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Russell Tite

Russell Tite

Sound Engineer
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Russell Tite

Russell Tite handles front of house engineering duties for a huge roster of bands and is currently putting his favourite Aston mics to work for both The Wombats and Catfish & The Bottlemen. Here he reveals how he fell into his career by not being quite ready for proper work…

Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Wombats, Zemfira, Rooster, The Kooks, Peace, Billy Ocean, Plan B, The Marmozets, Reef
Russell uses these Aston products:
Spirit
Starlight
Stealth
Halo
On stage on time

"I’d started playing guitar at about 15 and getting more seriously into music. We moved house when I finished secondary school, and on the other side of the park to where we had moved to was a college that did sound engineering. I nearly ended up doing an apprenticeship at BT or the MEB but I didn’t really want to start working, so I thought I'd give college a go.

The course was predominantly studio based, with Yamaha O2Rs and an SSL in the main room. While there I got a house gig in a small venue near to where I grew up, doing punk/metal bands every Friday night. I remember it being madness at first, trying to get four bands organized and sound checked, and then on stage on time!

At the time I'd also started playing in a band, and had set up a little recording rig in our lock up from whatever we could beg or borrow. I started to notice I was getting more into recording and mixing than I was actually playing the guitar, and I was recording my own band and anyone else I could persuade for me to practice with!

Upon leaving college, I got a job at SSE Audio Group, loading trucks and sweeping the warehouse. I did that for a couple of years and then became freelance and started to go out as a system tech for them. Then I got my first FOH engineer job in 2005 and have been doing that ever since, with bands including Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Wombats, Zemfira, Rooster, The Kooks, Peace, Billy Ocean, Plan B, The Marmozets and Reef."

Singing snares

"With my live gigs, nine times out of ten I'm on my preferred Midas Pro series digital desks. I like these as I had learned on the Midas XL2/3/4 and Heritage analogue desks and they just sound like they should to me. They’ve done a really good job of recreating the sound of the analogue preamps and EQ digitally.

I had been using another brand's reflection filter and got sick and tired of them gradually falling apart, so I had been looking out for an alternative. On tour you need things to be slick and tough, so that they are quick and easy to use and they are gonna last. So far so good with the Aston Halo! It's extremely light weight but very durable, and it also offers a more enclosed isolation than anything else I've seen. It's really easy to use and doesn't have about five different parts that need fixing every day.

I have been using Aston Starlights on drum overheads for The Wombats and I am really impressed. Putting them equidistant and then using the laser to get them both aiming at the same spot on the snare drum, gave an incredible overall kit sound, really bringing out the snare and with three tonal flavours. They are definitely a 'go-to' for the job. I was quite skeptical as 414s are my 100% every-day overhead, but now I happily have Starlights over the kit. They make the snares sing. I have also been using an Aston Spirit on the guitar amps and they are awesome. Any mic that you can just hi pass and bam, you’ve got a killer sound, is a winner.

I'm very impressed with what these guys do. Fabulous mics from fabulous people! It's great that there’s a company carrying on the tradition of precision-built equipment that this country is synonymous with."

Out-takes

Q. Who are your favourite artists?
A. Tool, Green Day and The Beach Boys.


Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. Er, I shudder to think!

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?
A. One that plugs itself in ; -).

Q. What are the 4 words you’d chose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A. Solid, sleek, helpful and friendly.

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