Audeze chats with mix engineer Scott Desmarais

June 25, 2021

Audeze chats with mix engineer Scott Desmarais

Scott Desmarais is a mixing engineer from Los Angeles, CA, formerly of Manny Marroquin's Larrabee Studios. Scott has worked on dozens of hit recordings by artists including Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, HAIM, Ozzy Osbourne, Charlie Puth, and many others.

"Mixing on Audeze's feels like the way headphones are intended to work... It’s like having a pair of speakers I can trust, ready to use anywhere I want." - Scott Desmarais

Here's our chat with Scott:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

Well, I left Larrabee to pursue my own career in March 2020 right before the covid-19 pandemic hit, so most of my current work is still unreleased. But two songs I'm particularly proud of are Lazy Weekends - "Caught Up", which is what I would consider my first professional mix, and CARR - "Van McCann", as well as the mixes I assisted on for Post Malone - Beerbongs and Bentleys & Hollywood's Bleeding.

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

As the mixing engineer, I'm the second to last stop before release. The mastering engineer can only really do so much, so it's my job to make sure the record has as much of the correct emotion it can have.

How did you get started in music/audio production?

I grew up taking music lessons and singing in choirs but always found a connection with technology as well. I remember looking through my favorite albums and seeing the same names in the credits and realized there's a career in making and shaping the records.

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?

The most frustrating part of my business is working with technology that's unfamiliar, for example different speakers, headphones, etc. The best piece of gear you can have is a pair of headphones you know and can bring around with you at all times.

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

Today's techniques don't allow for much gear anymore which is both a blessing and a curse, but you can't go wrong with a good Apogee converter and a pair of NS10s.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?

No matter how talented you are, music is about connecting with people. If I never moved to Los Angeles and worked really hard interning at studios I wouldn't be where I'm at. It's all about making personal connections through good hard work.

How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?

Necessity really. Speakers are really good for getting the base mix right, but a good pair of headphones will show a lot more detail. Plus, a majority of people do their listening in either the car or headphones. With mixing being so much about emotion, I want the listener to feel what I'm feeling and headphones allow me to be in the same sonic space.

Mixing on Audeze's feels like the way headphones are intended to work. Referencing my mixes with Audeze means I can have confidence in my balance and stereo image, clarity on these is next level. It’s like having a pair of speakers I can trust, ready to use anywhere I want.