Audeze sits down with award-winning producer and mastering engineer Ruslan Slatin

April 16, 2024

Ruslan Slatin is an award-winning Music Producer and Mastering Engineer based in Madrid. He is privileged to operate a well-regarded Mastering facility in Spain, specializing in a variety of genres, including Pop, Reggaeton, Trap, and Electronic Music. He works with independent artists and big record labels alike.

Ruslan wearing Audeze MM-500 headphones mixing
"But these headphones felt like an extension of my studio setup in less than two days! " - Ruslan Slatin
Here's our chat with Ruslan:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

I have enjoyed working on many songs this year, but some of my favorites include: Amaia - Fiebre

Quevedo, Israel B, Kawasaki - WAOH

Kaydy Cain, La Zowi, Kabasaki - Ping Pong

Arodes, Like Mike - Esperanza

Belen Aguilera - Copiloto

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

Most of my work—about 80%—focuses on Stem Mastering, a service that can be a bit contentious in the mixing and mastering industry. However, many producers I work with already have a solid grasp on mixing. They just need a touch more guidance to really take their mix to the next level, along with final mastering. That's exactly where I step in to lend a hand.

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

I used to listen to heavy music like Deathcore and Grindcore, as well as hardcore techno and drum & bass. However, I have expanded my musical taste pretty quickly and at a young age and am now open to listening to anything. My approach to music is simple: if a song is well-done and sounds good, I will enjoy it. I have an open mind when it comes to genres and styles.

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

I was lucky enough to start feeling huge support from artists and big labels at a relatively young age. Some of the most prominent Artists I got support from, which impacted me throughout my career, were Diplo, DJ Snake, Tchami, and Labels such as Universal, Spinnin', and Sony. I couldn't be more thankful to them for the inspiration and motivation I got from them.

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?

As someone who values high-quality audio and is obsessed with detail, I always felt frustrated when I could not work in acoustically treated rooms or lacked the proper equipment to hear every sound with crystal clarity. Fortunately, I am delighted with my current setup, which includes Dutch & Dutch 8C speakers, superb acoustics, and Audeze headphones. I am confident that I am doing my best work with this setup.

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

Currently, 90% of my Masters are done ITB, since it perfectly suits the genres I work on. Some of my favorite plugins that can add that extra magic to a well-balanced mix are - DrMS by MatthewLane, BassLane Pro by Tone Projects, and TM700 by Tone Empire. These are unique tools that everyone should try out.

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

Don't skimp on your monitoring gear and acoustic treatment! All the cool tech and hardware only mean a thing if what you're hearing is precise. Get your room sounding right, pick up some decent speakers, and grab a reliable pair of headphones. That's where your money's best spent.

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

I've used headphones for over 15 years, mostly just to hear noises, clicks, and tiny details. That was before I discovered Audezes. Now I use them equally with speakers, and the clarity and change in perspective they provide are essential for my work. Even when traveling, I can feel confident and make critical decisions in headphones using my laptop. I’ve been a fan of the LCD-Xs which I used for years and were already great, but the Audeze MM-500s have been a real game-changer for me. Usually, headphones require a ‘get to know’ period, and even then, translation can be a hit or miss. But these headphones felt like an extension of my studio setup in less than two days! Their frequency response and element separation are so spot-on that I haven’t had to use external EQ or Sonarworks for the first time ever - that was an extremely important requirement for me. Whether I’m in the studio or on the road, they’ve become my go-to headphones that I can trust. They’ve undoubtedly made a significant positive impact on my work, making them a reliable tool I can’t recommend enough. I used them to stem-master the latest album by the Spanish artist Dellafuente, the latest songs by Ptazeta, and an upcoming single for Pol Granch, among many other works.

Audeze MM-500 headphones in the studio