Music flows through the veins of composer, producer, musician, and engineer Julio Reyes Copello. The Columbian native has earned numerous Grammy nominations, a Grammy win, nine ASCAP Awards, and wide international recognition. He has worked with industry luminaries such as Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado, Ricky Martin, Taylor Dayne, and Marc Anthony, among many others. In the past four years, at least one of his songs has appeared on the Billboard Lists’ Top Ten. He also produced the recent album for the French superstar Florent Pagny. Copello maintains a well-appointed studio at his Florida residence that is used for tracking, mixing, and post-production. After years spent in a frustrating pursuit of the sonic image he had in his mind, the recent additions of a TUBE-TECH SSA 2B summing amp and a TUBE-TECH SMC 2B stereo multi-band compressor have made mixing “in the box” everything he had ever hoped – the silver sonic bullet (or, rather, the blue sonic bullet!)
Copello was no stranger to TUBE-TECH’s analog, tube-based, processors. “I’ve recorded tons of vocals, including those of Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado, with the TUBE-TECH CL 1B compressor,” he said. Copello co-produced Lopez’ 2007 Como Ama Una Mujer, in addition to writing its first single, “Qué Hiciste.” He produced vocals for four songs from Lopez’ follow-up, Brave. Copello wrote and produced the vocals for the Spanish versions of Nelly Furtado’s “All Good Things (Come To An End),” “Try,” and “In God’s Hands” from her album, Loose.
Copello’s studio centers on a Pro Tools HD rig with Pro Control. A Neve 1073, a UA 6176, a Focusrite ISA 110 Limited Edition, and a Manley VOX VOX provide a variety of preamp textures. His trusty TUBE-TECH CL 1B provides single-channel compression. An SSL X-Rack loaded with two preamps, two compressors, two EQs, and one master bus compressor round out an enviable collection of outboard gear to complement a similarly rich collection of high-end plug-ins.
It wasn’t until Copello worked on the latest release from German rockers Reamonn that he caught a glimmer of what might be possible with greater TUBE-TECH presence in his home studio. “We worked at Studio A of Trixx Studios in Berlin,” recalled Copello. “They had the CL 1B, which I was familiar with, but they also had a PE 1B equalizer, a MEC 1A recording channel, and a SMC 2BM mastering multi-band compressor. I was hooked 100% on the blue!”
“For me,” he continued, “mixing is the process of pursuing a sonic image that I have in my mind. Mixing inside the box was always very frustrating. I tried very hard, but I was never able to fully match that mental image. The dynamics, spectrum, low-end, and mid-range were never what I hoped for.” Copello connected the sixteen analog outputs of his Digidesign 192 interface to the SSA 2B summing amp. The output from the SSA 2B feeds the SSC 2B compressor before returning back to Pro Tools.
“It’s amazing, but all I have to do is plug the TUBE-TECH units in and everything sounds instantly better,” he enthused. “It’s like magic. And all of the issues that I fought so hard against are remedied – the dynamics are pleasing, everything sounds balanced across the spectrum, and both the low-end and mid-range sound natural and real. With those two units, a world of possibilities has opened up and mixing is much more enjoyable. Even my plug-ins sound better!”
The new TUBE-TECH units have already been used on Marc Anthony’s forthcoming album, Iconos, which features two of Copello’s original songs. The TUBE-TECH CL1B single-channel compressor delivered the vocal sound that Copello had come to expect. Between his home studio and Anthony and Jennifer Lopez’ New York studio, the new TUBE-TECH SSA 2B and the SMC 2B made mixing “in the box” everything that Copello had ever hoped it could be.
“I just want to say that this has been my best investment in years. These units were THE missing pieces in my recording chain! Adiós to millions of frustrations,” he concluded. “The art of pure and happy sound is here – WOW!