This month, I’m honored to be the co-host a live talk as part of AES’ Platinum Panels series. The first of these interactive discussions is “Creative Engineering: The Studio As an Instrument”, a panel that brings together four of the busiest and most innovative engineers in the business to talk about the creative applications of recording technology.
Co-moderator Janice Brown and I put our heads together to come up with a dream-team of recordists and mixers. Each had to have a unique background and a knack for crafting compelling new sounds. Luckily, each of them said yes Panelists include Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT); Peter Katis (The National, Interpol); and Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Prodigy)
Rounding out this panel is Chris Shaw, a man who’s recorded some of the most iconic artists from the golden ages of both Hip Hop and Alternative Rock.
Originally a guitar player, Shaw got his start in audio as a teenager, dismantling and looping tape cassettes in homage to the “Frippertronics” style popularized by both Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. He soon enrolled at NYU, and continued learning the trade as an intern and assistant.
Shaw first made his way to the engineer’s chair with hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest and Public Enemy. He quickly began to diversify, picking up Alternative Rock clients including Ric Ocasek. Bad Brains, Weezer, Soul Asylum, Meat Puppets and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, before scoring engineering and mixing slots on two critically-acclaimed albums with Bob Dylan.
While some of our panelists are known for their unorthodox approach and extreme sonic manipulations, Shaw keeps our panel grounded in reality with his penchant for working quickly to capture performers at their best.
Although he learned his craft in NYC’s flagship multi-room studios, Shaw has begun to favor mixing in his new home-based studio. We caught up with him to find out what’s on his mind in advance of the conference.
You’ve recently made a big switch by taking your mix work home with you. How’s that transition been?
It was mostly an economic decision, but it turns out I really enjoy it…