Post Malone Front-of-House Engineer – Burton Ishmael


In this interview from Sweetwater, we talk to Burton Ishmael, the FOH Audio Engineer for Post Malone, renowned American singer, songwriter, and record producer known for his unique blend of hip-hop, pop, and rock influences.

Post Malone Front-of-House Engineer – Burton Ishmael Interview

Video text:

Hey folks my name is Burton Ishmael and I’m the front of house mixer for the 12 carat tour the artist is Mr post Malone welcome to front of house this is where the front of house audio is being controlled like to take you for a quick little tour of what’s around me obviously we have here the heart of it all the mixing console and this is an avid 6L I’ve got some outboard gear that is patched all into here to make the final sound and um I’ve got quite you know a collection on this side and this side these are my favorite toys over the years that I’ve found to be the things that I’ve liked to use in my mixing I have on this side a master

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chain and on this side I’ve got a vocal chain as well as a parallel chain and some some uh character coloring and uh parallel chain also for the entire music all right so a little about how the the whole process happens as far as the mix process we have Pro Tools that talks to this console it’s a seamless uh thing going on however the uh the manufacturers made it to be I’m able to record the show track for track here and have a recording of it and then I can afterwards come back and you know do balances or do tweaks or whatever the case is so that happens between this computer and this console and it’s track for track channel for channel going through there the processing on the vocal I have the 500 series setup right and I first start with de-essing then I do some filtering and as after the filtering then I do some uh compression

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which is uh first at you know the peak stage is just to tame the Peaks uh if you if you follow uh post his live shows he he gets so excited sometimes and he you know just bursts out in this big screaming you know and it’s it’s almost 20 DBS from where he’s singing so just to be able to control those High Peaks and you know just to balance it out and I’m using the West audio for that and then one of my favorite pieces in this piece in this in in the in the rack here is the Shadow Hills optograph um and those of you that know do know what you know that does uh it’s a really nice sounding piece one of my favorites actually probably my favorite in the entire entire rack and then that goes now to some additive EQ at the end and then some saturation using the character from Alicia and then uh that is now paralleled into a purple audio uh 1176 Style again which I crushed the life out of and um I try to get it down there but

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Mr Malone gets it all the way to minus 20 and that’s really impressive I like I like what it does when it when it gets down there there and then that’s brought up again by another MOG EQ and then and then finally over um another process again into the character then over into the essing unit again so that’s pretty much his vocal chain um and I love it it works out great uh otherwise to that in this rack also I have the Alicia uh the envelope which I used on the drums to just add back the transients and the punch and really focus wherever I want it to hit you know being in a live the live environment you’ve got all of this reverberance to deal with that transience and and making things like um really pronounced is one of the things you really want to do because it maintains the you know the original Sonic signature of things so a lot of things could get washed out in the environment so a unit like like this

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the envelope helps to bring back the punch you know the um drums and I love it on there um and then I have another favorite the third the 33609 meve that I use um those of you that follow uh Mr Andrew sheps uh he’s got you know his um backbust compression technique and that’s one of the techniques I really really love and I you know really admire him sharing that little thing with the world right and I use that also in the live using the same technique using the Neve sound and then finally on the master chain of I call this the magic section I don’t know what manly does here with their tubes but it’s just magic right just like the Alicia magic manly that has their magic too really if the first massive passive I just turn it on and just just to put it in the chain and it does something that I can’t explain it just does its thing naturally so there’s there’s no additive of subtracting anything going on there it’s

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just it being there you know like it’s just in the midst of it and it just livens up the party that’s what that does another favorite piece is the uh the verimu with the t-mod um and that was a Darius spoke uh talked me into getting that he goes hey man you know like if you’re going to do it just do it all the way and I I went all the way no regrets there but that’s fully Decked Out fully loaded and I love that piece and then of course the mug you know the the MOG does does what it does that the sub-harmonic stuff and all of that and the air band beautiful great stuff you know and it just adds you know when you go through compression and you’re trying to build density and all of that stuff sometimes you you know you darken your mix and all of that stuff and you have to bring it back to life that does it and finally it goes through a limiter and I use an analog limiter which is the better maker and the better maker does uh the limiting I do the soft clipping in there

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with the uh the Clipper that’s in there which is an amazing piece of uh technology that’s going on and then some harmonics on the high end if it gets too harsh and that completes the master chain everything now is clocked right at 96k on the antelope the 10mx and that’s doing that um and then finally the system processing besides the overall system processing done by my assistance engineer I have a lake here on my end that I can do my little tweaks and tonal shaping and so forth and that’s done by lm44 Otherwise to that we have an arturia here fuse eight and that’s what I used to uh tune the room tune the sound system and that’s got eight channels and then we use four test microphones across there with a program called smart um and uh that’s basically what we have here uh I do have my trusted Audis you know the way you the way you want to

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say it um the mix was done in there also um I’ve I’ve also built this mix on focals solo 6 as well another fine product from Sweetwater and uh the ATC 20s I believe the asls if I don’t if I said that right uh the gear guy is Darius not me I just I just listen um but but the entire show is done on on those monitors otherwise to that that’s uh that’s pretty much what’s happening in control center here in a nutshell a little about the rig you probably can’t see it right now but um we do have a deployment of about 192 speaker elements uh it’s all a line array deployment um there’s four hangs on each side of 16 top boxes and uh 40 Subs all together so it’s quite quite a system that I have here a lot of fun great music

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you know great environment to be in and I’m really thankful to God for this opportunity you know to be able to do this and I encourage those of you that are following you know keep working hard keep at it you need gear Sweet Water is the place you know and uh I Darius and I were talking this morning and we were talking about you know uh things that keep you in this industry and if I can share this with the world Talent will get you in the door character will keep you there right uh and then we talked about the the three three great words that I love diligence uh consistency and gratitude and diligence helps you you know when you’re diligent you work hard and you know you you pursue and and and you develop and you invest and you know once you get in that position being consistent right will keep you there being consistent at your work and keep doing well and keeping things where it need to be that’ll keep you there and

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gratitude the more thankful you are that is going to increase where you’re at so take that little uh Little Nugget and little advice run with it do your best all right and uh see where it goes and that’s it in a nutshell um you’re looking at all of this great gear here and I want you to know that it came from one source and that is sweet water all right my awesome salesperson Darius beats is a help choir all of this um through the through the years and you know uh his service and you know him helping me you know just to test things out and try things out you know his recommendations and so forth has gone a long way and this is the final outcome for the 12 carat tour foreign [Music]

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