Staff Profile: Pete Hofmann
This issue of MILC we're proud to present: Pete Hofmann. Pete is an engineer, producer, mix and remix specialist who's
worked on a glittering array of projects. Over the years his clients have included Ms Dynamite, The Auteurs, Rachel Stevens,
Richard X, Khaled and Outlandish and his projects regularly sell record quantities across the globe. But he's also the man
Miloco turns to when new speakers need installing, or walls need building, or, in general, our lives need to be markedly
improved. He's integral to both the output and the running of Miloco, and we salute him!
MILC caught up with him in March 2006 and asked him a series of witless questions. Here's what he had to say:
MILC: What do you do here at Miloco?
PH: As I have now been part of the Miloco family for 15 years my roles are both many and varied. As a producer
and engineer, whilst I have been lucky enough to work in some of the best studios in the world, I still love
mixing at Miloco, and for that reason I am also involved in the running of the company to try and keep the
studios up to the sort of standard I have come to expect.
MILC: How did you get started in the music business?
PH: I basically started as a tape op at Milo's Hoxton Square straight out of school. I always knew I was
destined to be an engineer after spending my school days recording the school carol concerts on my 4-track.
A mutual friend then suggested I did some work at Milo over the summer and my first session was on The Charlatans
album 'Some Friendly'. I was hooked!
MILC: What do you think Miloco can offer over other studios?
PH: The big difference with Miloco is that we are like a big extended family. Whilst we have all the usual
equipment (and then some) and ensure it's all maintained to a high standard, we also don't mind if clients
come in and put their feet on the console. We will always do our best to accommodate any requirements and want people to feel at home.
MILC: You've worked with a whole host of artists, from Luke Haines to Ms Dynamite, as well as working on
projects for Nine Inch Nails, Liberty X and 123 Soleils, to name but a few...of which are you most proud?
PH: Aha... Well, I'm proud of all of them in some way or another. The 123 Soleils album was by far the most ambitious
and hardest work; Black Box Recorder's album, The Facts of Life, is a great album produced on a shoestring; Richard
X's album pushed the boundaries of pop music and is one of the most important; and as for Luke [Haines], well he
continues to inspire me: the Baader Meinhof album is well worth a listen, but I'm equally proud of his forthcoming
album which should be out this year.
MILC: Which artist and/or producer would you most like to work with in the future?
PH: The trouble with this is there are a lot of artists I love, but at the same time working with them changes
everything. I would like to work on the next Annie album if she makes one, and I would like to do some more work
in the States, maybe with Lucas [Secon]. I also hope to do a lot more work with Richard X this year as he definitely
gets the best out of me because we have such a creative working relationship...
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?
PH: Hmmn... I love the Crystaliser from Sound Toys - it's all over the last few mixes I've done. As for outboard,
anyone who's worked with me knows by now I know what works for what so I normally use the same things. I only
worry about the day when the last AMS 1580 stops working...maybe that's the day I hang up my boots.
MILC: Do you ever write/record your own material? (...and, if so, how do you see these projects in relation to
your continuing producing/engineering work?)
PH: I have been doing more writing with another couple of writers in the last few years and I really enjoy it.
Hopefully as we become more successful I can dedicate more time to it and then tie in all the production side
of things as well. It pains me to hear someone ruin one of your songs...
MILC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
PH: Driving a TVR around the countryside between my studio and family home overlooking the sea somewhere on the
south coast...Well, we need to dream.
MILC: You spend a lot of time in and out of all the Miloco studios - do you have a favourite? And
what's your favourite studio ever?
PH: It will always be Hoxton Square for me, even though I don't use it so much any more. So many of my
favourite records have been made there - check out Danny Wilson's Famous Mad Mile.
MILC: What new act/album would you recommend we keep our ears peeled for this year?
PH: I've got a soft spot for The White Rose Movement although haven't heard the whole album. Look out for
French duo Justice - mainly known for their remixes but soon to be releasing an album. Respect also to Tiga and Rex the Dog.
Favourite music section:
MILC: What was your favourite album when you were:
a) 5-12 yrs old?
Nik Kershaw - Human Racing
The Cure - Seventeen Seconds
Massive attack - Blue Lines
MILC: If you could have been involved in the recording of any one album, which one would it have been?
PH: All I can say is that if it wasn't for The Cure I would never have ended up in the studio. I spent days
recreating Cure tracks and performing them in school assemblies. I still to this day would love to work with Robert Smith...
MILC: What is your favourite album cover and why?
PH: Sonic Youth "Dirty". (Don't know why, it was the first one to pop in my head.
MILC: Which other producer/engineer's work has influenced you most over the last 12 months?
PH: Stuart Price/Spike Stent on Confessions...
MILC: What's the last film you saw at the cinema (was it any good)?
PH: Broke Back Mountain: I laughed for the first 10 mins at the overt gayness, felt deeply uncomfortable during the
middle bit and cried at the end .. What a wreck!
MILC: What's your favourite kitchen utensil and why?
PH: Don't get me started. I love my Global knives and all my other kitchen gear.
MILC: What's the last book you read/what are reading now?
PH: Used to read a book a week but simply don't get the time any more with the kids. I normally snatch about
5 minutes in the bathroom to read Autosport before they start banging on the door.
MILC: What was your most recent holiday destination and what did you do there?
PH: Val D'isere, skiing in January. It was simply beautiful.
MILC: What are you doing next weekend?
PH: Dressing up as a pirate on Saturday for my son's birthday and looking forward to the Grand Prix on
Sunday even though I hear that Simon Fuller has taken over PR at Honda...Is nothing sacred!!!
MILC: All-comers title fight: Who would win a fight between... Donald Duck and Donald Rumsfeld? And why?
PH: My monies on the duck. You can't beat a good mallard.
(D.Duck advances to next round. Ed)
Final music section:
MILC: Which is the best gig you've ever been to?
Sisters of Mercy, Reading 92
MILC: What's the longest studio time you've ever spent on an, ultimately pointless, task?
PH: One full day recall in Mayfair to change 1 guitar note on New Year's Day.
MILC: What's the worst behaviour you've ever witnessed in a studio?
PH: An artist who will remain nameless throwing up in a patchbay... A producer who will remain nameless
setting fire to a Neve VR... Too many to mention...
Pete Hofmann was talking to MILC in March 2006
© MILC@Miloco 2006
You can view Pete's full CV (including sample audio files) here: Pete Hofmann