Bob Bullock, Engineer/Mixer/Producer, New West Productions/Cool Springs Mix
I couldn’t be happier with this room (Cool Springs Mix studio, located in Nashville, Tennessee). I said to you guys earlier, but if I just came here to listen to music that’s been recorded to enjoy it, that would be enough for me to have this room. Then being able to work in here (laughs), it’s just icing on the cake, I guess. I mean that sincerely, because I just love it.
This is the Carl Tatz Signature Series by Auralex. I have friends, clients, people that love music, they come and sit down here, it gets to the point where I actually have to kick them out. It’s funny, but it’s true. When you’re in rooms like this, you hear music and things you grew up with, people will sit there and go, ‘Wow!’ It could be a Led Zeppelin recording or Whitney Houston – ‘I never heard that part before, I didn’t know it was there.’ They get more and more engulfed in it.
For me mixing, I just find consistently I get good feedback. What I hear in this room, I know it’s accurate. I should share some of the emails I got from long-distance clients about my mixes.
I moved to Nashville. I had a pretty good sound system in my home in California. When I moved to Nashville, I worked in a lot of different studios. It was very difficult to feel that if I went home to listen to something, I knew what I was doing, it was difficult to figure out what I was really hearing from the studio I was working in.
For most of us, the excitement and vibe in working in those rooms was always there. But I’d get hired to come in and mix a project for someone and like my first day ever in that recording studio mix room, I had to have a finished mix. There’s a lot of pressure to that because rooms vary. There’s a low incorrect, what are the mids, the highs, the RT. Are you going to end up with something too wet because the room lied to you about how wet or dry it was?
That’s what started the whole dining room. The dining room started off with Carl selling me on the fact, assuring me that he could make a really accurate playback room. At the same time – I forget what year it was now, might’ve been 2000 – the digital technology and the price point for things that people were already doing a little bit of mixing in the box, wasn’t really up-to-par for me at that point.
But I started thinking, well I could do an overdubbing here if I needed to, starting to go along with that. Then I saw I could probably mix a few songs for them here in the box, you know, the technology was getting better. I kind of went back and forth between using commercial studios and using my studio mostly as a playback room.
Then we moved the studio upstairs and made that a more proper mixing room – I call it a ‘dream room.’ That’s when I really made the commitment that this was going to be a mixing environment and happy to mix it at home and the technology was at a place where I’m pretty satisfied. When I moved into this location, this home, we moved most of what we had.
This room, I was even more fortunate, it’s a 12-foot ceiling which is a bonus. The fact that this studio is over garage space, it turned out to be an asset, I think. Whatever is going on here, Carl Tatz was able to make this room even more accurate on the imaging and the accuracy of the low end. It was a subtle difference because I was pretty happy with the dream room. But I think this even took it to the next step.
Using all the Auralex products, not only does it look really good.... I felt, that was the other thing, when I made a commitment to mix at home, I didn’t want to just throw together some panels and here I am mixing. I have clients who expect a lot.... Well everyone expects a lot from me. Every project I do, I don’t think there’s any room to miss. It’s their dream. I’m trying to help fulfill their dream, their creative dream.
I wanted the studio to look really good also, to be functional but also look professional, look pleasant. I wanted people, even if they just saw pictures of my studio, to say, ‘Well he’s serious.’ This is a beautiful room, and this looks also like we’d expect state-of-the-art to look like, and it’s extremely functional at the same time.