangements, the third album from gospel-influenced roots artist Parker Millsap.

Paczosa was introduced to Variable Mu compression by George Massenburg about 10 years ago: “I was over at his studio listening to some of his mixes—I think he was mixing a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band record—and the compression felt just right. I figured if it was good enough for George, I needed to give it a try.”

Manley is the Gateway to Ayan’s Sound

As a producer and engineer in the studio, as well as vice president of A&R for Rounder Records, Paczosa is a mentor to up-and-comers on both sides of the glass. One example: His former assistant engineer, Shani Gandhi, now collaborates with Paczosa frequently and shares billing with him on the engineering/production side.

Paczosa frequently records and mixes in his personal studio, Minutia, in Nashville. While he prefers to work in Cubase, he’s highly attentive to the analog elements of the audio chain. “I constantly play with the gear and swap pieces out to make sure that I’m using the best equipment possible,” he says. “I’ve pretty much replaced everything else in the chain at some point, except for the Variable Mu. It always wins out.”

He likens what he achieves with the Variable Mu to the results he got when the late Doug Sax mastered Paczosa’s mixes on the handbuilt proprietary gear in Sax’s legendary Mastering Lab. “Doug’s signal chain was so stunning,” he recounts. “It just glued it all together.

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“When my mixes went through his signal path, it was the first time it felt like a record—like music and not just tracks and overdubs and edits that were sewn together. When I brought the Variable Mu to my place, I got a lot of that out of it. It was the first 2-mix compressor I had where I was hearing what I had gotten with Doug.”

Manley Laboratories •