Staff Profile: Matt Hyde
Matt Hyde is one of our very best engineers. The last few years have seen him get his talented fader-tweaking
fingers on projects for the likes of Trivium, Slipknot, Fightstar, Chimaira, Bullet For My Valentine and bucket loads
more. But he's not just a gruesome gore-soaked metal fan, far from it, as a little read through the following interview
A) The facts:
MILC: What do you do here at Miloco?
Matt: I've been told that I'm the black sheep for Miloco. I guess every company needs at least one rebel!! Although when
I'm not winding up the good people in the office, I find it gives them the time to manage my career as a producer/engineer.
MILC: How long have you been at Miloco?
MH: Oh dear... I don't want to answer that now I have thought about it. It will be ten years next summer! TEN YEARS.
How has that gone by so quickly? I still thought I was only about 24.
MILC: Please name a few of the projects/artists you've been involved with at Miloco.
MH: Over the past year I have spent a lot of time with Fightstar, as well as albums for Slipknot, Trivium, Chimaira,
and big projects with Bullet For My Valentine, Foy Vance and Crash Car Burn - to name but a few!!
MILC: ...and of which are you most proud?
MH: Most proud of ever, or just those I name checked above? I think one of my proudest projects ever would have to be with
a French band called Mass Hysteria. Sonically it was not necessarily the best thing I have done, but it was my first full
on album production where I was on my own from start to finish and mentally it was a lot to take on and cope with at times.
I was locked away in a residential studio with the band for a month of tracking and only one of them spoke any English, so
it did get quite hard. But we came to Miloco's Neve Room to mix it and everyone was really pleased with the final result.
My proudest from the bands I named above would be a hard choice to make. They all have so many different memories and
experiences to choose from. Fightstar was amazing just because of the friendships and bonds that were formed. It is an
album where I genuinely love every song. Chimaira's self-titled album mix sounds sonically stunning. If you read up on
the metal forums, that album is constantly mentioned as one of the top three greatest sounding heavy records of all time.
So naturally you feel proud to have been involved in a project that is so well respected. Like I say I am always proud of
what I do; just sometimes for different reasons. That answer turned into a bit of an essay...
MILC: Which producer/engineer would you most like to work with?
MH:If I was in a band then naturally I would most like to work with me... But I guess you are asking me as a producer /
engineer who I would like to meet, in which case I would love to attend a mix session with Andy Wallace. I still think
he is the best in the world at what he does, and I definitely have a lot of respect for someone who apparently never uses
any outboard equipment! Producer wise, I would have to say Bob Rock and Rick Rubin. Both guys who have always managed to
adapt their sounds, but yet stay at the forefront of cutting edge productions. I have always wanted to meet the Canadian
producer called Matt Hyde who did albums with Sum41 and Hatebreed. That would be a cool collaboration to get together.
I would say Ted Jensen for mastering, but I have already attended a session in New York with him, so I guess that doesn't
MILC: What do you think Miloco can offer over other studios?
MH: I have spent a lot of time working at other studios over the past year, and always feel so at home coming back
to Miloco. Some might say it is just familiarity, but I have come to realise and notice all the extras Miloco offers
compared to other facilities. The support you get from the staff in the office is absolutely world class; I really
have not been to another studio in this country and received such a personal interest in making the session as successful
as possible. Add this to some of the best spec'd studios in London, very competitive rates, and you get a winning
combination. Miloco are not content to just try and trade off their name, or a past reputation, which unfortunately
too many studios have been doing. They are always investing back into each of the rooms looking for improvement.
Whether it is something behind the scenes such as upgrading the amps on the monitors, or cosmetic overhauls of the
facilities, there is always some kind of development going on. I think that it is because of this forward thinking
that Miloco has grown as a studio company during a time when many competitors are being forced to shut their doors!!
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?
MH: Dylan from CrashCarBurn - He was a bit of a tool, but very entertaining at the same time (only joking Dyl!!). I
could say the mute button. Why do guitarists have to keep playing and fiddling while you are trying to talk to the band?
Or maybe Beat Detective on Protools. It is probably the single best tool ever implemented into audio production software.
I love the sound and feel of my drum tracks when they have had a little tighten up. I completely disagree with anyone who
thinks that it takes the feel out of drumming. For me the feel comes from how a drum or the cymbals are struck. Sometimes
I wonder if 'feel' is just an excuse word for 'out of time'. I always have to have a set of Genelec 1031's, so I would
probably say that they are the most important tool for me on a session.
MILC: If your current clients were a sandwich, what would they be?
MH: Sub of the day - I have never know a band eat so many subways in a few weeks as CrashCarBurn. It was sub of the day for
lunch, then sub of the day again for dinner. Thankfully Subway changes it everyday, or it could have started to get boring
Favourite music section:
MILC: What was your favourite album when you were:
a) 5-12 yrs old?
Probably BonJovi ' Keep the Faith' or Guns & Roses 'Appetite for Destruction'.
That or Rick Astley!
Extreme 'Pornograffity' , Nirvana 'Nevermind' & Metallica's Black album. Music that made
me want to pick up an electric guitar!!
I listened to so much different music over this period. Got really into the Brit Rock thing with
Ash and Oasis etc, still into the heavier music, like Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam but also went through a bit of a dance
MILC: If you could have been involved in the recording of any one album, which one would it have been?
