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Tiago D'Errico in his studio that's equipped with a Flock Audio PATCH XT digitally controlled analog patchbay.

Flock Audio PATCH XT Facilitate’s Mix Engineer Tiago D’Errico’s Hybrid Workflow

Digitally controlled analog patchbay at his Los Angeles studio helps the Grammy-nominated engineer/producer bring together the digital and analog worlds.

Grammy-nominated mixing engineer and producer Tiago D’Errico has designed a hybrid setup for his own studio in Los Angeles that allows him to bring together the digital and analog worlds, utilizing a Flock Audio PATCH XT digitally controlled analog patchbay as the centerpiece of that workflow.

From a young age, it was performance rather than production that came first for D’Errico. “I fell in love with production after a band I was in got the chance to work on a record with Roy Thomas Baker,” he says, referring to the storied producer whose credits include records with The Rolling Stones, Queen, and Journey. “He’s a genius, and just watching him work and seeing the way he thinks about making a record was fascinating. I was asking a ton of questions throughout the process, and in a way he became my mentor.”

D’Errico next landed an internship with producer Rudy Maya, who exposed him to a very different style of production: “Rudy was Rihanna’s producer, and working with him was the complete opposite of Roy. I got to see how he works in the digital domain to get that pop sound.”

With an appreciation for the differing production styles, he sought a way to build a hybrid setup for his own studio that would allow him to bring together the digital and analog worlds. Prior to acquiring the PATCH XT, he garnered significant notice for his mix work, which became the focus of his enterprise.

“For the past eight years, 95 percent of what I do has been mixing only,” he says, and although he has retained a collection of prized outboard hardware throughout his career, industry changes began to impact his ability to utilize his favorite outboard in his mixes” “The speed of production was getting faster and faster in the industry, so I had to deliver mixes faster, too. Unfortunately I started relying less on the outboard gear that I loved for years because of that. I just couldn’t have the speed and recallability that I needed. That’s why the PATCH XT blew my mind.

“With the PATCH I still have all the benefits of working in the box, but I get to incorporate all of the gear in my studio,” D’Errico continues. With the PATCH APP DX control software loaded on his desktop and iPhone, he can now drag and drop hardware connections like plugins within a DAW, as well as save and recall his routings. “If I know that a certain EQ would be fantastic on an 808, and I wanna try it, I’ve got PATCH APP already up on my second monitor and with one click it’s in the chain, just like a plug-in would be. No getting up to go get a patch cable and plug it in.”

While the free PATCH APP Classic app that comes bundled with all Flock Audio hardware includes the routing, saving, and recalling options users need, D’Errico employs the premium PATCH APP DX that incorporates additional functionality. “In the past, I would never touch any of the knobs on my gear because I was afraid of recallability,” he says. “I had four FET compressors and each one had a different setting that it was always set for.

“With PATCH APP DX it’s just so easy to tweak and recall,” he continues. “I just save a photo on my iPhone, upload it to my routing in PATCH APP DX, and when I recall my routing on the desktop app I know I’ll have all the information I need. If there’s a picture, the app will let you know when you pull up the routing, which is really handy. And as a result, I’m experimenting more with my own gear and getting more out of it.”

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