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Mitch McCarthy develops Amphion One18 monitors

This new tool fulfils the most anticipated evolutionary pop sound ambitions. For many years, engineer Mitch McCarthy has managed to craft a great mix of analog and digital tools in his workflow that have allowed him to trust his instincts.

Mitch McCarthy, a mixing engineer, has been building different mixes for more than ten years and stands out for his ability to cut to the core of pop’s emotional appeal. He has gone on to create major mixes for artists such as Conan Gray, Bebe Rexha, Ben Platt, Melanie Martinez, and her most recent work on Olivia Rodrigo’s Grammy-nominated album, Sour. It includes his unavoidable lead single, “Driver License”.

 

His keen ear for detail and finely tuned workflow has allowed him to expertly balance the rapidly evolving sonic landscape of Top-40 with the speed and fluency required by today's producers in the music industry.

 

In this way, to ensure that he can consistently deliver on pop’s rapidly changing sonic ambitions, McCarthy has developed a trusted blend of analog and digital tools in his workflow and relies on Amphion One18 speakers for his primary monitoring needs.

 

Make it better, but don’t change anything!

In the engineer’s career, the influence of the relationships he has developed with music producers stands out, replacing the traditional role of A&R managers when it comes to interacting with artists. The development of trust with these producers and artists is reduced to the ability to deliver results quickly that speak of their original visions, while adding crucial finishing touches to a track.

 

McCarthy remarks that “It’s a fast-paced industry that requires you to work quickly without losing sight of any of the important details,” and he said: “You really have to learn to trust your instincts and develop a sense of the bigger picture from the moment you hear a track.”

 

Pop music in the 2020’s comes into conflict with the sound music of today’s modern world. These songs are usually worked by large production teams with multiple producers and mixing engineers. An important part of McCarthy’s work balances all these details without radically altering them. “A lot of these songs have been worked on for a long time and the artists and producers are attached to how they sound, but still need a fresh perspective,” he explained. “That’s the daily challenge for any mix engineer – ‘How can you make it better without changing anything’?”

 

McCarthy balances these impulses by focusing on the aspects that bring out the dynamics of the song and give proper focus to the vocals, things he sees as universal to the success of any track in the pop realm.

 

He develops that “The key to mixing music like that is to focus on bringing the vocals forward and emphasizing the dynamics in the track. Those are the elements that connect with the listener and you really need to be able to hear all of that to make it work.”

 

Game-time decisions

Given that these projects often have short turnaround times, McCarthy says that he needs to be able to trust his ears and focus on the decisive elements in each track in order to create his initial mixes. He began using Amphion when he realized how closely they matched his priorities as a mix engineer.

He explains that he connected with Amphion “because of how true to the source they are – you know exactly what you are hearing and can see what the bigger picture is right away,” and he concludes “they’ve allowed me to work more quickly and trust the decisions I’m making, meaning that I’m much more confident in the mixes I’m sending back to artists and producers.”

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