Phil Pluskota is an American producer who has worked with bands such as Abiotic, King Conquer, Human Error and many more. He works out of his Sonic Assault Studios in Cape Coral, FL.
We spoke about new favourite pedals, how too perfect metal albums are sucking the soul out of the whole genre, why trial and error is the way to go, how to stay healthy and much more.
1. What was the thing that got you into Music Production?
I just always loved recording when I was in bands. It was always the most creative and rewarding parts of being in a band. Just going into the studio with these songs you worked your ass off on. And building it from the ground up into a final product. So I figured what the hell? I gave it a shot recording other bands and it hooked me. I can’t see myself doing anything else at this point.
2. What’s your stance on the digital vs analog battle?
Honestly? It’s all tools. Use what you think sounds best and what fits your workflow the best.
3. Do you think one day software, emulation-hardware etc will surpass the real thing?
It is getting crazy how close it is getting in terms of ITB processing vs it’s hardware counterparts. But some analog units just have this vibe and sound you just can’t replicate digitally. But it’s exciting knowing now you can do fully ITB records and not have to worry about the quality suffering.
4. How do you see the current Music Production scene? The pros the cons, what we might be missing/what we could improve?
The thing that is really bumming me out in most current production. Especially the metal side of production. Is the over editing and soul sucking of the genre as a whole. Everyone is so focused on everything being “perfect” that most records don’t have that human element to it anymore. Like imagine Iowa from Slipknot grid edited? That record wouldn’t have the feel, aggression and pure brutality that everyone loves it for. I have been seeing a few guys going for vibe over perfection. Which is super refreshing.
5. What’s the latest piece of gear (hardware/software) that made you go bananas?
Probably the new Horizon Devices Precision Drive. It’s slowly becoming one of my favourite overdrive pedals for boosting my amps. On top of the fact, the built in noise gate is really really good. Which I was really impressed by.
6. Let’s say we could get the brightest of the brightest and smartest of the smartest to come up with a piece of gear (software/hardware) and it could eliminate one annoying thing, what would it be (could be audio or anything, physically impossible or possible)?
A plugin that would get an entire song of drums edited in seconds haha.
7. If you could give one piece of advice to a young starting home-studio producer, what would it be?
Be yourself and don’t be afraid of making mistakes and taking risks with your productions. Trial and error is the best way to learn and get better at your craft.
8. If you could go back in time to remix/master/record one album, what would it be? (Can be your own production or someone elses production)
Oh man…….This is such a tough question. Because I have gone back and remixed records I have worked on before to see what would happen. And even thou technically it sounded better. The original vibe and mindset I had during those records weren’t the same. But one record I would love to have been in studio during would be the self-titled Slipknot record. The raw and chaotic sound of that record is just amazing. I would have loved to see the process and work that went into the tracking of that record.
9. How do you stay healthy during recording process? Exercises? Diets? Things to avoid? Things to remember?
I try to not eat late at night. I used to eat junk in the middle of the night when staying up too late mixing. This is by far the easiest way to pack on that producer’s gut haha. Lately, I have been doing a low carb diet with light lifting and cardio. That has been keeping me feel mentally together and energetic.
10. What’s the 1 item that a new producers shouldn’t be cheap with?
The go-to answer for this would definitely be room treatment. But one of the things I would say to not cheap out on from the start is your monitoring. You are doing all of your critical listening’s and tweaking on your monitors.