MALIBU, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 2008: It was a long, hot, busy summer for Aurafonic Records, the label established by multi-award-winning Latin music producer/composer KC Porter and production/composing partner Sebastian Jacome, with many major album projects completed and others scheduled for the upcoming months. Jacome, a graduate from the Berklee School of Music, and KC Porter worked together on Ozomatli’s Grammy-nominated, “Don’t Mess With The Dragon.” Says Jacome, “KC was one of the engineers and producers of that album. I programmed the beats, played some guitars and arranged some strings – a little bit of everything” Porter, alongside Robert Carranza, Serbhan Ghenea and John Hanes, was recently nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category for the recording.
Many of the projects at Aurafonic Records span several types of music, but regardless of the genre, Jacome relied heavily on Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip equalization and dynamics plug-in. “Everything starts when I insert ChannelStrip in the track just to listen to it. I don’t listen to a track unless there’s an instance in it. I really like how ChannelStrip evens out the dynamics. Even when the compression is set to the minimum it makes everything smoother,” reports Jacome.
In fact, the Metric Halo plug-in is Jacome’s go-to compressor on every single project. “I use every plug-in made, but ChannelStrip is my compressor of choice. I’ll use ChannelStrip, then maybe go out to the Summit, then the Manley or the dbx or whatever,” he explains. “We have a Digidesign D-Control and an SSL summing amp and a nice set of outboard gear at KC’s studio, but ChannelStrip is always the first step when compressing – and sometimes it’s the only one.”
According to Jacome, one reason that he uses ChannelStrip so much is that it is very CPU friendly, allowing multiple instances to be inserted simultaneously. For example, he explains, when he was mixing a recent album project for Nashville-based jazz singer Rachel Price, for which Porter had tracked a large string section, “I had ChannelStrip on every single microphone input – something like 48 instances. But it worked perfectly and never had a hiccup.”
He also enjoys ChannelStrip’s sound quality: “It’s very musical. I especially like the high range – above maybe 10kHz. It has a lot of air.” The ability to save personal favorite settings has proved useful, he continues. “I have developed my own banks that I use for drums. I have maybe six or seven presets for kicks, four or five presets for snare, and a couple of presets for overheads and room microphones. Plus, I have maybe four or five presets for vocals.”
Jacome is currently working with a true Latin music legend, Lucho Gatica. “He’s the Latin Sinatra. He’s 80 years old this year and he’s sold over 40 million records.” Gatica, who is the uncle of multi-Grammy Award-winning engineer Humberto Gatica, is a major worldwide star and has been awarded the highest civilian honors in Chile, his birthplace, and Mexico, where he made his home for many years.
On November 7, Lucho received a lifetime achievement award from the Latin Grammys and in 2008 he will receive a star on the famous Hollywood Boulevard. Jacome and Porter are producing a duets album for Gatica that will feature some of the biggest names in Latin music.
Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and hardware.