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West’s Mixes Head to Manley

Ryan West discusses why he shapes urban hits with a Manley setup.

New York, NY (February 2, 2019)—For Grammy-nominated engineer Ryan West, best known for his work shaping the sounds of hip-hop royalty at his home studio on New York City’s Upper West Side and downtown at Flux, Manley’s Massive Passive and VoxBox are key tools.

“I have my canvas, and it’s a stable platform that I can operate from, where I can paint my picture,” says West, whose sonic imprint is on records by Eminem, Jay-Z, Usher, Rihanna, T.I., Kid Cudi and Action Bronson. “The Manley gear is going to be my sort of additive gear that I’m using to get my flavors and colors. When you have a have a place of stability that’s predictable, you can try different things and have happy accidents.”

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West first encountered Manley gear around 2002, engineering at remix DJ Jonathan Peters’ Chelsea studio, where he placed a VoxBox on a vocal recutting session with Bette Midler. “She cut her vocals, and just a glorious vocal sound came from the combination of a vintage C12 mic and the VoxBox,” he says. “It was just enough to fit it right into this really dense remix that we were doing. And that was the first moment I knew, this is some super high-quality sh*t.”

“It’s almost like making my mix a little bit more high definition, lifting it off the ground floor a little bit, making it a bit sexier,” he says. “It actually makes me evaluate my mix in a way, where I’m thinking, what could I have done better there? Can I make that kick drum stick a little bit differently so that it doesn’t fight the bass so much? It gives me the opportunity to shape it a little bit more.”

Manley Laboratories: