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AUG 18, 2019

Michael Ashby @ QUAD STUDIOS

Michael Ashby is a young recording and mix engineer with an incredible work ethic who has taken the blessing of great sonic instincts and leveraged it with dedicated study at New York City’s SAE Institute. After just a decade behind the console, Ashby has gone diamond due to the 10X Platinum hit called Bodak Yellow to his name and also became a Grammy Award recipient for the placement of Bodak Yellow on the Grammy award winning Invasion of Privacy Album. In the professional audio world he was also Nominated for “Recording Engineer of the Year” by the Pensado’s Place Academy. His highest-profile clients include Cardi B, Latoya Jackson, Fetty Wap, Zoey Dollaz, Hoodcelebrityy, Uncle Murda and more but Ashby’s passion for music and aptitude for recording and mixing have earned him a client list that numbers four-hundred strong. Ashby mainly operates out of his own private recording studio called The Krematorium, where he recently upgraded to a pair of ATC SCM25A compact three-way speaker monitors. The new ATCs allow's his talented ears to make risky moves with confidence and create mixes that reliably translate whether he’s mixing alone at a reasonable volume or in a room full of excited clients at a loud (i.e. less-than-reasonable) volume.

“I started out as a drummer, but I was lucky enough to become an audio engineer before I went deaf,” Ashby joked. Although he’s tremendously passionate about music, he is also refreshingly humble: “I kind of fell into engineering. It wasn’t something that I initially decided. People liked what I was doing, so I just kept doing it.” That said, once Ashby knew that engineering spoke to his heart, he had the good sense to formally train up and continued to work while taking classes at SAE Institute. Great work and excellent referrals kept his existing clients and organically networked him with new clients, many of whom were already big names in the music industry. “Things just got more and more serious over the years,” he reflected.

With that growing seriousness and Ashby’s own deepening knowledge and experience, he figured it was time to elevate his monitoring situation. “I wanted to listen and evaluate using the same tools that my favorite mix engineers use,” he said. “I’m inspired by engineers like Jaycen Joshua and Manny Marroquin who's done everything from [Beyoncé, Jay Z, Future, Tyga, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Dej Loaf, Ariana Grande etc.], and he recently started using ATCs in the past few years. In addition, I saw a pair of ATCs in Craig Bauer's new room [Kayne West, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, etc.], and I also have a deep respect for his work. So, there I was, seeing different styles of music, different engineers, and the same monitor company. I looked into ATC and learned what a lot of other highly-respected engineers were saying about ATC’s midrange clarity and translation.”

Now several months in, Ashby is more than satisfied with the upgrade. “I can use the ATCs to be super surgical or I can use them to bump,” he said. “I can listen in depth by myself, but sometimes I’m forced to do a rough mix when the room is filled with people. The ATCs let me satisfy the client while still giving me the clarity and balance I need to deliver an effective mix. I think it’s important to point out that they aren’t dangerously flat-sounding. They’re really fun to listen to, but everything I do still translates. For monitors to sound great and bump in the room but still translate perfectly outside the room… that’s everything to me!”

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