Recording and mixing

Passion, love, and fun are usually among the first words that come to mind when talking about Italy. Strangely enough, these are the three must-have fundamentals seen as the keys to successful projects – according to Michele Canova Iorfida, an Italian producer, songwriter, and engineer.

“PASSION is everything! Loving the songs and the artists you’re producing, believing you can strengthen them with your knowledge! And more than everything, having fun,” says Michele.

Michele Iorfida, producer, songwriter and engineerComing from Padova (Padua), one of the oldest cities in Northern Italy with a history dating back to 10th Century BC, Michele spent his teenage years at the violin and piano lessons at the Conservatorio Pollini. This continued until he discovered electronic music production, purchasing an Atari ST with Notator, Akai S900, and a Roland D-10, as he was stunned by the infinite possibilities of electronic music.

Michele has started making a living in audio production from the early 90’s, though his real success came about 10 years later with the release of the first album of the Italian pop singer Tiziano Ferro – selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. Ever since, he has received multiple awards and nominations, while working with a few generations of iconic Italian artists such as Adriano Celentano, Gianni Morandi, Jovanotti, Eros Ramazzotti and Biagio Antonacci.

During the last couple of years, Michele has been traveling back-and-forth between Milan and Los Angeles – where he recently found residence at The Fab Factory working under the same roof as Dave Pensado. Just as he did 15 years ago with Tiziano Ferro, in LA he is mainly working with new-and-upcoming artists such as Alma (‘Karma’), KT Tunstall, and co-writing some tracks with Daniel Powter. Some of his most recent projects include composing for the violinist Robert Mendoza (Published by DECCA), as well as producing a track for the upcoming release of Fernando Varela’s recording with Deutsche Grammophon.

Even though Michele is located in LA, it is business-as-usual. “Depending on the projects, I’m still recording, arranging, producing, or mixing by myself, or splitting these tasks between my great collaborators: Pino “Pinaxa” Pischetola, a mixing engineer extraordinaire; Patrizio “Pat” Simonini, a young and upcoming mixing engineer and producer; Christian “Noochie” Rigano, a great producer, songwriter and keyboard player; and Alex Alessandroni Jr. – an awesome musical director, piano player and composer,” says Michele.

What has changed, though, is that extravagant modular synths are no longer regularly included in his production as they were from 2011 ~ 2014.

“Now it’s more about creating different approaches to different projects. I love virtual instruments too! I have a big collection and I find myself creating full songs with VIs, especially during writing sessions,” shares Michele.

Michele Iorfida studio

Entering Michele’s studio is rather incredible experience as you face a wall of 60 unit custom-built Euro modular synthesizer, a 5U Macbeth synth, and a Moog Model 15 Synthesizer. And that is just for openers! A number of high-end microphones such as Telefunken USA U47 and 251, Schoeps CMC5 and Neumann KM184 feeding mic-pres like Manley MIC MAID, a mix between the pre section of a Heritage Audio 1073 and the EQ section of a 1081, as well as a LaChapell 992EG. The studio-picture is completed with the likes of Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor and Analog Tube AT-101 Stereo Compressor/Limiter. A collection of bass and guitars, a few high-end keyboards, and some beat machines round up the brief studio tour.

“I learned very soon in my career that knowing and trusting your monitors is essential,”

says Michele, who dedicates the monitoring in his studio to a pair Augspurger Duo8 monitors with Sub12 and a pair of Amphion Two18 with BaseOne25 system. He shares with us that his previous room was not adequately acoustically-treated, and he needed monitors that would “overcome the limits of the room”.

With the Amphions “I was instantly able to mix again my records without worrying too much about room acoustics,” says Michele.

“Jared from Pro Audio LA was kind enough to let me try in my room the One15, One18 and Two18. I really liked them all and for a period of time I had both the Two18 and the One15 in my previous studio,” continues Michele.

“After a lot of speakers with over-hyped frequency response, I finally found a balanced and trustworthy monitor system! I recently added the BaseOne25 to my Two18, and it is a great addition. Simply extending my frequency range in an unobtrusive way,” says Michele.

He adds that according to him Amphions are a “great mixing tool”, saying:

“I can mix faster now and in even from my very first mix with them, the translation to different systems was superior!”

Maintaining a steady performance schedule, with at least a couple of albums in Top Ten for almost a decade is not just a matter of expertise and tools. It is a driving passion and love for what you are doing, and Michele’s work is the living example of this.

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