Mike Fraser's name is as synonymous with recording and mixing records as Fender is to the guitar world. The artists he has recorded and mixed are a veritable A to Z of the who's who in music, ranging from AC/DC and Aerosmith to Van Halen and Zeppelin. Mike’s killer ears and easy-going manner have established him as a legendary mixer in many genres of music.
“Fraze”, as he’s affectionately known by his musical cohorts, has been the man behind the scenes with classic rockers AC/DC, mixing and producing dozens of projects including live CDs, DVDs and remastered original records. His other credits run a wide gamut of genres, including working with Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith (Pump & Permanent Vacation), Metallica, Elvis Costello, Slipknot, Franz Ferdinand, Chickenfoot, Norah Jones, Buckcherry, Joe Satriani, The Cult, Blue Man Group, Biffy Clyro, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Mother Mother, Enter Shikari and Terri Clarke.
Need to know what to what Mike uses in the studio? Vintage King hooked up with Fraser and talked about all things gear. Check out some of his favorite pieces of studio equipment below:
1. Empirical Labs Distressor
Overall great compressor. You can dial in any type of compression that you need.
2. Neve 1081 Mic Pre/EQ
I especially love these EQ's for guitars and drums.
3. SPL Transient Designer
A great tool for reshaping sounds that need a little extra help. You can add the transient back in, or shape the sound to have a little more "roominess".
4. API 550 EQ
An excellent sounding EQ. For me it works best on guitars and drums.
5. Lexicon 480
Very versatile effects unit. You can build just about any room sound you're looking for.
6. EMT 140
For plate reverb there simply isn't anything that compares.
7. Lexicon PCM 42
Awesome sounding delay.
8. Universal Audio Blackface Compressor
Great on just about anything. Vocals, bass, drums.
9. Sontec MES-432D12 EQ
Very clean and transparent EQ.
10. Yamaha NS10M speakers
I've tried many near field speakers, but these continue to be my main work horses. It's hard to get them to sound good, but when you do the mixes sound great everywhere else.
11. Avid/Digidesign Pro Tools
Hey, I love tape. I work on tape when its appropriate, but let's give it up to a solid DAW. The converters have come a long way. They pretty much capture what you give them. PT is a tool and you just have to get in there are find ways to work. You can't deny the great advantages it provides and it just takes time and a lot of experimenting to get sounds out of it that have the same harmonic content as a purely analog system.
12. Rupert Neve Designs 5042
Good little distortion box. One thing that computers and plugins really struggle with is non-linear systems and good distortion is one of them. If you work in the computer, it is helpful to have a selection of boxes that overdrive in pleasing ways.
13. Magnatone Amps
The true pitch vibrato is an essential tool for making things rub the right way. I put a lot of different things through it.
14. Chandler Ltd. TG1
Room sounds, toms. I recently got a great mono piano sound. Also a great distortion box in THD mode.
15. Coles 4038
Overheads, guitar ambiance, percussion.