Producer and engineer Julian King has worked with a who’s who-list of country legends and rising stars including George Jones, George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill, and Sugarland.
His engineering on Faith Hill’s crossover sensation Breathe earned King a Grammy, and in total, his work has sold over one hundred million units.
Shortly after moving to exclusively in-the-box mixing, King found Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in, and he has since used it on almost every single channel of each and every mix he’s done.
Recently, he picked up Metric Halo’s Production Bundle of plug-ins and is discovering that a full-course of Metric Halo’s “musical” algorithms and intuitive, results-oriented interfaces will be a benefit to his mixes and workflow going forward. “I’m very fortunate to be a busy guy, but I don’t work 24/7 – I’ve managed to still maintain a life outside of the studio,” King asserted.
Although he admits to working the occasional eighty-hour week, he also frequently enjoys taking time off to play golf or to go on outings with his wife and children.
“I have duplicate rigs at home and at Loud Recording,” King said. “I’m able to work flexibly, but perhaps more importantly, I’m able to work quickly. I only use tools that are musical and intuitive.”
When King first entered the business in 1987, he was mixing on large-format analog consoles with everybody in one place. These days, everybody’s traveling and it’s nearly impossible to get everybody in one place.
In response to that trend, King made the move to exclusive in-the-box mixing about six years ago. That way, if he can get everyone involved in one place, they can complete an entire album in a day or two by tweaking his nearly-completed mixes.
If he can’t get everyone together, he can post files and dial in the perfect mix via iterations of comments and corrections.
“I have a default preset on the ChannelStrip that I created with the most common compression ratios and EQ center points dialed in, but with the threshold all the way up and the EQ flat,” says King. “It’s very quick and intuitive, and it’s easy to get musical results very quickly. That said, it’s also easy to dig in and make more fine-scale changes.
“It offers flexible processing and a flexible interface. I can see as much or as little detail as I like.” He continued, “Of course the sound quality of ChannelStrip is awesome. I wouldn’t use it if it didn’t sound great. It doesn’t impart any unfortunate side effects to the signal. It’s transparent unless I want it to add some color.
“It’s a bit like a great offensive line – it’s in there day-after-day doing a critical job but it doesn’t get a lot of glory.”