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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Dan Scott

Dan Scott

Audio Engineer, Sound Designer
Dan Scott

In any given year more than 175 million individuals worldwide experience Dan Scott’s audio engineering and sound design artistry. His work with Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Company, ABC and Fox Network, to name but a few, is a part of many of our day to day lives. Yep, he also has an Emmy Award for his recording and mixing of Disney's Broadway Hits at The Royal Albert Hall!

Walt Disney Entertainment, Walt Disney Imagineering, The Simpsons, Lucas Films, Cartoon Network, ABC, Fox Network, Ubisoft, MTV, ESPN
Dan uses these Aston products:
Origin
Spirit
Starlight
Halo
Ahead of the curve

“With most of my family being musical in one way or another the good money said I may find myself choosing a musical path, but I would never have thought I could go from playing trumpet in the school band to mixing a Disney performance at Royal Albert Hall…

In the early years I was convinced I wanted to be a music teacher until I saw all the crazy stuff they had to put up with aside from actually teaching. My dad used to be a Navy communications specialist so computers and technology were always ahead of the curve in the our house (I remember being very confused how we switched to Windows 95 in 1994…). I think that’s what drove my decision to get into the Recording Arts as a way to pursue my love of both music and technology. It was between university in Toronto or Orlando, both of whom had a course focused totally on recording and not performance. I won’t say the MAIN tipping point was my wife’s aversion to the mixed showers in Toronto, but whatever the reason was we relocated to Orlando - which turned out to be a master move.

I had a great post-production teacher at Full Sail who had also worked for Disney and put me forward to become an intern with the Disney Music Department. I was an amazing intern, if I do say so myself, with my mentor Dan Fontana of Ty Fy Studios and the wider Disney team pulling me in to session constantly. I was told to keep coming until they told me to stop…which they haven’t yet!”

Proximity = Opportunity

“In our line of work, a lot of success comes down to being in the right place at the right time, or as we say: “Proximity = Opportunity”. I was given the opportunity to join Ty Fy Studios as part of Dan Fontana’s team, supplying the inhouse Walt Disney Entertainment mix engineers and sound designers. The guys at Ty Fy are an amazing group of individuals that operate the studios at the Roy E. Disney Production Center in Orlando with a list of clients second to none worldwide; a total dream gig.”

Ty Fy are responsible for music and audio production for Disney Parks and cruise liners all over the world. Dan and his colleagues will often mix and master on site, usually at night when there are no visitors and during quiet periods on the ships.

The team will typically be working on extremely complex projects like ‘Rivers of Light’ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, requiring multiple channel mixing and multi-point surround sound playback. Sound to light, sound to vision and dynamic time delays on moving set pieces are all part of a day’s – or night’s – work.

For such location assignments the team have fully portable Pro Tools HD rigs, while back at HQ in Orlando four studios plus several edit suites are equipped with Avid, API and SSL Duality consoles, Genelecs and Pro Tools systems throughout.

Sound effects, Foley and voiceovers are also frequently captured on location, and this is where microphone choice is critical.

Spirit just gets the job done!

“In my world we have our universal go-to utility microphones that we’ve used forever, but the truth is I’ve come to realize they don’t always pair very well with a lot of our preamps. The Aston Spirit just works on pretty much everything; voice over, instrumentation or group recording. Spirit just gets the job done!

In addition to their usual duties as instrument mics (which they’re awesome at!) the Starlights have made a great addition to use for Foley and sound design. Their super linear off-axis response makes for really natural distance decay and the voicing options can totally transform an otherwise dull sound and make it sit back or cut through a scene straight off the mics. I would use them even more if I could just stop lending them out to everyone who wanted to try them!”

“One of our other engineers also came up with a setup using the Halos [Aston reflection filters] for an ESPN commentary session (and you thought they were all live...ha!). We have always had a problem with one of the commentators being crazy loud next to an analyst who is way quieter. The Halos being setup between them cut at least ~10db of bleed from her mic and made it way easier to edit and clean up in post. Kind of a bizarre use but they worked out really well.”

Out-takes

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?

A. The big sound and proximity effect of a nice warm tube, like a Telefunken 251, in a tiny dot clip microphone.

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

A. 

Hip, forgiving, awesome people, organic sound & look (I know it’s more than 4 words!).

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