Mixing it up with Hit Maker Michael James

Michael James - Producer, Engineer, Mixer, Chandler Limited

Michael James, Producer/Mix Engineer

Shell Rock, IA – AUGUST 2015 … Chandler Limited, recognized globally for signal processing and related music and audio products that deliver the classic analog sounds recording and professional musicians seek, serves as the backbone for mix engineer Michael James’ hybrid production system.

Veteran producer/mix engineer and Chandler Limited user Michael James’ discography boasts a diverse group of artists, some highlights include: New Radicals, Hole, L7, Edwin McCain, Robben Ford, Far, Jawbreaker, A.J. Croce, Cathedrals, and The Coronas.

Michael’s recent work has taken him into the Latin arena, where his mix of Kalimba's hit single "Estrellas Rotas", from the album Cena Para Desayunar (Sony Music), continues at #1 on Mexico's Pop radio charts for the fifth consecutive week.

While mixing "Estrellas Rotas", as well as "Nada Puede Herirte" and "No Volveré" from the same album, Michael relied on his Chandler Limited Mini Rack Mixer as a key component of his multi-buss workflow for its classic British rock flavor. Michael also employed his Chandler Limited Germanium Pre Amp/DI units for re-amping bass guitar and snare drum tracks.

In addition to the aforementioned Mini Rack Mixer and Germanium mic preamps, Michael's arsenal of Chandler Limited gear also includes two Germanium Compressors, Chandler’s guitar pedals, the Little Devil Colored Boost and Germanium Drive.

Michael’s quite busy, mixing 200-250 tracks annually. With that type of workload, Michael really had to consider flexibility, process, workflow, and sonic aesthetic when putting together his system. James’ system harnesses both Digital and Analog equipment for maximum impact. At the center of his hybrid mixing setup is the Chandler Limited Mini Rack Mixer. The busy engineer gave us some insight into his setup and why he chose the Mini Rack Mixer as the centerpiece of his rig.

In Michael’s production system, the main outputs of three separate transparent 16x2 analog summing mixers (which effectively become three stereo sub-mixes or busses) are summed together using the Mini Rack Mixer because, according to Michael, "It imparts a classic British flavor while providing massive headroom. I like the sound of the mixer best when the main output is set to seven. Depending on how hot you drive the inputs, you can really make the unit sing—it can purr or growl. With proper gain staging, I can mix a pristine orchestral record at 6.5 or a crunchy face-melting joint at 7.5 on the dial. 7.0, however, is a sweet spot that always works for me, regardless of genre, when the needle on the VU meters bounces around zero to +2-3 dB."

Over the years, Chandler Limited’s recording equipment has become a staple with hit makers and home recording enthusiasts alike. To that end, we’re always curious about why our users choose Chandler Limited, and Michael had this to say, "I'm drawn to Chandler products because they have a character that reflects Wade Goeke's colorful personality while paying tribute to the classic designs that defined my favorite records as a kid. Plus they are bulletproof and reliable — I never need to worry about a breakdown during the mix process."

For more info about Michael James, or to listen to his new soulful instrumental guitar album, ‘Marchesano’, visit