Favorite Tools: Audio engineer Jaime Zapata talks plug-ins
Jaime Zapata
Issue: September 1, 2014

Favorite Tools: Audio engineer Jaime Zapata talks plug-ins

I’ve been in the audio world since before the digital era and I know firsthand the incredible benefits that came along with the move to a DAW. The most prominent of those benefits to me is, without a doubt, the Pro Tools platform. Our own studio setup is based on Mac Intel running OSX 10.7 Lion with Avid Pro Tools|HD 10 software and Avid HDX hardware. It’s within the confines of Pro Tools that a few of my favorite audio assistants reside.

Working within Pro Tools brings the benefit of multiple plug-ins that help make my life easier, including the McDSP Emerald Pack plug-in bundle. The quality of sound, the ease of use and the minimal latency are the key features for me. Filter Bank EQ, Compressor Bank and ML4000 Limiter are my workhorses. Clean, no artifacts added and the power of pushing the limits with no compromise to the sound quality. 

Two more make my favorites list, tools that I cannot finish a session without, especially in post: 

- Altiverb 7: The rooms and backgrounds I get from Audio Ease’s Altiverb 7, helps me create amazing textures by using top quality samples of real spaces. 

- iZotope RX2/RX3: The most amazing tools to restore, clean and repair audio. These are in a league of their own and now becoming a must-have in every studio and audio-post facility.

I had the opportunity to work on all of the Spanish language TV spots for Jack in the Box, and just like in the spot So Much Stuff, there was always interaction between the on-location recorded actor’s voice with the studio-recorded Jack’s voice in Spanish. I used iZotope Audiosuite plug-ins to clean the on-location recording, and gave the necessary room adjustment to Jack’s voice with Altiverb7 and some McDSP processing, to make both recordings interact seamlessly.

Another example where these tools were invaluable was when I was working on T-Mobile’s Pep Talk spot for the 2014 World Cup. iZotope audio restoration tools helped clean and smooth the on-location dialogue, which was recorded in a noisy locker room. Later, adding Altiverb7 and McDSP processes to the mix brought the realistic sound the client was looking for. 

Jaime Zapata is the Chief Audio Engineer at Tono Studios in Santa Monica, CA. Check out their Website at: http://www.tonostudios.com.