Farmingdale, NY–Jeff Juliano, the self-professed ‘Guy Who Mixes Records.‘ is a busy, in-demand engineer/mixer whose dozen-year career has been peppered with stellar recording credits ranging From Mraz to Mayer and O.A.R. to DMB. Juliano mixed John Mayer’s Grammy Award-winning Room for Squares, Jason Mraz’s Waiting for my Rocket to Come, as well as projects with Josh Kelley, Dave Matthews Band, Pat McGee Band, and Lifehouse–to name a mere few.
From his Eastern Shore lair in Maryland, Juliano‘s been slaving away of late, mixing records for a string of promising indie and mainstream band projects such as My Getaway, Sun Domingo, The Iry, the John Butler Trio and Mindy McCready. But probably one of the most interesting recent endeavors was mixing rock band O.A.R.’s new live CD/DVD, Live From Madison Square Garden (Atlantic Records/Everfine) in 5.1 with the help of Blue Sky‘s Sky System One. That project encompassed three parts: material for broadcast on DirecTV®, a double CD, and a 5.1 DVD. Juliano was impressed with Blue Sky‘s aural quality, accuracy and bass management system.
“I got turned on to Blue Sky when we were getting ready to do the O.A.R. project,” recalls Juliano. “I‘d been an NS10 guy for years, using it with a subwoofer. That‘s what I trusted. I‘d been reading a lot about the Blue Sky‘s and a few guys that I really respect are using them. I hooked the system up and immediately liked what I heard right off the bat. And what‘s funny is that I went back to mix the stereo version of the O.A.R. record after I‘d done the DirecTV mixes–which I‘d done with my NS10s–and I immediately heard some stuff that I didn‘t like with those mixes. I had a little too much high-end in my mixes and that shined through in the Blue Sky‘s. So I finished out the stereo mixes on the O.A.R. record with the Blue Sky‘s 5.1 Sky System One using it as a 2.1 system and then immediately flopped into the 5.1 sessions. The Blue Sky‘s are the most true powered monitors I‘ve ever used–and I‘ve used a lot of these things.”
Working in 5.1 was a new experience and he was admittedly pretty intimidated by it. “But knowing that there are no rules in 5.1,” he confesses, “it freed me up to make it whatever I thought it ought to be. I took that the approach of mixing it like I was standing in the center of the floor for that concert. It was so easy to do that with these speakers because they‘re not over-hyped and the midrange is solid. A lot of powered monitors I fear to use because they hype the high-end, duck the mid-range, and have a false low-end.”
Mixing with a subwoofer was old hat for Juliano. “I don‘t know how people work with the 6.5” speakers and not know what‘s going on below that frequency cut-off of that speaker. The Blue Sky bass management system is spot-on. You can feel the kick in my room; you can feel the bass. It‘s thumping but it‘s real. There‘s nothing worse than having a subwoofer with a system that doesn‘t have a bass management system like this and is not calibrated correctly. Bands in the studio get to hear all the drums and the bass and it‘s huge, but then when they get in the car it‘s a complete disaster, because when they were listening with a subwoofer that was calibrated too loud, it‘s basically giving them false low end. But the Blue Sky‘s are spot-on. What you hear is what you get.”