NATICK, MA, September 21, 2020 — Mike Elizondo is among music’s most versatile talents, with credits ranging from 50 Cent, Eminem and Mary J. Blige to Carrie Underwood, Twenty One Pilots, Ry Cooder, Fiona Apple and beyond. He credits his versatility in part to his history as a bass player: “Being a bassist first, I think, gave me an advantage in my work. It trained my ears in a particular way, to hear the big picture, support the ensemble, listen to the drums and singer, and when to trim the fat, so to speak. And I think it also got me thinking in terms across genres, whether it’s jazz, rock, R&B, or something else. Not every producer is an instrumentalist first, but for me I think it’s shaped the way I approach this work, and it’s led to some great projects and successes in my career.” Recently his path led to a relocation from L.A. (where he was based for over 15 years) to Gallatin, TN – just north of Nashville, where he now lives and works in a 5000-square-foot state-of-the-art studio. And a key component of his new setup is his pair of W371A Smart Active Woofer Systems and 8361A Smart Active Monitors™ from Genelec, which he sourced through Vintage King in Nashville.
Elizondo has been a Genelec user for years, having previously relied on a pair of 1031’s for much of his work. So when he reached out to a trusted friend who has his finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest audio products, and the friend recommended Genelec 8361A monitors and the W371A systems for the new space, Elizondo did not hesitate to commit. “I ordered them right away, ‘sight-unheard,’” he laughs.
Elizondo is particularly fond of Genelec’s GLM software and the AutoCal protocol, which automatically calibrates the monitors for a room and allows for multiple adjustable sweet spots as presets. “Currently I have three sweet spots set up in the control room that I can toggle between – one for my main position, one at the client sofa behind me, and one at a sidecar workstation, where I do some programming work on another rig at the side of the room. I can push a button, and it feels like the Genelecs are right in front of me no matter where I’m positioned. It’s a game changer. And with clients, to be able give them the sweet spot where they’re already seated – that can really help keep the flow of ideas going, rather than stopping everything to say, ‘hey, come sit in my chair and hear what I’m hearing.’ AutoCal is like magic.”
And he’s been putting the new setup to good use, with new projects from Lake Street Dive and Twenty One Pilots in the works, as well as a major country artist. “I try to put a high level of polish into everything I work on, so even if it’s at the pre-production stage of a project, it can sound like a final mix when it leaves my facility. The combination of the Genelec 8361A’s and the W371A’s really let me apply that level of professionalism to this music, so my engineer and I know that what we hear is accurate and will translate across different setups and speaker rigs and car stereos. I’m proud to be able to offer that level of detail in what I do, and Genelec helps make it happen.”