Audeze catches up with mix engineer Raul Lopez

March 03, 2023

Raul Lopez is a Latin Grammy nominated mixer quickly climbing up the ranks in a vast number of musical genres. While getting his start at Larrabee Studios, Raul gained the connections to become an assistant and eventually go off to be a full time freelance mixer based in Los Angeles, CA. Some of his notable works include acts like: Fletcher, SIX60, and Bipolar Sunshine.

Raul Lopez in the studio with Audeze LCD-Xs
"The LCD-X's have totally changed the way I work! They've opened my eyes to a whole new level of detail and reliability that I honestly can't live without now."  - Raul Lopez
Here's our chat with Raul:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

It's been really great working alongside a talented producer like Malay and native band from New Zealand, SIX60, on their past couple of singles. Observing songs come to life between artist and producer has given me so much inspiration in the mixing stage and has allowed me to consistently produce work I am proud of.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

I try to specialize in mixing. I've always felt like that is what I am best at and it is helpful when you are trying to cut through such a saturated market. But also working closely with Malay has given me the skills to help artists with their music beyond just mixing, whether it be engineering a session to bring the record home or to simply be a voice of encouragement. 

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I started as a DJ in high school, playing at house parties when techno and shuffling was becoming a big thing. I feel like I eventually started getting a lot of gigs because I had learned how to read a crowd and knew what songs to play and when. So I was exposed to a lot of cultures with different musical tastes, which I think helps me when working in different genres.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I definitely think working at a studio like Larrabee helped my career for the best. Being there not only showed me how successful mixers operate but it also gave me the perspective to appreciate the process of creating a career from the ground up.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

I used to struggle with mixes translating in different sound systems and I have found that working in headphones can lead to better results in both tonal balance and stereo placement. It’s great being able to rely on consistent tools like headphones and I find myself using them more and more.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

I've been enjoying experimenting with guitar effect pedals like the Dream Sequence from Hologram Electronics as hardware inserts in my mix sessions. I feel like it's been giving me options that aren't necessarily available in the digital world so it has been my way of adding something unique in a very subtle way.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

I am definitely still in the earlier part of my career so I have much to learn myself, however, I would recommend pursuing an apprenticeship with a producer. I feel it has allowed me to develop a much more creative approach to mixing and has been very rewarding understanding my role as a mixer in the eyes of a producer and artist.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Headphones have been part of my workflow since day one. It's how I get edits done when I am on the go and they help me make sonic decisions that I can trust will translate as I envision them to.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?:

The LCD-X's have totally changed the way I work! They've opened my eyes to a whole new level of detail and reliability that I honestly can't live without now. They played such an essential role in mixing Six60's latest album Castle St and I am so excited to keep exploring the rest of Audeze's headphone lineup. I was recently nominated in the 2022 Latin Grammy’s for Best Engineered and Best New Album with an artist named Elsa Y Elmar in the album Ya No Somos Los Misomos.

Raul Lopez's Audeze LCD-X headphones