A Q&A With Sound Engineer Jerome Renard
A friend and I were wondering the other day about accountants and how they think, how they dream when they are asleep. We came to the conclusion that they must think in numbers -and yes, it could be binary -and when they dream it must be in black and white with numerical values given to each character in the dream. Then we went on to artists and musicians. We felt that artists think and dream in living technicolor and musicians split their time thinking and dreaming in 12-count beats, numbers with occasional splashes of color on an otherwise black and white Rorschach test image for a backdrop. Then sound engineers came up and we both very much agreed, that they live their lives and dream away their sleeping hours peacefully floating in a sea of beautiful sounds.
We have always admired Jerome Renard’s sound engineering work so when we got to speak to him, we asked his opinion on all of this. When he works in a studio, mixing sounds for a music album he immerses himself in his work and the finished product is always rich with imaginative sound editing -added effects, tones and vibrations that were never there when the initial music was given to him.
Of course, that’s the magic of being a sound engineer — to enhance the piece that is given to you and to make it better, which is what Jerome does each and every time. He can stretch a note or sculpt a bar in a way that only the absolute very best engineers could ever do. When someone hands him a piece of music or an album or any other type of sound that is just waiting to be made better -Jerome receives it like Michelangelo received a blank three-ton piece of marble — he knows just what to do with it. The nice thing about people like Jerome Renard is that he takes his job, his calling, very seriously and is a sound engineer to create and enhance beauty. He is an artist in his own right and he has been doing this for almost ten years. Musical artists trust him with their personal creations because he has established a reputation of honesty, hard work and commitment to each project he accepts. He is a true professional. So, when we sat down with Jerome, he answered our questions.
Tell us exactly what the job title is of a mixer/sound engineer:
Well, the job of a mixing engineer, in a simple way, is the mix of every sonic element. From another perspective, it’s to translate the vision of the artist into the song.
How do you personally approach mixing.
My approach is pretty simple. First I talk with the artist or the producer to understand the vision they have for the song. Usually I also receive a pre-mix of the songs and from there, I will craft a mix that I will share with them. Then it will be an exchange of calls, mailings or in person talks to perfect some of the elements until their vision comes alive!
How do you define, sculpt the sound ?
There are many tools that are at our disposal to do that and we could talk for hours just about that. But my setup is simple and allows me to go along with many genres. I’m mostly full ITB (in the box) and use only few outboard elements that I know will fit my setup in the way I want it to.
Does that require a magic touch?
There is not really a magic touch. It’s more about how I am going to hear all the elements, understand their vision and approach the mix.
What’s next in your career?
Right now my next move is to settle down in Los Angeles. The opportunities and excitement in that city are just amazing. I already received some offers that I’ll keep silent for now.
What about the rest 2019 and 2020?
The end of 2019 and 2020 is getting busier and busier. I worked on many projects in 2018 that haven’t been released yet and I just received an offer to work on a 5 episode miniseries. Some of my good friends including producers; such as Wadakyz I mixed for last year and who is working on new music right now -which is expected to be released the following year. In other words, it means that they’re going to send me a ton of tracks to mix.
We have one more question for you. How does a sound engineer dream?
That’s a good question! We first have to sleep! All jokes aside, I would say, for me, it’s a lot of color and waves surrounding me. And sometimes I can even find a solution to a problem I’m stuck on, in the mix. Does that answer your question?
It does answer our questions! Thanks so much for your time Jerome!