The Miloco connoisseur of all things SSL, Mr Adrian Breakspear, takes to the stage for a merry Autumn chin-wag on MILC staff profiles.
Read on to hear the thoughts and feelings of our "blonde, cheerful and pedantic" in-house engineer, (his words no-one else's...!). Adrian...
A) A few starters:
MILC: What do you do here at Miloco?
Adrian: Assistant engineer (specializing in SSL support), engineer, part-time dog-sitter.
MILC: How long have you been at Miloco?
Adrian: Since April 2006, when I was smuggled out of The Dairy Studios in an unmarked van, along with about 10 flightcases of Steve Dub's equipment!
MILC: You've worked with loads of cool artists - can you name a few of the projects/artists you've worked with since joining Miloco...
Adrian: Coldplay, Razorlight, Stereophonics... and away from the guitars, Esser, Crystal Castles and Black Kids, to name some of the more well known.
MILC: ...and of which are you most proud?
Adrian: A track called 'Sunshine Lady' by an up and coming band called 2-Spot Gobi, that I engineered with James Lewis producing... summery, funky pop... with cellos and trumpets!!
Favourite music section:
MILC: What was your favourite album of 2007?
Adrian: Probably Interpol's Our Love to Admire
MILC: What's the first record you remember buying?
Adrian: I won a copy of Michael Jackson's Bad
at the school tombola at the school fete, aged 8!
MILC: Which track in the entire history of music, are you the most goddamn relieved
not to have any involvement in making? (this if course shouldn't really be in the
'Favourite Music Section' but hey...)
Adrian: Eagle Eye Cherry's 'Save Tonight' - I don't think I could have sat in a studio and listened to the same 4-chord sequence (ripped from Iggy Pop's 'The Passenger')
repeated again and again for any length of time!
MILC: Similarly, is there any track which whenever you hear, and whatever mood you
are in, actually does turn you green with envy?
Adrian: Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt'; anything off Tom McRae's Just Like Blood
album (produced by Miloco client Ben Hillier); The Band's 'The Night they Drove
Old Dixie Down'.
MILC: What piece(s) of gear have you come across recently which you'd recommend
to fellow engineers and producers, and why?
Adrian: Audix i5 mic - like a pre-brightened SM57.
MILC: Staff knob of the month. Of all the switches, buttons, effects and tools at your
disposal during recent Miloco sessions, which single one has given you most satisfaction?
Adrian: The strange "vintage digital" reverb in Alpha Centuri, the Dynatron 255 - definitely has the best knobs out of any of the Miloco gear. I spent about 1/2hr cajoling Mike
Spencer to plug that one in on a recent session - purely because it looks so cool!
MILC: Besides knobs and your previous recommendations, what other pieces of
Miloco gear are floating your boat currently???
Adrian: The Chandler Zener (new to the Engine Room) is a very characterful piece of kit... like a more flexible version of the TG1 limiter - it's all over the drums on the new
Razorlight album, so I think Mike Crossey quite enjoyed it too! Otherwise, the rack of vintage Neves in Sofa Sound are always a pleasure to use, and there's never an excuse not
to use a pair of Coles 4038 ribbon mics on any drum recording. Also, a nomination for the humble right mouse button - there's a whole host of time-saving Pro-Tools shortcuts
under that one little button!
It's silly time:
MILC: How would you describe yourself in three words?
Adrian: Blonde, cheerful, pedantic.
MILC: When was the last time you lost your temper with someone and what did they do?
Adrian: Probably at the hapless workie who only put 1 sugar in my coffee, instead of 1 1/2... not really, I don't think I lose my temper too much. I'm more of a worrier!
MILC: What's your biggest regret so far this year?
Adrian: Likewise, I'm not really one for regrets - although I do regret not eating lunch on the day of the Miloco football tournament. Subsequent alcohol consumption led to me
having to make the tactical decision of leaving the "aftershow" relatively early, otherwise I might not have made it home at all!
MILC: Any ideas for what your tombstone might read?
Adrian: No, I can't come in to work tomorrow...
Final music section:
MILC: If you could turn back the clocks and re-visit ONE gig that you went to in the past, which one would it be??
Adrian: Muse, Earl's Court, about 2006 I think - had just assisted on some live mixes, so got to watch the entire show from the FOH booth.
MILC: What's the worst behaviour you've ever witnessed in a studio?
Adrian: I'm sure it would have involved the studio-issue razor blades, non-studio issue white marching powder, and an incredibly long loud night's mixing.
MILC: What's the longest studio time you've ever spent on an, ultimately pointless, task?
Adrian: Gone midnight, working on a session at a different studio a year or so before I joined Miloco - day after the staff Christmas party so there was a slightly hungover
Adrian assisting. The engineer mixing the track, immediately before putting the mix down had a minor panic about the overall mix buss EQ, and over the next 2 hours proceeded to
tweak, and tweak again... and ended up EXACTLY where he started from (as confirmed by my recall). Not much fun when you're on a fixed daily rate!
The end bit:
Thank you very much, Adrian, for opening up to Milc Magazine. We hope you have got some issues
off your chest, and more-importantly enjoyed your brief but very worthwhile interview. Your
time, effort and patience is very much appreciated.
Adrian Breakspear was talking to MILC in October 2008
Adrian's CV can be viewed here: www.miloco.co.uk/management/adrianbreakspear.php
© MILC@Miloco 2008