Audeze gets VIP access to Catalina Jazz Club's Front of House Daniel Gonzalez

June 22, 2024

From the studio to the clubs, headphones drive the industry today... in conversation with Daniel Gonzalez, FOH at Catalina Jazz Club.

Daniel Gonzalez wearing Audeze LCD-XC headphones in the studio
"The smoothness of Audeze's orthodynamic design is something that really caught my attention... I've been able to translate everything I do live or at the studio with amazing precision." - Daniel Gonzalez 
Here's our chat with Daniel:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?
My single "Desert Rose" has surpassed 130k streams on digital platforms under my artist pseudonym, Dante Lacroix.

I have composed and placed songs for over 70 TV shows.

I founded a company that provides solutions for modern content creators, offering diverse production services such as video animation, music production, sound design, branding, and digital marketing. Check it out here:

I am currently the Touring Front of House Engineer for the Grammy Award-winning band La Santa Cecilia, Academy Award-nominated actor/musician Andy Garcia, and the Cineson All Stars.

In addition to my touring work, I serve as the FOH and Technical Director at the internationally recognized Catalina Jazz Club.

One of my career highlights includes recording a live album in a remote vineyard in Ensenada, Mexico, with the Grammy Award-winning band La Santa Cecilia. This project was a collaboration with Sebastian Krys and Daniel "Vago" Galindo, and the album was recorded in various landscapes of the vineyard, which were transformed into outdoor recording studios.

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

I'd say my professional responsibility is enabling the artist to transcribe their work sonically in the purest form possible within the space/time given.

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

I am a musician at heart, I started playing drums at the age of 10 and I never stopped. I always had a passion for live music/performances, I still remember seeing my first arena show and the way it made me feel. During highschool I would organize my own backyard festivals with my own PA just to play music with my friends. I feel that inner childhood curiosity is the one that keeps me going in my professional career, especially through hard times. I come from a rock background. I grew up in Mexico City, looking up to MTV so I went through top 10 video charts every day, from Britney to Metallica, Korn being my favorite. I became a metalhead most of my high school years until I discovered prog rock which finally led to jazz during college years. I always say I entered music school listening to King Crimson and left with Katy Perry.

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

Definitely when I get the chance of meeting or working with my biggest heroes has always been a good reminder of why I do what I do, at this point Iam humbled to say I've had the honor of meeting my all time favorite drummers. A beautiful reminder that I do what I love and I aim to surround myself with like minded people who share the love for music the way I do. Going to Berklee was definitely one of the best decisions and most influential events in my career, I would say is not for everybody but I it worked for me and I will always be very grateful for the people and the level of education I received and how impactful it was when I moved to Los Angeles to continue my career. I still would say college education is only 10-20% of the required elements you need to make it in this business. I remember asking Victor Wooten a long time ago to share his best advice in one sentence and he responded: "Just groove".

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 would say my best advice would be to always listen. in any situation you are in. If you or someone you care for is in trouble, listen. If you are jamming with your friends, listen. If you are mixing a record, listen. If someone gives you advice, listen! Sometimes we get stubborn and it may take longer to realize that everything around you, including yourself, is telling you what is the right thing to do in moments of doubt.

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 learned in the box and I will always work in the box and use all sorts of the same plugins we all use, waves, uad, fabfilter, soundtoys, etc. but the one tool i will always need on top of everything will be my headphones, And we all know as audio professionals that in today's industry the importance of trusting your headphones and being able to send professional sounding mix made with headphones is of utter importance nowadays.

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

Trust your gut, set big and realistic goals, do what you love and don't sacrifice your mental/physical health for anything, it's a beautiful journey but it can get dark here and there.

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

I learned to mix on headphones because of my apartment living lifestyle throughout college, but it paid off later in my career as I realized how important and useful it is to be able to work with just a good pair of headphones. I use headphones on an everyday basis. I use them at the studio in the mornings, at the clubs at night. I like transparent headphones with pristine response that I can trust in both live and studio settings. I have a special relationship with the headphones I use because they are such an important part of my craft that I take it very seriously, I've tried and owned many brands, and I have Audeze at the top.

Do you have any additional comments or stories you want to share?

The world would be a better place if we all listened a little closer.

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

Honestly I had tried Audeze headphones before and I was not expecting them to create a big impact in my work, but it was the complete opposite. I've tested the closed back headphones in multiple scenarios and I have been very impressed with the results in every environment: Mixing live jazz at the prestigious Catalina Jazz Club, Mixing monitors for Colombian artist Bomba Estereo at the dia de los muertos festival at the Hollywood Cemetery and the Besame Mucho Festival at the Dodger Stadium, Mixing front of house for Grammy award winning band La Santa Cecilia, producing music for Megatrax music library, writing and producing under artist name Dante Lacroix. The thing I've noticed the most has been how smoothly it responds to harsh conditions and environments. If I am in a stage with thousands of people, the isolation was so good I didn't miss my in-ear monitors for one second. The smoothness of Audeze's orthodynamic design is something that really caught my attention and I can't stay away from planar magnetic headphones anymore. I've been able to translate everything I do live or at the studio with amazing precision.

Audeze LCD-XC headphones on stage