Top FOH engineer Kevin Madigan (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Smashing Pumpkins, Ray LaMontagne, Lucinda Williams, Eels) is drawing on his experience with Waves plugins as live FOH engineer for CSN, and applying lessons learned on the road to the studio, using Waves tools to record and mix Graham Nash’s new album at Village Studios in Los Angeles.
Kevin notes, “My experience using Waves plugins on the road has given me in-depth knowledge of them. It’s kind of like how in years past I would get used to my favorite hardware pieces and know exactly what they could do. Now, with Waves, I can consistently have great versions of them available everywhere I work. My needs in the studio aren’t always that different from what I do live. The process that helps me create a great live mix can translate very well to the studio, where I often go for the same favorite plugins. When I know from my live experience what I want something to do sonically, I’ll already have a good idea of how to use it in the studio as well.”
On his favorite Waves plugins, Kevin adds: “Waves keeps making great new plugins. Now that I’m in the studio, I’ve discovered more of the Waves Abbey Road Collection: Reel ADT, REDD, TG12345 and J37 – they’re all really fantastic! The RS56 had already been getting good use on the road. I’ve also been using the recently released Waves dbx 160 – thanks to Waves for that!”
He continues, “Crosby, Stills & Nash play live with a spectacular collection of guitars, and we’re blessed to have some very special players, great acoustic guitars and fantastic guitar techs who know how to set them up well, with the best-sounding pickup systems I’ve ever heard. The guitar tone is deep, rich and crisp before I do anything to it – even more so in the studio when recorded with a U67 and C12. If there’s any dynamic control necessary, a Waves CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter does the job. For these studio sessions with Graham, my favorite Waves plugins are the Waves CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter on vocals and acoustic guitars, the PuigTec EQP-1A on vocals, the PuigChild Compressor on bass, the Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor on the drum group, and last but not least, the Waves X-Noise, a sonic problem-solver par excellence.”