This week’s featured user is a very talented engineer who has worked with and remixed some pretty talented artists & producers; most notably Gary Barlow, Susan Boyle, Nelly Furtado, Leona Lewis, Seal & Coolio (Yeah…he remixed Coolio!) Gobbler world! Meet Ren Swan!
How have you integrated Gobbler into your workflow?
I have used Gobbler to deliver Protools mix sessions when I have finished working on them. Lately, I am also having Gobbler constantly on and backing up whatever I am working on at the time, especially if the project was sent by a client who is not attending the mix; that way, if they want to make changes or re-look at a part or a comp or whatever, all the data are already up and it is an easy and quick thing to update stuff and get on with the job! I’m relatively new to Gobbler still but can see it becoming an important part of everyday working … I want it to become my audio interface with the outside world; receiving data and delivering mixes as well as backing up and collaborating during the process.
Tell us a little about your background in the music business/audio….
I always knew I wanted to be a recording engineer. Luckily, soon after I left school (and through a friend of a friend who knew I had a little 4-track studio in the basement of my parents house and that I was into recording), I was able to get an interview at the nearest good studio to where I grew up. I started as a tea-boy at Ridge Farm Studios (a well known and fantastic residential in Sussex, sadly now closed) and worked my way up to assistant then house engineer. I had 3 amazing years there working with some incredible artists – it was really busy and I was the only assistant so I ended up living there … One summer, Trevor Horn arrived with a load of amazingly talented engineers and programmers and 3 lorries full of kit – Synclaviers, Fairlights, Sony DASH machines and loads more I’d never even seen; I was used to one 24 track Studer and some mics! I decided then that I wanted to work in London and the following summer I managed to get a job at Sarm, Trevor’s studio complex in Notting Hill.
I eventually became a house engineer at Sarm – there were 3 of us and we were all working flat out all the time – I think I was lucky to be at Sarm when I was (early nineties up until about 1998). I did a lot of Dance stuff, as well as the pop Sarm was known for, and made lots of friends there that I still see and work with regularly.
I went freelance about 12 years ago and here I am!
What is your favourite record at the moment?
Tricky … so many!
I’ve been listening to The National’s new album a lot and The Destroyer by Low … I like the new Bon Iver LP, I’m always listening to The Band – their records sounded too good … I’m trying to get everything that Zoot Simms ever played on … The Cassandra Wilson album that T-Bone Burnett produced … anything involving Dave Fridmann … anything mixed by some of my favorite mixers … Simon and Garfunkel … I recently read a great book about the studio side of Sinatra’s career so I’ve been listening to all that stuff again recently but armed with more technical insight …
If you were on a desert island and could take just a few pieces of gear, what would they be?
With nothing to record? Anything with a Spotify account … If there were some musicians marooned too, then a pair of AEA 440s (the best ribbon mic I’ve ever heard), some nice Preamps and an Ampex 1/4″ to record to … Maybe a 140 plate would be handy … and a TG12345!
I suppose Protools because that’s the one I use, but they all seem to do the job … It’s what comes out the speakers that matters!
Give us a situation where Gobbler has saved the day and/or a time when you could have really used a software like Gobbler?
The last ten years! I wouldn’t have fancied using Gobbler with a dial-up connection though …
What is your Website/Twitter/Anything you want to plug?
I’m mixing the new Susan Boyle album at the moment, which everyone simply must listen to! My website isn’t finished yet; It’s on the list of things to do …