RealSongs’ primary producer using A-Designs gear to bring life to contemporary pop master’s creations
LOS ANGELES – September 2010 — Aside from being a successful producer, engineer and musician in his own right, Danish-born Peter Stengaard is also respected for his continuing residency as a producer at RealSongs Studios on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. Owned by Diane Warren, regarded by many as the world’s most prolific and successful contemporary songwriter, RealSongs is now home to a hybrid A-Designs HM2 NAIL compressor thanks to Stengaardâ€™s request.
After seeing some favorable press on the NAIL, Stengaard contacted TransAudio Group’s Richard Bowman, who put him in touch with A-Designs’ Peter Montessi. “It all went bananas from there,” Stengaard recalls. “We met up here in L.A. and he let me try a bunch of his amazing gear in my home studio. To be honest, I was a little bit overwhelmed with all of these new boxes. I ended up getting a NAIL and REDDI [tube direct-inject box], which I’m stoked to have, and I’ll probably pick up a couple more things down the line.”
Stengaard was so pleased with the NAIL’s performance in his own studio that he told Warren her facility was in need of a good drum buss compressor. “Not that she really cares, though,” he laughs. “Diane is a brilliant songwriter with a fantastic ear, but she still prefers to use a cassette recorder to capture ideas in her writing room, so anything much more advanced than that really isn’t her cup of tea.” Nonetheless, Warren trusted his advice and approved the purchase, allowing him to keep his own NAIL permanently racked up at home.
It is Stengaard’s duty at RealSongs to take the basic demos that Warren creates and turn them into polished, radio-ready productions. This involves not only engineering and producing the pieces, but often times programming and performing all of the instrumentation himself as well. Thanks to his musical and technical talents, it is not unusual for Stengaard’s versions to serve as the final backing tracks for releases from artists such as Lindsay Lohan, Ashanti and Jojo.
Stengaard admits that the NAIL has already become an indispensable part of his productions, both at RealSongs and in his own studio. “So far, I’ve mostly used the NAIL on the drum and mix busses, but I’ve also used it a few times on lead vocal as well, which it handled superbly,” he points out. “I love having a wet/dry mix on a vocal compressor — and then you have two of them in one box since it can split completely and be a dual-mono unit. That’s really nice. Good compressors are like old friends, and the NAIL is definitely a new old friend.”
As for his new REDDI, Stengaard adds, “The REDDI on bass is a ‘must’! It adds enormous weight to the bass. Not many basses sound very full coming from a DI box, but something in the REDDI just makes my instruments sound huge! I also love it for guitar going straight into ProTools. I might have to haul my REDDI up to RealSongs when I do bass. It’s not the smallest DI in the world, but it looks cool, so people think it must be awesome, and it is!
“Both the NAIL and REDDI are solidly built here in the U.S. and very reasonably priced. It’s high-end stuff without an insane price tag.”
After studying for four years at the Royal Academy of Contemporary Music in Denmark, followed by a short stint in London, Stengaard moved to Los Angeles in 2005 and has since worked with the likes of The Pussycat Dolls, Donna Summer, Billy Ray Cyrus, Peabo Bryson, Ashley Tisdale, JC Chasez and Fantasia. He is also personally producing two fast-rising acts: L.A.’s Dead Rose Beauty and Denmark’s The Benefits. For more information on Stengaard’s current projects, visit www.myspace.com/peterstengaard.
A-Designs Audio is a boutique manufacturer of high-quality professional audio products, including the MP-A Series (all-tube microphone preamplifiers), Pacifica, REDDI (all-tube direct box), ATTY and ATTY2’D (passive line attenuators), EM Series (500 Series-compatible microphone preamplifier and EQ modules), HM2EQ HAMMER (dual mono, three-band tube equalizer) and HM2 NAIL (hybrid compressor). For more info, please contact A-Designs Audio at 818-716-4153 or visit www.adesignsaudio.com.