MH: Possibly Nirvana 'Nevermind'. There has been so much talk of it being the first record that was Protools'd up so I
would love to see just how much stuff was manipulated. There is no doubt that the record still stands up against a lot
of today's big rock productions.
MILC: What is your favourite album cover and why?
MH: The Roadrunner 25th anniversary album 'Roadrunner United' had some brilliant artwork. It was all designed to look
like a football team shirt, with the club badge and everything. This was kind of symbolic for the whole concept of the
record, and I think I liked it and remembered it for this more than anything. No one has ever made a collaboration
record like it, and I doubt whether something on such a scale will happen again. It was a truly fantastic project to
have been a part of.
MILC: Which other producer/engineer's work has influenced you most over the last 12 months?
MH: I have been influenced by a lot of things I have heard. Whether for me they are more examples of how a record
should never sound, or stunning examples of good production and mixing. I think it is really important to always
listen to what other people are doing otherwise your work could sound a bit dated or one dimensional. In the studio,
it is undoubtedly Colin Richardson who has taught me and influenced my sound most over the past few years. Although
for a large part of his career he may have been pigeon holed into the Metal scene, I think with recent productions such
as Fightstar and Funeral for a Friend, he has proven that there are many more sides to his work. I think he is a perfect
example of making sure you keep your sound current and making sure you are not left behind with new technologies or
MILC: What's the last film you saw at the cinema (was it any good)?
MH: What is the cinema? Do they have one at the studio? Think the last film I saw at the cinema was probably Superman
Returns. It was good in places, but had some really naff story lines.
MILC: What's your favourite kitchen utensil and why?
MH: Got to be the blender. You can make awesome smoothies for when you want to be healthy, or create some interesting
cocktails with whatever drinks come to hand and a load of ice cubes!
MILC: What's the last book you read/what are reading now?
MH: Last book was 'Faithless' by Karin Slaughter, and I have just started 'The Righteous Men' by Sam Bourne. I
read lots - it passes those tube journeys to the studio!!
MILC: Who are you least likely to be sending a Christmas card to this year?
MH: I am going to be really good and not answer that one.
MILC: What was your most recent holiday destination and what did you do there?
MH: Went to Egypt for a few weeks. Had some time on the Red Sea where I was scuba diving and wakeboarding loads, and
also went to Cairo for a few days and did the whole pyramids thing. Having been there I am even more convinced that the
Egyptians never built them - there is another great book: 'Fingerprints of the Gods' by Graham Hancock. I am counting
the days 'til I can get back to the mountains and onto my snowboard now!
MILC: What are you doing next weekend?
MH: Working of course... What are weekends? Will be in with a new signing to Roadrunner called 'Daath'.
All-comers title fight:
MILC: Who would win a fight between... Kylie and Danni Minogue? (and why?)
MH: Kylie for sure. She is the oldest sister, and as an oldest sibling myself, I know that there is no way I would let
my younger brother beat me at anything. It's just one of those hierarchy things that doesn't get messed with!
Final music section:
MILC: Which is the best gig you've ever been to?
MH: Probably Trivium at the Camden Barfly about a year ago. I am often disappointed by gigs, as the sound is always so
poor and the bands don't sound as good as their records. However, I went to Trivium a bit of a doubter of the band and
was turned around by the show to the point that I got the album a few days later. They got Robb Flynn from Machine Head
on stage to do a few songs with them and played some Metallica and Iron Maiden covers. I don't think we will ever be seeing
Trivium playing a venue that size again.
MILC: What's the worst behaviour you've ever witnessed in a studio?
MH: I have seen plenty of 'rock & roll' bad behaviour, but for me the worst is when you have clients that treat the
assistants badly. Don't get me wrong, I have seen plenty of bad assistants that deserve a bit of flack, but when you
have a young lad who is full of enthusiasm getting treated and spoken to like they are insignificant I really don't
like it, and will often say something or intervene by asking them to do something for me just so they can't help the client.
At the end of the day, the assistant is there for the engineer, and anything they do to make the client more comfortable is
out of their desire to be part of the session and help it run well. There is never a reason for not giving them a 'please
and thankyou', but unfortunately you get some people into the studio and all their basic manners are suddenly beneath them!
MILC: What's the longest studio time you've ever spent on an, ultimately pointless, task?
MH: Trying to get a good guitar sound out of a cheap telecaster and VOX amp!! I wasted so much time early on in my career
trying to work with the bands gear just to keep them happy. Drummers that think new heads sound too clicky, or guitarists
that want a beefy guitar sound with underpowered rigs. I have learnt that no matter what studio recording chain you use,
or however much you try to EQ a sound, if it is the wrong gear in the first place it will never get any better. I have
almost come to the conclusion that the studio side of things is far less important than the musician and instrument side.
I won't even put a mic up until I am happy with the sound in the room now. Even if it means the band have to hire a whole
different choice of backline. I wish I had worked that out a long time ago.
The end bit:
Thank you very much for submitting yourself to the Miloco Magazine inquisition; your time, effort and
patience is much appreciated.
Matt Hyde was talking to MILC in the Autumn of 2006
Matt's CV can be viewed here: Interface Your Music
© MILC@Miloco 2006