Lil Wayne‘s Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum mixing engineer, Fabian Marasciullo, recently chopped it up with Reverb News to share insights into Wayne‘s recording process.
Fabian discussed working with Michael Jackson back in the day, what equipment he uses to mix Tunechi‘s vocals, what microphone Tune uses to record, hiring three engineers to travel with Mr. Carter everywhere he goes, learning to record him on his private plane, and more!
You can check out everything Marasciullo had to say about Weezy after the jump below!
Go through the credits of every Lil Wayne album since Tha Carter and only a few names appear on every one of those albums without fail. One of them is Fabian Marasciullo, a world-class engineer who, before he touched a single Lil Wayne song, got a crash course in mobile studio setups from the greatest teacher.
“We used to travel with Michael [Jackson] and we would do all kinds of crazy shit. We would set up a real studio in a hotel. This was before the computers we have now. We’d have a fucking tape machine in a hotel room,” Marasciullo tells Reverb.
For mixing, his mobile setup is his Macbook Pro, an expansion chassis with a Thunderbolt connection so he can have his Pro Tools work with his PCIe card. You’ll seldom see the master mixer without his Sennheiser HD 660s headphones. He has an audio interface from Universal Audio, a brand he calls “one of the companies that allowed a lot of us to do things on the run.”
Lil Wayne’s productivity has become the thing of legend. He’s been releasing recorded music for nearly 25 years and was heralded as the best rapper alive in the latter part of the 2000s due to having a new mixtape worth of songs seemingly every few weeks for years. As a result, Wayne bounces around recording studios across the world—and needs his signature sound to travel with him.
Marasciullo says no matter where Wayne goes, he still records on the same Sony C800 microphone and Avalon VT-737 mic preamp combination he’s been recording on for years.
“Wayne always has a studio everywhere he goes but we need the same shit in every place, so it becomes a mobile thing. To this day, I have three engineers employed by us to travel with Wayne everywhere,” Marasciullo says. “They take that and plug it into whatever room or whatever studio bus. Whatever corner of the world that Wayne’s in, we do that.”
Wayne has a private plane, and Marasciullo and his team of engineers have learned to adjust to that, literally, on the fly. “You don’t [record] during takeoff. But, when you’re cruising it’s a constant sound. So, that’ll turn into a scratch or we’ll go with an effect like, ‘Okay, this one is going to be a telephone effect because that’s what we got. A lot of the coolest records end up like that.”
Pic credit: Robert Diaz.