13 Questions with

Doug McBride

Mercury Recording Equipment Company’s 13 Questions

01 When did you know Music was more than a hobby or dream job and was going to be your “career”? Was there one thing that made that happen?

When I was like 18 I was really depressed after a breakup. Nothing could console me but writing songs and recording them. I locked myself in a room with my 4 track cassette recorder and lost track of time.

02 What aspect of music are you known for (i.e. engineer, mixer, producer, musician)? and What do you do that most people do NOT know you do as well (music related or not!)?

I'm probably best known as a mixer. I'm fortunate to have a some talented producer / engineers that send me mix work. But for the past 4 or 5 years I've been spending a pretty good amount of my time mastering – sort of on the "down low", as I got my mastering room tuned and outfitted.

03 What is your musical ”guilty pleasure”?

Gearslutz – I like to be the smart aleck and put on my flame suit!

04 What do you think is the most important thing is to get a great recording? What stage of a recording is most overlooked?

A great mix can sometimes make a song "happen" for the first time – though certainly not always! I've received songs with phase problems with the drum tracks – phase seems to be increasingly overlooked.

05 Who do you admire in the recording world (engineers, producers, mixers etc...) and why?

My wife and I went to the GRAMMYs a few years ago and ran into Ken Scott and his lovely wife. I was always a big fan of Ken's work, but what I was most impressed with his (and her) having kept a marriage together for 20 or so years in LA! From what I've observed, that's a minor miracle!

06 What are your feelings on TAPE vs. DAW?

I'm an analog guy, but I've come to prefer transferring to PT for vocals and mixdown. However, I use the DAW more like a tape machine at mixdown. I'm not into plugins. I think, for rock music at least, that mixing "in the box" is just a travesty.

07 What new Artist/Group is in your “player” right now? What Artist/Group has always been in your “Top 10”?

A Chicago band called Filligar. I had the pleasure of working with them recently – very cool band. I think The Replacements have always been amongst my favorites.

08 What generation had the best music and/or recordings? and/or What generation’s music do you connect with the most?

I think the 70s recordings may have sounded the best, but for music – I'm a product of the College/Indie/DIY bands of the 80s (although the recordings weren't always so hot).

09 You get to have one mic for vocals for the rest of your career, what is it and why?

My U67 – Bill Bradley did a very nice job with it and it has a very 3D midrange.

10 When did you first hear of Mercury Recording Equipment Co.? What was your first experience using Mercury Equipment?

I have known David from Mercury since 1997 or so, when he was repackaging the Vintage V72 modules at Marquette Audio Labs. I've always considered David an authority on the 'V' modules from that era. After owning, and being disappointed with, a pair of poorly racked V76s (not racked by MAL)... I heard the Mercury M72s and ordered a pair straight off.

11 What piece(s) of Mercury Equipment do you own or have you used? What applications / sessions have you used it (them) on?

I've got the Mercury M72s and love it. I set it up on vocal for Ed Kowalczyk, from the band Live, last month and we all loved it. Also it's soooo nice on bass, drums and room mics too.

12 What are your overall thoughts on Mercury Recording Equipment? And please describe Mercury Recording Equipment in 5 words or less.

It's easy to EQ, I hate tracks that are harsh, Mercury stuff just won't allow that to happen. 5 words, how about: BIG, Smooth, 3D, Rich, and Euphonic.

13 What has been you most rewarding experience in the studio?

A few years back I produced a singer / songwriter named Rachael Yamagata. One of the songs we did was called "Collide". Michael Brauer ended up mixing the song for her first EP, and called me up with some compliments – that felt great coming from him!