Julie Perez records and mixes the bands that appear on NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” show. And she does so using Apple technology and products such as
Pro Tools, according to an Apple Hot News
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a guy from one of the bands run in here mortified after a performance because he hit a wrong note or screwed up somewhere in the song,” she told Apple. “It’s great to be able to go, ‘Oh, yeah… I caught that. But I already fixed it in Pro Tools.'”
In Perez’ live band control room, a Power Mac G4 runs the Pro Tools rig. She also uses a Power Mac with a Cinema Display at home, and a Titanium PowerBook, for her own creative endeavors.
“I love the
stuff, like Reason and Rebirth, and I love
Ableton’s Live, Perez told Apple. “I use it to create cool drum loops.”
She immerses herself within the sounds of the bands she works with. Usually, she’ll get a tape of a scheduled band just a few days before the performance. Perez will put the band’s songs into heavy rotation at home. By the time the band steps up on stage, Perez is ready to handle the mix.
After studying music engineering at the University of Miami, Perez headed to New York City. After about 10 years of mixing for television at NBC, she landed the job of mixing live bands for the Conan O’Brien Show.
Every live performance that Perez mixes is recorded and broadcast. Since a live on-air television mix done by Perez is heard by a very large viewing audience, it’s crucial to get it right.
When it comes to prep time, Perez often uses the excuse to go see the band perform live. “Besides, I like getting put on ‘the list’ to see their shows,” she told Apple.
Perez uses a Sony Oxford console with various effects and signal processors on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. “I have to have a wide assortment because the bands I mix are quite varied,” she told Apple.
The console is rigged with up to 48 tracks of ProTools for recording the mix, and mastering for broadcasting. After some video machines caught fire, the studio decided to move her control room further away from the video and live stage areas.
“The bass was kind of carrying into my room anyways,” she said. “But the best part about the mishaps is that we’re now finally going to upgrade to ProTools HD and revamp the entire control room. I can’t wait!”