Thursday, August 17, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
GREAT MIXERS NEVER DIE
They just keep on riding the bus!
Originally Posted: 12-27-2013 8:21 PM
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About a month ago, I was honored to receive a top secret message asking me to participate in a massive birthday present for my friend, Grammy-winning mixer Neal Pogue. His closest friends were tapped by his missus to contribute to a "love book" which she would print, filled with all of our thoughts for the birthday boy. This is one of the very coolest ideas I've ever heard of and I was honored to be included as a contributor.

For those of you who don't know Neal, you can google his name and check out and be impressed by the massive list of high profile records he's mixed in the last 20 years. Neal was also one of the influential voices that kept pushing Andre 3000 to release a little ditty thought to be a throwaway, Outkast's "Hey Ya". He's also the guy who used delays to turn the verses' 1/4 note hand claps into an 1/8 note hook, showing that mixers can also contribute to a song's arrangement, create hooks, and deliver more than just a well-balanced recording. Ohhh, no... mixing is a lot more than just balance.

I first met Neal working at Larrabee North, a multi-room studio used mainly for SSL console mixing in North Hollywood. He mixed there regularly for those great artists in his discography and, one day, asked me to be his Pro Tools engineer on a 2nd album project for a fantastic R&B artist named Cherokee. At the time, she was being managed by Herb Trawick, who some of you may know these days from his appearances in the web series, Pensado's Place.

Neal was fun to work with--very laid back, a great level of listening focus, and a well experienced mixer. When I found out he had mixed En Vogue's "Don't Let Go", one of my all time favorite records, I was definitely on board. His work in R&B was a go to list of inspiration stemmed from his beginnings in Atlanta, working at Bobby Brown's Bosstown Studios. On Cherokee's sessions, Neal was preparing to relocate to LA so we worked in several studios around town including Burbank's Enterprise & Enterprise II, both owned by Billy Mumy of 'Lost In Space' fame; and sadly, now both defunct.

We also worked at Studio 56 in Hollywood which was famously rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a man found headless in the garbage behind the studio in 1991. The spirit apparently showed up a number of times causing clients to bail on their sessions in terror, which over time led to the closure of the studio! Fortunately the deceased didn't show up when Neal and I were working on tracks there with producer Anthony Nance (Brian McKnight). But I do remember having some unusual trouble getting the MicroLynx to sync with Pro Tools at first. Hmmm...

We both got Grammy nods the same year, his for Outkast's 'Speakerboxx/The Love Below' and mine for P!nk's 'Try This'. He was the first person I called after the telecast to congratulate and he has returned my encouragement many times in his words and actions. He was kind enough to suggest a writer include me in his EQ Magazine feature, "Rogue Pogue", which was one of my first trade magazine interviews. He didn't need to do that, but he was a friend and was happy to share some good fortune.

So when Neal's birthday book was coming due, I sat down and thought of how much we had experienced together and it was stunning to realize how many parallels and shared experiences we had in a less than a decade. Running full speed through my career has always led to surprising reflections when I gets the chance. It's so important to survey and appreciate the ground one covers in life and I had a great chance to do it when writing my tribute and ROAST to my friend.

Did someone say ROAST? Well, as you might imagine, Faithful Reader, I couldn't resist. Firstly, you need to know that Neal looks incredibly young, so of course my text was filled with age-jibe punch lines. But truth be told, no one who met him could guess his age. To look that young yet be that experienced is a deadly combination in this business!

I'll be waiting till later today to publish this column, as Neal is receiving his book of love right now. Today's publishing date is, in fact, his birthday. And since it is his birthday today, what better to write about this week than how great it is to have friendships with great and inspiring people like Neal.

A book of love--what an amazing gift! Major points go to his lovely wife whom he married just a few years ago, Ms. Cherokee Pogue (aka Shock Mama Cherry, lead singer in Esprit De Corps). Ahhh? You mean he got the girl from Brooklyn too? This is almost like a Rom Com coming to a close!

Just the kind of story that appeals to a sentimental guy like me...

FIND A WAY, MY FRIENDS
Dave Carlock
DAVE CARLOCK -
A DAY IN THE LIFE
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