November 30, 2022
Joe Grasso is a 2x Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum engineer out of New York City. Joe has worked with Lil Nas X, Polo G, Noah Cyrus, Chloe x Halle, Diplo, Lil Baby, Fivio Foreign and more. He currently works at Republic Records Studio in Chelsea.
I’ve had so many great moments - on the recording side, I was really proud of my work with Gesaffelstein and XXL Freshman KayCyy. We locked out a few days in New York and recorded/mixed a three track EP. The session energy was great.
As a mixer, mixing a record with Travis Barker’s drums has been a real highlight.
Arranging and mixing Chloe x Halle’s “Do It Remix” ft Doja Cat, Latto, and City Girls was a hugely collaborative and fulfilling experience. There were a lot of parties to appease, and we got it to the finish line with everyone’s preferences incorporated.
I’m also very proud of the work I’m doing in Dolby Atmos. My work has ranged from Shawn Mendes “When You’re Gone” to records from Coi Leray and Kid Cudi, so I’m always adapting to different styles and artistic direction. Taking an artist’s song and helping reimagine it in a new format has been a whole new creative experience for me.
My main role is mix engineer, although my work spans the gamut of engineering. Whether stereo or Atmos, I love the process of picking up where the artist and producer have left off to help carry the artistic vision to completion.
While I was active in my school band as a kid, it was Hip-Hop that really spawned my love for music. I knew I wanted to be involved in the genre, but I wasn’t a rapper. I started making beats and recording friends in High School, which led to my decision to pursue audio as a college major and profession.
I’ve been lucky to have a lot of “moments”. Meeting 50 Cent was a full circle moment for me, I really think he’s been my biggest inspiration both musically and professionally. I’ve met and worked with some of my idols, and each experience has given me confidence to push ahead. Being nominated for two Grammys in 2019 for my work with Lil Nas X was a monumental moment and honor for me.
There are so many - from mixing records that never see the light of day, to long hours and last-minute cancellations, engineering can, at times, seem exhausting. I’m passionate about what I do, so I wouldn’t have done anything differently. It’s all part of the sum of my experience, and I think it’s made me a bit more patient and wiser.
When tracking, I’m finding myself leaning into the Distressor as my main compressor more and more.
When mixing, I am loving adding a limiter, like the McDSP ML4000, to my vocal bus to catch any stray peaks.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing - focus on yourself and getting better every day.
I’ve been working with headphones my whole career. Especially being in New York, I may need to reference things in less-than-ideal spaces and it’s great to have a “constant” to rely on. I may or may not start a mix on headphones, but they’re always incorporated before delivering a final product. They help me catch what might not be present in my monitors.
The Audeze headphones are now a mainstay for me. Incorporating them at the start of my mixes gives me a true idea of where my stems stand - it’s saving time on every project. When mixing, I can hear saturation, compression changes, and imaging issues earlier than ever. I’m able to mix whole records on the Audeze headphones with incredible accuracy and almost zero ear fatigue.
I’ve found them to be an invaluable tool for Dolby Atmos mixing, as well - I can hear subtle placement changes that weren’t apparent in other headphones. After mixing in an immersive environment, it’s crucial to analyze the binaural experience, and Audeze tells me the truth.
I’ve recently incorporated them into my Dolby Atmos mixing of Kid Cudi’s “Entergalactic” and my stereo work for SleazyWorldGo and Grace VanderWaal.