Grammy Award Winning Mixing Engineer Thomas Juth
Jason Mraz to Tinchy Stryder, Thomas has mixed it all! He loves his Curvebenders, takes inspiration from the The Beatles and is also a psychology enthusiast. We catch up with him to find out what he has been up to.
Can you share with us what you're working on at the moment?
I just finished mixing some songs for the new Tinchy Stryder album, and I'm about to start working with this very talented artist from New York, called Sir Magnus. I’m also working on a number of other singles from various artists which I will be able to share with you soon and, apart from mixing, I've also been working hard to update my website.
What's your favorite stage in the music production process (mixing, recording, touring...)?
Even though I enjoy both recording and mixing equally as much, the majority of my work (over the years) has been mixing. I guess I’m a better mix engineer than a recording engineer; it has naturally become my niche... it's what I'm known for. However, this year I have started doing more and more mastering as well, something that I’m really happy about. I have always been very passionate about mastering, and I really enjoy analyzing and enhancing other people's mixes.
Favourite piece of gear you used recently?
My favorite piece of gear is probably the Chandler Curvebender...it just sounds amazing, especially on the stereo buss. My favorite piece of hardware is probably Chandler gear in general, especially the Curvebender and the Zener limiter. Wade’s gear just sounds amazing - it has a very unique tone, however, I also love the API 550A EQs and Distressors (for compression). Personally, I think the API 550A has a very exciting and unique top-end air-band, and it can open up any dull recording.
Let's talk influencers. Any other producers, songwriters or artists that you're inspired by?
The Beatles (along with producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick) have always been a big inspiration. Listening to those records always inspires me to be more creative and to think outside the box. In terms of more modern engineers/producers, I really admire the work of mix engineer Tony Maserati (who I had the chance to assist when I was younger). Tony’s mixes always sound so exciting and smooth, and somehow very dynamic, even though they are as loud as other people's mixes.
How did you first start mixing music?
I started off working as an assistant engineer at Mayfair Studios and Kensaltown Studios in London, assisting and learning from other engineers and producers. I was eventually given a chance to mix an album myself, and soon became the in-house mixer for producer Martin Terefe. This gave me a golden opportunity to learn the art of mixing, and to dig really deep into it. For the next 7 years I was constantly mixing songs, always under a lot of preassure, which I think is the best way to become really good at your craft.
Name your bucket-list piece of production equipment
- A strong Mac with UAD plugins
- Chandler TG1/Curvebender
- An EMT 140 plate
- A couple of vintage 1176s
- A bunch of API 550 EQs
Is there a piece of gear you no longer have access to that you miss when it comes to making music?
We used to have this rare old Fairchild 658 spring reverb at Kensaltown Studios, and it was the coolest sounding spring reverb I have ever used. It's one of those pieces of equipment I often wish I had access to but sadly, they are rare to find. Another special piece of equipment that I had access to at Kensaltown was this old Studer 8-track machine, which Yusuf (Cat Stevens) kindly lent to us. It was one those unique bits of kit that I ended up using a lot mainly because I loved its sound and also because it is possibly one of the best tape machines I have ever worked with.
Finish this sentence: If I wasn't producing music, I'd be...
Working as a psychologist. Psychology has always interested me - I often find myself spending a lot of time reading books on the subject.