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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Tony Platt

Tony Platt

Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer
Tony Platt

As a leading figure in the professional audio industry Tony Platt has commitments in education, industry organisations and as a friend and advisor to Aston microphones. He also somehow finds time for his work, as one of the world’s finest producers and sound engineers.

AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Bob Marley, Gary Moore, Motorhead, Cheap Trick, Ronnie Dio, The Cult, Marillion, Krokus
Tony's Aston mics:
Origin
Spirit
Starting as you mean to go on

It would be difficult to write a more perfect career path for someone interested in audio production. Tony began learning the craft as assistant on sessions with The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. He then progressed to mixing for producers like Muff WInwood and Mutt Lange on legendary albums by AC/DC, Foreigner and many others, before going it alone and recording deal-clinching tracks for Thin Lizzy and Stranglers and producing and recording acts including Iron Maiden, Krokus, Motorhead, Gary Moore, Cheap Trick, Ronnie Dio, The Cult and Marillion.

His credits reach beyond rock royalty, with Grammy-winning recordings for blues legend Buddy Guy and a number of projects for boutique jazz label Dune records, including the Mercury nominated Soweto Kinch, Denys Baptiste, and Abram Wilson.

Tony is also involved in a wide range of other audio-industry related commitments, among them his work with Aston Microphones as a member of the Aston 33, a panel of top professionals who participate in the testing processes each new Aston mic undergoes during its development.

The mixing machine

No surprise then, that Tony uses the Aston mics he helped develop, and the Origin and Spirit LDCs form a part of an impressive list of equipment he favours for his work. Although he factors in a degree of flexibility depending on the demands of a given session, he retains a high-quality core to his system:

“I always choose the tracking studio for a project to suit the artist I am working with and this often has more to do with the environment than the technology on offer. There will be a basic toolkit though – generally a solid set of microphone pre-amplifiers – Rupert Neve, AMS Neve, API etc – whether these are free standing or part of a board doesn’t really matter.

A good selection of microphones is essential though. I have a bit of a preference for larger diaphragm condensers too – it is easier to tone a sound down than it is to open it up from a limited source.

My mixing rig is ProTools HD with Avid and Apogee interfaces. These go to a Rupert Neve Summing Mixer and then the result is recorded onto another ProTools rig through a Lynx HiLo converter. This is my “Mix Machine” and enables me to capture the mixes at 192/24 regardless of the recording rate.

Mistaken identity

“I am a big fan of gear that has personality. I’m very suspicious of being told how “transparent” or “flat” converters, microphones etc. are. I want to choose a piece of kit because it will bring something tangible to the process. Aston microphones do this – I already know which instruments they are going to perform well with and so I am able to use them to craft the sounds I want. They blend well with other brands too because they have such a natural sound and they are not overshadowed by the big names.”

When Tony first got an Aston Origin he used it for a microphone comparison on a session with some students. He found it to be more than a match for the far more expensive mic on the other channel, a Neumann U87:

“We were recording an acoustic guitar and when I pushed up the faders I thought that the students had patched the microphones the wrong way around because one of the mics sounded so much warmer and smoother I assumed it must be the U87 – it wasn’t!”

The Origin and the multi-pattern Spirit are now his ‘go-to’ mics for acoustic and electric guitars and he also says he has found ‘considerable success’ using them as overheads and for mic’ng kick drums and pianos. He recently took advantage of the two mics’ natural character when he took them to a Direct to Disc session recording USA jazz/funk five-piece Butcher Brown at Zelig Studios.

Groups, modules and mics with attitude

Tony’s recent projects include producing, recording and mixing an album by French Ska/Punk band Two Tone Club in the new DAFT Studio in Belgium and an album with Chilean virtuoso guitarist, Nano Stern recorded in Chile and mixed in London. He is also in the process of building a new mix room at his home.

Tony’s contributions to the music and audio reach beyond his stellar production and engineering credits. He is Managing Director of the prestigious Music Producers Guild Awards, a member of the steering group for the APRS/MPG education initiative J.A.M.E.S. (Joint Audio Media Education Support) and teaches two modules on the BA Hons Music degree at University of Northampton whilst occasionally providing guest lectures, master-classes and workshops for several other universities worldwide.

On top of this staggering list of commitments Tony still finds time to offer his time and expertise to Aston Microphones.

“I like the “attitude” of the Aston brand – there is no hint of any of the products being apologetic or overwhelmed – take the purple Halo reflection filter and the “industrial” finish on the microphones for instance. It’s a statement of intent that is confirmed by the quality of the sound they produce!”

Out-takes

Q. Who are your favorite artists?
A. The Band, Little Feat, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Aimee Mann, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Dr John, Wolf Alice, Jack White, PJ Harvey,  – the list is endless.

Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. I've no idea!

Q. What would your fantasy mic be? 
A. Something that sounds as good on the low end of a piano as it does on the top.

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

Q. What was the first song that made you cry?
A. Billie Holliday – Strange Fruit – because of the story behind the song and the tragedy of her life.

Credits

Tony has used Aston mics with the folloing artists:

Two Tone Club

Nano Stern

 
Tracks for BBC Introducing by unsigned artists:
Tinuke Jonah
Hidden
Rayment, Stone and Timings
©2018 Aston Microphones Ltd, All rights reserved.
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