Recording and mixing

Matej Gobec, producer and sound engineer

As with most people in the business, Matej Gobec, a producer and sound engineer from Ljubljana, Slovenia, discovered the magic of music in a school band during his teenage years. Soon, the guitar was replaced by the Front of House mixer, which then led Matej to the studio from where he was able to further follow his passion. Matej says that music should have a deeper message, far different than the current mainstream content. “It is an artform that speaks the language of the universe that’s why we should be more responsible when creating it,” says Matej.

Now, together with his partner Matej Pecaver, he runs RSL Production Studio in Novo Mesto – the largest private recording facility in the former-Yugoslavia. The studio offers a 140 sq.m. live room, three smaller booths, and three control rooms. The control rooms are built around a Solid State Logic 9000J, a Soundcraft 3200, and a Midas Venice 320 mixing consoles. They are complemented by a great variety of analog and digital outboard gear, as well as some boutique hardware and custom designed plugins for digital control over analog gear created by Distopik. A major part of the monitoring is dedicated to Amphion studio monitors.

“Getting out of your comfort zone is the secret to a successful project,” says Matej.

Challenging himself with each new task is what motivates Matej to move forward. And it was exactly the case with one of the recent productions Matej worked on – a live recording of the Slovenian martial-industrial band Laibach together with a full symphonic orchestra. The complex session with 110 tracks was recorded on multiple Alesis HD recorders synchronized with an Avid desk. “We have used close DPA microphones for the orchestra, two omni mics for the ambient recording and Shure Beta 58As for the choir. The band used their standard mics for live performance,” says Matej as he explains the initial part of the project.

“My approach in the mix was first setting the ambient level in the right position, getting proper clarity for the lead vocal and the drums, and then I added the orchestra,” says Matej. Having summed a few groups on his Midas Venice desk, he added some analog touches to the sound with a Shadow Hills mastering compressor, SSL mix buss compressor, and Black Box Analog Design saturator/ tube harmonic exciter. “I used also Thermionic Culture Phoenix mastering compressor for the orchestra. The rest was done in the box,” continues Matej. As he is also Laibach’s FOH engineer, Matej was fully aware of the desired result, which then enhanced his approach with the mastering. “It was a real pleasure to mix and master this project on Amphions simply because they offer such a detailed representation, great depth, and imaging. The translation makes this recording sound perfect even on a small smartphone’s speakers,” says Matej.

“Translation is definitely the key, and I do not know a system that has a translation as good as Amphion’s. Actually, when you are mixing on the Amphions all post-playing speakers become your Amphion,” Matej says. He states that he is really happy with the work of his acoustic designer Nenad Patkovič, and admits that the great acoustics together with Amphion studio monitors converts the whole room into a perfect sweet-spot. “The sweetspot is actually all over the place. When I have clients in a session, sitting behind my back, they hear exactly what I am doing and they never ask to sit on my chair,” says Matej.

RSL studio live room

It was in a studio in Italy when Matej first met Amphion studio monitors, of which he had previously heard positive comments.

“I fell in love with them, actually they are so beautiful, that I fell in love even before hearing them,” says Matej. “But the real test was when I mixed my first record on them. I could not believe what I was hearing.”

Matej mixes with confidence on his Two18 studio monitors and BaseOne25 system, stating that they even cut the process shorter, saving him considerable working hours. His partner Matej Pecaver is also using a pair of Two18s, while another BaseOne25 system is already on its way to Slovenia with one more pair of Two18 is in their short-term investment list.