International Producer & Mixer Phil Greiss Gets Dangerous with Zaho

Worldwide Hits mixed on Dangerous Music 2-Bus LT at Down Lo Studios, Montreal, Canada

Edmeston, NY – One way to tell what’s popular in music today is to see what’s popular in videos on the web. With over 2.3 million views, the online video for “Hold My Hand” by Sean Paul with Zaho — mixed by engineer Phil Greiss — is certainly a popular destination for listening, and with good reason since its star Zaho has a diverse international following. For the past 5 years Greiss, an award-winning composer and platinum producer and mixer has used the Dangerous Music 2-Bus LT analog summing amp for mixing many hit singles and has recently added the Dangerous Monitor ST for speaker control. Greiss says, “The entire Zaho project was done with the Dangerous 2-Bus LT — we’re talking many singles from the album, totaling about 30 million views for the videos on the web in all. I love plug-ins, and I love the sound and feel of analog. I’ve never been very good at compromising, and fortunately Dangerous Music gave me the tools so I don’t have to!”

Greiss’s Down Lo production company released the Zaho album “DIMA” (Down Lo/EMI). Zaho, an Algerian-Canadian R&B singer living in Montreal, Quebec where Greiss has his studio, spawned an international hit from “DIMA.” The song “C’est Chelou” moved up the charts to number 2 in France and the album became a best seller for EMI.

Describing the use of the Dangerous 2-Bus LT, Greiss says, “There is a definite soundstage that is established by using the 2-Bus LT. You get that same sense of space when working on large format mixing boards. You just don’t get that feel with numbers and processors mixing In-the-Box – it’s just something else. I don’t think there’s a word for it, you just have to listen to truly hear it.”

Having mixed on an analog console, and then digitally In-the-Box, Greiss finally graduated to the Dangerous 2-Bus LT for analog summing, “What I feel the big difference is between working In-the-Box and with the 2-Bus LT is the EQ decisions I make. I find them extremely less drastic using the 2-Bus LT. You can get a quicker sense of dimension with the 2-Bus LT, even doing simple balances — elements seem to have their own place. You end up with a quicker, bigger mix and retain a more natural, less processed sound. The summing of electric currents in analog is not the same as the summing of numbers In-the-Box. I don’t know how to explain it, but I can hear it,” says Greiss. With the 2-Bus LT he notes, “The louder elements float in front of the quieter elements, whereas in the box, there’s none of that going on, it’s very flat.”

He also uses the Dangerous Monitor ST to control speaker volume and switching between his Focal Twin6 and Yamaha NS-10s, “The Monitor ST is an amazing monitor section. I am able to work at many different volumes, especially lower volumes, for long periods of time. It’s very clear. Even at lower levels I can definitely hear that I’m working on the same mix: the same as if it was a bit louder, or really loud. The balance never seems to change and the imaging does not collapse when I turn it down low. There’s a world of difference from my previous center section monitor. The Monitor ST has been really helpful for making accurate decisions at all stages of the recording and mixing process.”

Delving deeper into what he likes about the Dangerous Monitor ST, Greiss says, “The clearest difference between what I used to use for monitoring and the Monitor ST, is that when you are doing automation on a vocal — you want to do that at a low level to make sure the vocal always stands in front — I can still hear the mix on the Monitor ST: I don’t hear part of it, I hear everything. I hear the kick drum, the bass. The balances are really well preserved at low levels on the Monitor ST.”

For getting the low-end right Greiss has a set-up for the Dangerous 2-Bus LT. “It’s definitely quicker to get workable low end with the Dangerous 2-Bus LT than mixing in the box. I’ll have the kick and bass on channel 1 and 2 on the D-to-A and I’ll mono that on the Dangerous 2-Bus LT. Then I’ll do a bit of EQ inside the box using plug-ins. Extremely quickly I’ll get something that’s coherent, without fighting as much as I used to mixing In-the-Box,” says Greiss.

Greiss uses plug-ins on the final stereo audio that comes back into his system from the Dangerous 2-Bus LT, and monitors ‘post’ A-to-D to also get a sense of what the A-to-D sounds like as well, “The output of the Dangerous 2-Bus LTs are going into the A-to-D of my Lavry converter, and my Lavery goes into the computer. I put some plug-ins on that master track — compression or whatever bus processing I want — then I monitor from the Lavery D-to-A through the Dangerous Monitor ST,” Greiss explains.

Visit Phil Greiss’ production company Down Lo at: http://www.down-lo.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/philgreiss for more information.

Also visit Zaho’s artist page at http://www.zahomusic.com/ and check out the hit video “Hold My Hand” by Sean Paul and Zaho at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us3O44yMzXM

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