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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Anthony Leung

Anthony Leung

Producer, Mixer, Sound Engineer
Crypt Studios

Anthony Leung is building quite a reputation as one of the UK’s production and sound engineering  rising stars. Resident at the Crypt Studios in Crouch End, North London, Anthony loves his vintage keys and axes, and his Aston Spirits – especially in ‘Omni’ mode…

Jamie Cullum, James Bay, Bear’s Den, Clean Bandit, Frank Turner
Anthony uses:
Spirit
Halo
The journey to the Crypt

“Looking back at how I got into music, I suppose a lot of my life choices have always pointed in the direction of music, but it still sometimes comes as a bit of a surprise that it actually happened! I was (gently) steered into learning the piano and violin by my parents at a young age, and whilst I might have grumbled a bit as a teenager, as I got a bit older I realised how much fun music could be!

I studied music at Uni, and after discovering sound recording in the third year, enrolled on the 1 year diploma course at SAE London. Straight out of my year’s course and after sending off loads of letters I managed to get an internship at (the now LA based) Sphere Studios in Battersea; I remember my first taste of large scale was one of the Nigel Wright-run X Factor Sessions - about 20 musicians all in the room playing 2 minute cutdowns of pop tunes, orchestrated on the fly by Neil Sidwell in the control room.

Following that I moved to Livingston Studios where I was an in-house assistant, and later engineer up until it was sold to Miloco. Around the time I started engineering sessions also started freelancing at other studios in London, usually having been referred by previous clients or music friends… I do feel like the studio engineer network in London is pretty small - Facebook in particular shows how many people know each other! After Livingston, a chance encounter with an old friend led to me moving in and setting up my kit at the Crypt Studio in Crouch End (I used to have a HD3 rig and outboard set up in my bedroom to mix projects!), and I’ve been based there ever since…. whilst continuing to scamper around London on various projects.”

Butterflies and Big Trees

“My main tracking setup is still based around a HD3 rig, hooked up to the Amek Big desk at the Crypt, with various bits of outboard I’ve accumulated over the years. With making music, I do find it imperative to start off with good source sounds in the room - if it doesn’t sound good to start with, then you’re going to be fighting uphill at any and every point of the recording process afterwards.

In terms of instruments, we have a lovely selection of vibey keyboards at the studio- a really characterful Broadwood grand that we rescued from a school in Cambridgeshire, a butterfly Wurlitzer piano, an EP207 Wurly (which is like a Rhodes suitcase so it has speakers underneath) and an 88-key Rhodes Stage. And not to forget the lil’ M102 Hammond with baby Leslie.

I’ve also accumulated a bunch of guitars, my faves being my ‘69 Gibson slot head EB0, and (also ‘69) Gibson B25 acoustic. I was also fortunate enough to acquire a really great sounding 64 Ludwig Super Classic kit… admittedly it was an impulse purchase, but I’m still really glad I got it… although it might not have made too much fiscal sense at the time! I suppose in that same boat is my Audio Kitchen The Big Trees pedal amp, which I love!”

Letting the talent talk

“I own two pairs of Aston Spirits and a Halo reflection filter. I remember the first time I put the Spirits up on the grand piano at the Crypt, being really impressed by how ‘there’ the sound was - just really balanced, with a good amount of presence and weight. I think at the time I was mic’ing up the piano with 4038s a lot, as I didn’t really have a stereo pair of LDCs that I liked, so it was great to hear a more modern sound that wasn’t overly bright (which was my main complaint with the 4400s I occasionally used). I’ve also taken them out with me on location a lot - they are reassuringly well built, and I feel like I can really rely on them performing every time.

I was really impressed by the reflection filter this one time a film crew had to do an impromptu voiceover in the live room. We only had a really small window of time to do it in, so I just threw it up (as our vocal booth was full of camera kit) and had the talent talk into it but was so impressed by how dry and direct the resulting VO came out.

I’ve been using my Spirits quite regularly in their omni pattern as ambience mics on sessions at the Crypt. I used them for the strings on Clean Bandit’s ‘Rockbye’, on the drums for Haken’s ‘Affinity’ and ‘Vector’ albums, piano room ambience for the forthcoming Bear’s Den album, and they were also the main piano mics for Gavin James’ album ‘Only Ticket Home’ (engineered by my friend and colleague, George Perks I’ve also taken them out with me on location recordings for Freya Ridings at the Hackney Round Chapel, Union Chapel and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, as well for new Manchester band, Larkins.

I like how the Spirits are quite understated - they just quietly and confidently do their job!”

Out-takes

Q. Who are your favorite artists?
A. Some of my favourites over the years have been Blake Mills, Mocky, Vulfpeck, John Mayer, Phoenix.

Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. I think I might have pursued some kind of food related career- it’s my joint favourite thing!

Q. What would your fantasy mic be? 
A. Hmm… probably something that had switches to sound like a U67 or a U47, but had a price tag like a SM58!

Q. What are the 4 words you’d chose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A.
Reliable, True, Robust, Workhorse

Jamie Cullum

James Bay

Bear’s Den

Clean Bandit

Frank Turner

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