Ale Gaiotto

Multi-Hit Engineer Gaiotto Gets Great Results Fast With Sonnox

With a Latin Grammy win, multiple Grammy nominations and 4 hits in Brazil's current Top 10 Charts, engineer/mixer 'Gaiotto' is a perpetual hot commodity. Working with top Latin artists such as Djavan, Caetano Veloso, João Carlos Martins and Maria Gadú, he brings his unique skillset to the table for each and every production. We spoke to him at his home studio in São Paulo about how Sonnox plug-ins contribute to his multi-hit track record.

How did you get started in the business?

My father is a pianist. I started playing drums when I was eleven. When I was seventeen, I moved to São Paulo to go to audio school. I discovered my passion for audio, mixing, and production. For several years I worked in studios, but then I decided to build my own room. So now I'm working with American country songs but in a Brazilian style. It's quite popular, and I work with the best artists in this genre.

In 2012, I won the Latin Grammy with the album "Chitãozinho & Chororó - 40 Years - Symphonic" in the category "Best Country Music Album" and in the same year with the album "O Canto da Sereia - Regina Benedetti" in which I did the mix and master, I was nominated in the category "Best Engineered Album". Having my own room helped me develop my sound, and supported my evolution as an engineer. The more you mix, the more you learn, and you develop techniques that help make great sounding records.

You currently have four top ten chart hits, that's quite an accomplishment!

Thank you, yes, I do, and also seven in the top 200. I've been fortunate to have multiple chart placements in the past, but four in the Top Ten is a special event.

What DAW do you work with?

I have Pro Tools, but when I mix, I use Cubase.

How did you hear about Sonnox?

When I was in school, the teachers used Sonnox quite a bit. It was my first contact with Sonnox - they are quite famous down here in Brazil. They have a special sound, where you can just listen and hear how good they are. Just turn off the monitor and use your ears!

Which plug-ins do you use in your mixes?

I'll start with the Oxford EQ. It's very fast, easy to use, and sounds great. With just a few clicks, I have the result I'm looking for. Everything you need in an equalizer you have right there in the Oxford EQ. Also, the Oxford Reverb is one of my favorites. There's the option to make a big studio sound, or a small one, to add early reflections and make it as dry or wet as you want. I love reverb on guitars with the early reflections, but the rooms sound great on drums. Also, I can tune it by using the EQ inside the reverb itself.

What do you use for dynamic control?

I use the Limiter all the time, on most instruments - it's top tier! It's great because it never squashes the sound, and that's important to me. Like with a snare, you can hit it without squashing the transients, and I love that. I use the Oxford Dynamics a lot as well because there are three types of compression. And, I use the Expander on drums, which works better than gates. Sometimes, in my style of music, we have a lot of ghost notes in there on snares, and when I set up the Expander, I don't have to mute them. It works perfectly. Also, I like the Warmth feature, especially on electric guitars.

Which other Sonnox plug-ins do you use?

The SuprEsser I use to get control over the 2 to 3 kHz area which I call the 'radio frequency', and of course top-end sibilance. I use the TransMod on acoustic guitars, drums, and even vocals - just for a little pump on the voice, it works great. But I use it on bass as well, as it helps to give more definition and attack on the bass in the mix.

I also turn to the Inflator all the time. Once I had a producer tell me the acoustics on the left and right weren't loud enough. All I did was put Inflator on the group, and he said, "Wow, what did you do?" It was the Inflator - just a little click and it works. It's just a little plug, but the sound works. It's amazing.

With the Sonnox plug-ins, you will not see beautiful pictures of vintage equipment, however you listen to beautiful and powerful sound, which is what really matters.

You can get great results, fast, with Sonnox plug-ins. They are simple to use, sound great and really help me with my mixes.


Interview and editorial by Rich Tozzoli