Tchad Blake co-winner of this year's Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Grammy Award for Suzanne Vega's Beauty and Crime, recorded the victorious long-player on his own 16-fader Digidesign ICON D-Control console at his Full Mongrel studio. Meanwhile, at an Oscars event where both sound categories were won by the teams behind The Bourne Ultimatum, there was further disappointment for sound mixer Kevin O'Connell, writes David Davies.
A former resident engineer at Real World Studios and renowned freelance engineer/mixer whose credits include Peter Gabriel's Up and Tom Waits' (extraordinary and extraordinary-sounding) Bone Machine, Tchad Blake reportedly selected an ICON worksurface to provide the familiar feel of a professional mixing console. "I wanted to mix in the box, but wasn't ready to let go of my knobs," said Blake, who engineered Beauty & Crime alongside Cameron Craig, Emery Dobyns and Jimmy Hogarth. "Thanks to ICON, I can use my own studio and use Pro Tools in the best possible way."
The set-up allows Blake to collaborate over long distances more easily. "I can now work with artists wherever they are based as I send mixes for review via Digidelivery," said Blake, who previously won a Grammy in 1998 for his work on Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions. "The ICON is quick to use and I've usually started the second or even third mix before I receive comments back. Five years ago I couldn't have imagined this; now I don't want to work any other way."
Meanwhile, at the historic 80th Academy Film Awards, The Bourne Ultimatum walked away with both the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing awards. The film's success in the latter meant that Kevin O'Connell – who has been nominated twenty times without success and was in the running this year for his work on Transformers – went home without one of the prized Oscar statuettes yet again.