October 08, 2020
Juro "Mez" Davis is an American audio engineer and hip hop artist from Manhattan, New York City. Mez is most well known for his work with the artist J. Cole and Dreamville Records. Mez is Dreamville's in-house engineer and works closely with all their artists, most notably Ari Lennox, JID and EarthGang. Mez works from Republic Records Studios in Chelsea.
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
J Cole- Can’t Get Enough (very exciting yet still very warm, did a lot of this on a board)
Ari Lennox- BMO (came out so clean)
Earthgang- Lala Challenge (what an amazing song and build up was definitely a challenge with all the sections but everything sounds in its proper place)
How did you get started in your area of the music business?
I was a rapper in my younger years I began recording myself and all the people around me out of necessity... and just messing around with Pro Tools, by the time I got to a big studio I was better than the other engineers there cuz of all the hours I put in on my own time...
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles?
Mixing is frustrating often because it’s so many options and also sort of like a puzzle to fit things together, but a puzzle without one particular answer... One time (many times actually lol) I had some vocals that were recorded on the wrong side of the Mic and they sounded pretty out of wack and phasing so I went with it and phased them more and made it sound like it was on purpose...
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project?
I mostly use plugins, but I like Pultec EQs a lot and Fairchild compressors usually the UAD ones, I also been using Softube Console 9k emulation a lot, I also do majority of mixing on the Audeze LCDs but always check in the studio, though it all usually holds up.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?
Start by building the people around you that are as serious as you are, expand from there.
How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?
Been working with headphones my whole career, slowly been more and more because of travel and not being able to be in huge studios all the time, I also don’t like having the time restrictions of booking big studios to do everything knowing you're on the clock and spending money, so I prefer to do the bulk of work on headphones.
I check (my mixes) on speakers, but I do trust the headphones, and if I didn’t have access to speakers I wouldn’t fret over it.
Both (my LCD-X and MX4) have amazing bass response, which is why I like the Audeze line in general. I can hear the difference between 30 and 60hz notes... whereas on other headphones it all sounds like one thing.
What have you been working on with your MX4s recently?