NUGEN Audio Q&A with Mixing & Mastering Engineer Jordan Schultz
How did you get your start in this industry? What are you doing now?
I fell in love with the music industry at age 13. I found myself enjoying simply sitting behind the desk, listening to music and trying to figure out how to make 80 stems sound good together, which was not easy. I remember trying to turn some knobs to hear what would happen. That was nearly 20 years ago, YouTube didn’t exist back then, and the internet was just getting going, so everything I did was by trial and error. The only thing I could rely on was my ears. I basically taught myself according to what sounded good. Looking back, I am so grateful for that perspective because learning the hard and slow way helped me perfect my skills.
Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of the industry’s top artists. This includes Nicki Minaj, Sean Paul, Sam Feldt, The Him, Rita Ora and Mike Mago, among others.
I thank my clients every day; they drive me to be a better engineer! I am a perfectionist, I don’t stop until my clients – the producer, artist, label, manager, etc. – and I are all pleased. I am also very lucky to be working from home. My favorite part of my day is entering the studio and making myself comfortable before I set out to work.
Tell us about your working style.
The biggest challenge of mixing is to hit to the clients’ taste, especially since every song is unique. That is exactly why I never start mixing without getting to know the producer and the artist.
I also never mix more than one song a day, I want to keep my ears fresh. Every morning, I listen to the song that’s been sent to me. I try to get in the head of the producer, to understand their vision. After that, I organize the stems in the order I think would work best to achieve the perfect mix. I always mix the kick and bass first. It’s different for every song – I use alternate approaches depending on the project.
What equipment do you use to mix?
After many years of spending loads of money on hardware gear, I recently decided to sell it all and work entirely in the box. I only need my computer, a pair of great speakers and some good plug-ins. One of my favorites is NUGEN’s SEQ-ST, which is literally the most transparent EQ there is today!
Can you illustrate this with specific examples of how NUGEN Audio helped you achieve your goals?
I used NUGEN’s SEQ-ST while mastering “Post Malone” by Sam Feldt. I needed this song to pop in the low-end range, to be very punchy yet pleasant. The SEQ-ST plug-in was the only one that managed to deliver this result.
I also used NUGEN’s Stereoizer plug-in while mixing and mastering the Stylo G, Spice, Sean Paul song, Dumpling. I needed to enhance the stereo field on specific percussions for that project. Using this software, I was able to achieve huge depth without any phase issues. It is the best stereo enhancer by far today.
NUGEN products give me superb audio quality and save a lot of time. Before I came across NUGEN, I used to come up with complex solutions for myself. With NUGEN, I save time and have a really fast workflow.
Why do you choose NUGEN?
I am always after game changing tools that are efficient and make my sound incredible. NUGEN’s reputation as a high-end mastering software company is what drew me to check out its products. The minute I tried the demo tools I was blown away by the sound. The tools made me hit my target right away. I’ve been using NUGEN tools for nearly a year, and I can honestly say that I use them on every song I mix and master. The stereo image is great and, most importantly, they save me lots of time!