Known for his breakthrough production work on albums by Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and others, Michael Wagener still maintains a ferocious pace of producing new bands and conducting sold-out recording workshops both here and abroad.
Wagener’s Nashville-based WireWorld Studio is constantly booked with a variety of new projects encompassing bands from different generations.
“They play the usual melodic hard rock kind of stuff,” explains Wagener. “We’re always busy these days, I’m working with Jerry Gaskill, the drummer from King’s X on his solo album; Lordi, a hard rock band from Finland (Michael produced their new album To Beast Or Not To Beast);
“the debut album from a New York band named Tempt; Station from NYC, and Marija, an amazing singer from Canada who’s recording her third album with Shadowstalk. It’s crazy right now, but a lot of fun.”
If that wasn’t enough, Wagener has been holding in-depth 7-day workshops at WireWorld where he has bands and engineers from all over the world come in and record a track from the demo all the way through final mastering. He’s also been doing workshops in France and throughout Europe.
As he explains, “the workshops are for everyone from young up and coming engineers to older, more established people who are still trying to figure this stuff out and get better.
“The sessions are very informative and cover everything you need to know in great detail, especially microphones. We’ll put 10 mics on a snare to see which one works best for the sound they’re looking for. We do the same thing for vocals and guitars. There are attendees from all over the world and there’s plenty of information exchanged between students because things are done differently in each country.”
A longtime supporter and evangelist who has turned a generation of young engineers onto Adam Audio, Wagener still relies on a pair of Adam S3X-Hs for WireWorld’s main room.
“I’m very happy with those, and I have Adam A7s upfront in studio B, and the S3As, my first pair of Adams, in the listening room in my house. I’ve had the S3X-Hs for about two years in my new studios and I like them for so many reasons.
“First, I can listen to them forever and not get fatigued. When I take my mixes outside of the studio, they always sound exactly the same as they do in the studio, which is important. I don’t use alternative monitors, I just have the S3X-Hs, that’s all I listen to.
“My Adam sound very detailed and they ‘dissect’ my mixes so I can put stuff in the right places. When I take the mix outside of the studio, it sounds very nicely glued together and it’s the same mix on any speaker system.
“Sometimes it even sounds better than it does in the studio, and that’s exactly what I want. I don’t have to listen to it in my car or other rooms, then go back and change it. Once I’m done with the mix in the studio and I like it, it’s done!
“I also use Adam whenever I can overseas,” he concludes, “but it often depends on what’s in the studio. For the workshops in France, I told them I wanted a pair of S3X-H’s, they got them, and the sessions I brought for the class sounded the same as they did at WireWorld!”