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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Dante Lattanzi

Dante Lattanzi

Producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist
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Dante Lattanzi
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Caelum Music Production

Dante Lattanzi cut his teeth as a teenage funk, punk and indie/rock drummer, sharing stages with bands like Green Day, Fishbone, The Pharcyde and Jane's Addiction. Now he runs Caelum Music Production, his studio in New York, which houses a growing collection of Aston mics…

HBO, Lexus, The Wood Brothers, Shemekia Copeland, Dr. John, Troy Ramey
Just keeping up

"Music is my entire life. At 3 years old I was on an acoustic piano we had in our apartment back in Queens, New York, and I just started picking things up by ear. At about 3 and a half, my parents put me in some sort of competition against 10-year olds, amazing pianists doing their thing, and I was just keeping up. I got into it and never stopped.

I moved to California at 13. I was in and out of bands as a drummer and touring from a very early age. At 16 I was in a band reminiscent of Fishbone, meets the Red Hot Chili Peppers, meets Rage Against The Machine. It was super fun, we got to share some amazing stages with some great acts! Green Day, The Pharcyde, Jane’s Addiction…just some unbelievable stuff.

Sometimes bands can get a little crazy. You’re all thinking different things and wanting different things. My goal was to get a deal and go to the next level, but they were thinking otherwise. So, I moved back to NY, got myself a bartending gig and went “you know what, I need to hone in on my talent.” At that point I was playing 10 instruments, so I saved up some money, bought some ADAT Machines, found my first client and never looked back.

Now, I play 14 instruments, I compose, I produce, I run a recording facility… music is my everyday life. I try to do it humbly and just try to bring out the best in every artist that I produce and record. I try to create a high-definition version of what they have in mind."

Knockin’ on Dante’s door

"At this point, I’d say I’ve got an even split when it comes to music. First and foremost, it comes down to acting as a musician and becoming a chameleon with whatever artist I’m working with and really trying to dig into their life, their story and their sound. I always think as a musician though, having been in and out of bands my whole life. About 12 years ago I started full force composing, producing and running a studio, and I got into this mind state of trying to balance the technical aspect, the creative aspect, the business aspect, so I created a nice balance. Today I’m happy to say that I’m working with insane talent and bringing out the best in them.

I’ve been blessed in that people want to work with me because they heard I did this and that. I never advertised; people just came to me. I met a very cool guy by the name of Lee Evans, he was the keyboard player for Afrika Bambaatta and Brass Construction as well as an incredible audio engineer and studio owner. He brought in so much technical stuff in my life and got me deeper into that retro funk sound.

I wrote a couple of songs with Shemekia Copeland, the queen of the blues. It was a real honour to work with her and develop a couple of songs, that is definitely a highlight in my life.

Right now I’m working with an artist called Troy Ramey. He left a band to do a solo project and had heard of my production. We met and I was absolutely floored! The very first song we released was Rosary, along with a music video. Following that, we released an EP, which started getting some crazy traction. It was added to some very popular curated Spotify lists, and that’s what started everything really. He did a pledge campaign that was super successful, and people just started knocking wanting to do stuff with us!"

Bringing everything to life

"I always started with the drums, the rhythm section, and then start decorating it with some guitars, layers, keys, whatever it needs to build whatever feeling we’re trying to capture. When I was 14 I’d go to recording studios with a complete song in my head, tell the engineer the bpm and lay down the drums first, then bass, then guitar, then everything else and finally have the lead vocalist come in and lay down their parts. I envisioned the song in my mind, but I start with the drums.

I’m all Mac-based, but for my audio interface, I use Antelope audio. I have the Orion studio and the Discrete 8 system. I also have a lot of Warm Audio gear, I love their outboard gear. For drums, I’m using Warm Audio FET mics as overheads at the moment, but I’ve heard incredible stuff about Starlight. I’m using Antelope audio Werge microphones on the Toms, the SM57 at times on the snare. I love the Aston Spirit on the snare, I go back and forth.

I have the Halo reflection filter and Shield GN pop filter, which are absolutely beautiful. The Origin mic sounds really great on a floor tom as well! For guitar cabinets, I would probably go with an SM57 on one cone, and then the Aston Spirit on the other cone, off-axis, running through Warm Audio’s WA-273 EQ or the Avalon 737.

The Spirit has been a sort of swiss army knife for vocalists and a lot of other things. I used it on a hand pan - that was an unusual recording because I’d never recorded a hand pan player. I put two U87s right and left, and then I put the Spirit right on top and it just sounded absolutely stunning… It really captured it beautifully and brought everything to life.

I’ve been a big fan of you guys, the design, the build, it’s just so innovative and everything looks stunning! Just perfect."

 

Outtakes

Q. Who are your favourite artists?

A. Iconic: Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer.

I can honestly say that the group of artists that I’m currently producing, and managing are my favourite artists right now. I don’t mean that in a cheesy or self-promoting manner, I mean that with total sincerity… these artists encapsulate everything I love about music, songwriting and its artistry. They’re the real deal for me, and I have so much gratitude that we all found each other and I get to call them family. These new artists I’m managing and or producing are my favourite!

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?

A. I would say… an all in one microphone. Multiple mics, capsules and polar patterns that can be converted into any type of microphone, from a dynamic to a 3D binaural mic system. With multiple outputs, and an integrated virtual modelling system via software which could sound like any mic in history… and of course, your laser targeting on each mic for accurate placement on just about anything!

Q. What four words would you use to describe Aston?
A. Design, innovative, stunning…forward thinking, durability, versatility, affordability, I’ve got a whole list!

Q. What was the first song that made you cry?
A.Lenny – Stevie Ray Vaughan. Sometimes you don’t need words, ya know? To invoke that deep and passionate feeling. Just the way he played that song...it really got me teary-eyed man.

Credits

HBO

Crayola

Lexus

The Wood Brothers

Shemekia Copeland

Dr. John

Troy Ramey

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