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June 3, 2020

Knobs, drums and sounds. Chat time with Emre Ramazanoglu.

Multi-talented songwriter and engineer, Emre has worked with Lily Allen, Sia, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft, The Prodigy, Tricky, Mark Ronson, Shakira and many more.

When did you find out about Acustica plugins?

I was intrigued for a while, but a good friend of mine, Jack Ruston, recommended I try them so I downloaded Aquarius and installed some trials of Purple, White, Cola, and Taupe. My mind was blown and I’ve never looked back.

Do you mix ITB or hybrid?

I’ve always been ITB! I do use some analog tape process on the mix bus sometimes, but I’m very comfortable ITB. I genuinely never choose to mix on a console.

What kind of approach do you adopt when mixing or producing for big artists like Noel Gallagher, Sia, or Shakira?

Well. Regardless of the artist, I pretty much always start with trying to understand what the vision is for the track. Often some references are really helpful in contextualizing their intention, but sometimes it’s just them wanting me to do my thing. Underlying my approach is a desire to make their fantasy for the track a reality. The details of doing that are not really in my mind in this initial phase at all.

How do you tackle complex projects mixing-wise?

I try to simplify as much as possible. I am also pretty firm on starting where the production left off, so I’ll always request a fairly comprehensive set of stems or the active session from the producer.

I will mix large groups of separate parts together (like 8 clap layers making one clap part for example). I often work largely from the wet stems or use the producer's processing in the session unless there is a major issue with it that stops the mix from coming together.

I use a rigid color scheme for different types of instruments/sounds and that’s a VITAL part of managing a big (200+ tracks) session.

It’s important for me to reiterate that I am trying to get the bigger sessions down to a manageable amount of tracks. I’m super happy to commit as much as possible and get the bigger picture happening and connecting with me.

So, as a hitmaker, would you say you can mix a hit record from the comfort of your home studio?

Without doubt. You can mix a record on headphones on the beach if you really want - mind the sand in your beer though! [Laughs]. If you can get the best feel possible from the record with the most irresistible sound, you’re winning!

Acustica plugins are a massive part of this for me. I’ve said before that using them isn’t LIKE using the gear it IS using the gear.

I find I have to use so much less processing and am finishing mixes much quicker using these plugins.

During this lockdown period I have actually been mixing from my bedroom and it really wouldn’t have been the same experience without Acustica Audio.


You're also a talented drummer. Did drums have an impact on the way you mix? 

I think it makes a huge difference. I’ve been obsessed with pushing the sonics of acoustic drums since I was really young.

Dealing with a really powerful full-range instrument like drum kit definitely helped make me aware of issues in mixing generally as well as being familiar with the physical power of drums which is something I don’t like to compromise on and that attitude works great for a lot of music I mix!

When was your first gig as a pro?

I was drumming professionally from 17, but one of the first studio gigs on the other side of the glass I can remember was probably vocal editing for Shakira or programming for Jim Abbiss. I didn’t go down the assistant route, so that period in time is a bit murky when trying to recall it!

What is the secret of your success?

I think a lot of it comes from my attitude of ‘It’s THEIR record, not MINE’. This isn’t something I am super rigid about, but it’s often a good starting point. Respect the artist's vision even when it isn’t clear, recognize when their vision is YOU having huge input and vice-versa.


Back to home.

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