As one of the top audio engineers in the business, Dave Natale has been the front-of-house engineer for a who’s who of artists, including Yes, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Lionel Richie and many more.
He currently mixes shows for The Rolling Stones, but when he’s not on the road you can find him at Right Coast Recording, which he established in 1990.
One of the factors that has made Right Coast Recording one of the oldest and well-equipped recording studios in central Pennsylvania is Natale’s commitment to making sure that nothing goes into the studio unless it sounds right.
The most recent component to pass Natale’s rigorous test is Harman’s Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle, which he recently selected as his reverb software.
“I’ve relied on Lexicon since my days in the early 1980s working for Clair Brothers Audio on a Yes, Tour” said Natale. “We must have been one of the first sound companies to use the Lexicon 224, Lexicon’s first digital reverb that became an industry classic. I memorized the manual.”
Since then, Natale has gone from the 224 to other equally revered Lexicon hardware offerings, such as the 200, 480L and the PCM80, 81, 90 and 91, which he still uses today on tour with The Rolling Stones with Clair Global.
Natale is impressed with Lexicon’s move from hardware to software-based reverb processing. “To my ears, because of the quality and consistency of their algorithms and the sounds they’ve delivered, they’ve made the leap with complete success,” he said.
Natale’s appreciation of the Lexicon components is based on his in-depth understanding of the complexity of reverb. “I think what impresses me the most about Lexicon is the fact that reverb is the hardest thing to model and get to sound right,” he said. “There are too many parameters. When you think about how complex real-life reverb is, with all its variables and decay characteristics, you start to realize how hard it is to make really great-sounding reverb units.”
Needless to say Natale had high expectations when he decided he needed to hear the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle. He said that while there’s nothing like the sound of Lexicon hardware processors, it’s hard to beat the convenience of software plug-ins. “Now that I’ve had a chance to work with the PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle I can tell you that it’s equally impressive and I’m hearing the same quality as I’m used to from the hardware,” he said. “We have been using a 224 and a PCM 70 at Right Coast and I’ve worked with many other Lexicon processors, and the Plug-In Bundle absolutely meets the level of quality I’m looking for.”
Bobby Gentilo, engineer at Right Coast Recording and manager of the studio’s day-to-day operations also considers Lexicon an essential sonic tool. “I trust Lexicon,” he said. “The reverb we’ve always relied on in the hardware has translated nicely to the software in recent years. We work with a variety of artists including some with very critical ears who aren’t shy about telling you what they do and do not like. Lexicon reverbs always pass the test with our clients.”
“Dave is not only one of the most talented audio engineers out there today, he is also one of the great people in our industry,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast for HARMAN Signal Processing. “ It’s a great feeling to knowing that whether he is out on the road with some of the biggest names in music or in his own studio, Lexicon is an integral part of his work.”