Matt Sepanic may be one of our newer instructors but he’s definitely no less accomplished. He has produced and recorded such bands as Slipknot , Stone Sour, OSI, The Envy Corps, Murderdolls, Roadrunner United, Puscifur, Marilyn Manson, Radio Moscow, Dirty Little Rabbits, Damage Plan,Bonne Finken and countless others.
He’s also worked on TV work for HBO, MTV, the shows “Entourage“, “Real World“, commercial work for Ford, Dodge and audio work on movies such as “Resident Evil”
What’s your desert island mic?
First I would need a guitar on this desert island. So I could create music still. But for the hypothetical. I’d want a u47 and a C-12 because I guess I’m allowed to in this question (Editor’s note: Matt likes to bend the rules, like any good forward-thinking producer/engineer). But we can get a lot done with a 421 and a 57 on the the other end of the spectrum
What piece of audio gear can you not live without?
My ears! Killer gear is great and all but , nothing is as important as knowing how to listen and being able to depict and create the sounds you want to hear. And how my client wants it to sound
Whats’ your favorite piece of outboard gear?
I’m not a favorites guy. But I do love the Zener compressor/ limiter. from Wade Goeke at Chandler Limited, he’s the only one who has the rights to remake the EMI gear. It’s a remake of the classic RS114 and RS168 limiters with a few extras wade built in. Otherwise. A 1073 with an 1176 is as rock n roll as it gets!!
Your favorite plugin?
I must say that the Universal Audio plugins are some of the best plugins I’ve heard. Compression is the weakest link in plugins and their 1176 and 33609 break that rule, they are the best representations I have heard.
What was your first big break?
I just work hard and enjoy what I do. And am honored to be allowed to work on anyone’s music . So every chance I get to record someone is a big break to me. The size of the merit never matters at the end of the day. This is the coolest thing to consider a job. I have worked a lot of gigs over the years. And doing concrete is one I always use as a balancing point if things feel like they are getting rough. I feel very blessed to be able to consider this a job. My time working with legendary producer Andy Johns is a moment in my life I’ll never forget and carry near and dear to my heart. Also, the fact that I started at a time when we still used analog tape for everything and pro tools was brand new.
Part of our job was to get the best out of each player, not just record it and fix it in post. This gives me a knowledge base and a perspective that is becoming rare.
I hate that, as an industry, we are starting to make records like making fast food. We are losing touch with music having a definable sound for each project
Advice for new engineers?
1. Never forget you are working on someone’s art I never lose sight that someone is entrusting me with their baby. This is a very personal thing and must be taken seriously
2. Chase the art and sounds, not the person who made them . Always keep these things separate.
3. Your ears and mind are the best tool you will ever have in this business, the fancy, expensive gear is worth nothing if you can’t hear the difference or know how to use it.
4. No plugin will make you and your work great!!! A great performance, recorded well, is still how we achieve unforgettable recordings.