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“James [LaBrie] and I were in a band together in the late ‘80s. We stayed in touch, and I did some work with him and recorded the vocals for Dramatic Turn of Events. We’ve always had really good chemistry working together. I mixed their Luna Park DVD [due 5 November], and John Petrucci called me to offer me the recording and mixing project for their new album.
“I think chemistry is so important, and on this album you can hear it in the performances. Getting the sound is a collaborative effort. The main thing going in is, when speaking to John, we shared a similar vision.
“John has a very specific guitar sound in mind. I was up for the challenge of working with him on sounds. There were some days when we were working on guitar sounds until 2 or 3 in the morning. He kept saying it was like chocolate cake with all these layers.
"We used NEVE 1073s preamps for the mics; we used an Audio Technica 4080 ribbon mic as part of the main sound in concert with a Neumann Fet 47; we also had a Shure SM57 that we brought in here and there depending on the brightness we wanted. We didn’t EQ a lot – most of it was combining microphones. The main core were those, and we also used an Audio Tehcnica 4047, which is similar to the Neumann Fet 47 but just a different flavour. And then off to ProTools we went."