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Audeze chats with recording and mix engineer Evan Bakke

Evan is the Chief Engineer at Power Station New England, in Waterford, Connecticut. He's worked with a plethora of artists in the world class, Tony Bongiovi designed recording studio, which is based on the exact design and acoustics of the original Power Station in New York City.
 
"I reference every mix I do in my LCD-X headphones... it’s become a natural part of my workflow."  -Evan Bakke
 
Here's our talk with Evan:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

I recently started working with a young artist named Sam Nitsch – a great songwriter and multi-instrumentalist – it’s so much fun working with him, he’s a good kid. Also, I grew up in Minneapolis, MN, where I was able to work with and learn from some of the greatest musicians. It is my favorite music city and I’m proud to have made my start there.

What's the best place for those new to your work to become familiar with what you do?

You can check out evanbakke.com, powerstationne.com, or @power_station_ne on Instagram.

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

I split my time between recording and mixing – always at Power Station New England.

How did you get started in music?

Thanks to my dad, I started when I was a young kid with playing bass guitar. I was a terrible player. I went to a music production school where I met producers, James “Fluff” Harley and Matt Kirkwold. They really taught me what it takes to record music, I wouldn’t be where I am without them. Also, Justin DeLeon and Rocky Rosga spent countless nights and into the morning teaching me consoles and microphones, but most importantly they are amazing people that I was privileged to be around and learn from. Then I lived out of my car for a few years – that’s when I learned how to live as a studio rat.

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?

On the technical side - dealing with monitoring that is not accurate seems to be one of the biggest issues I have run into. That provides a lot of opportunity to make a lot of bad sonic decisions. Having a room that I am familiar with, speakers I love and headphones to reference helps a lot. Also, having great musicians that have fun fixes most problems in the studio.

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

I use a lot of ribbon and tube microphones. Power Station New England has an old U47 that has turned into my favorite mic, I use it almost every day. I track with PMC IB1S-A speakers and my Audeze LCD-X cans. I am about to start a record with Chuck Leah – his life story could be a best-seller and probably mistaken for fiction – he has a guitar named Ophelia that is incredible to record.

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

“Because your livelihood depends on it, you have a better day at the office than most.”
            -John Gierach

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

One of the most important parts about recording music is making sure everyone involved in the process is comfortable. It’s pretty tough to be comfortable if what you’re hearing isn’t inspiring – So I’ve always been searching for the best possible headphones for tracking. I reference every mix I do in my LCD-X headphones... it’s become a natural part of my workflow.