Audeze catches up with producer and engineer Cameron Webb

March 21, 2023

Cameron Webb is a music Producer, Mixer and Engineer that has been in the industry for over 27 years. He has worked with some of the biggest and smallest artists in the industry, and strives for the highest quality of sound in all his productions.

Cameron Webb in the studio with his Audeze headphones

"I can do tons of production ideas on [Audeze] headphones and know that they will translate into the real world."  - Cameron Webb
Here's our chat with Cameron:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of? 

I am very proud of all my work with Motorhead. They trust my ears and my guidance in all our productions. The louder and faster the songs are, the more difficult it is to make all the sounds big. We put care into every tone and performance. I believe it shows on those records.

Another highlight would be working with Social Distortion's "Sex Love and Rock n Roll." Mike Ness has a love for his sound and has crafted it over the years. His guitar tone is very unique to him. My job was to make sure that translates on to a record. So I chose the best microphones and preamps to capture them.

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

My role is to help artists get their vision across to the recorded medium. It's scary trusting in someone else to shape your sound. The artists put a lot of trust in me, I have to figure out what they are wanting in a recording and how to achieve that and not just treat a recording like the last record I finished. Every artist needs a unique identity.

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

Started by playing bass guitar in bands. Listening to KROQ (radio) and rock bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's addiction, The Who, Sex Pistols, Primus, Funkadelic, Pennywise, NOFX, Black Sabbath, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana. I really enjoyed underground rock bands that were putting in the time touring, some may not have been the best but when you see a band live that is putting in 100%, they make you believe that the music means a lot. I did and still like music that is powerful in sound and song. Over time I have become more open minded to all music.

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

One of my big influences is believing music and a quality recording affects people's lives. People turn on music every day to make them feel emotions. On a boat you play party music or music that brings back good times. On a Sunday morning you put on something chill. A quiet room at a party makes people want to go home, but a great soundtrack will keep the party going all night.
Someone I looked up to was Terry Date. He was pushing the boundaries on heavy music by making slick great sounding records for artists like Pantera, Deftones, White Zombie and many more. I really enjoyed the sound of his records. I was fortunate to work on a couple records with him and learn some great skills that I still use today. Another person I looked up to is Steve B Baughman. We used to just talk tones, he always knew how to listen to music and pick out parts, then show me how to get them on the SSL consoles. He has a true love for sound.

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?

More recently my frustration would be with artists who think everything instant is good. Sometimes you need to strum the guitar for a short period of time to make sure the sound reacts with the part you're playing. Remember these recordings will last a lifetime. Every instrument needs to have the proper sound treatment to work at completing the song. You want the listener to hear the care you put into your recording.

To overcome this obstacle I talk to the artist and communicate why we need to put care into our sound.

Another obstacle of frustration is just because an artist writes a song, it doesn't mean it is a great song. When you record it you need to find ways to improve it.

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

The gear and tools I think are most important to me are compressors like the Distressors, my Altec 322c, my Retro 176. They help me control the sounds and make everything more pleasant to listen to.
Also important is my monitoring by the use of speakers or headphones. If I am recording and I don't have a good monitoring source I am familiar with then it's not possible for me to craft a sound. I need a consistent source for monitoring.

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

Listen to great sounding records and train your ears to quality recording. Remember just because you can hit record on a DAW doesn't make you a great engineer. I can teach my cat to press F12. It takes time, experience, practice, collaboration, social skills, humbleness and a love for the craft to become an engineer. Having a great sounding recording is as important as a great song. You don't always have to use the most expensive equipment but you have to use the most qualified equipment for each project. Most importantly is to train your ears to understand a good sound from a great sound.

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

Headphones since day one. A lot of people's listening today is through headphones. So we need to make sure we know the listeners' needs. A big part of my workflow is the the artist using great headphones and hearing great tones out of them to keep them excited about the music they are making. Bad headphones make you want to go home and get a day job, Great headphones make you want to stay all day and create magic.

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

What I like about the Audeze headphones is that I can go from the studio where I work with great studio monitors, to my home and continue creating using headphones and know I have a great monitoring source. I can do tons of production ideas on these headphones and know that they will translate into the real world.