On the Record with Mat Mitchell & GiO
Recent Projects: Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails
For a man who’s worked with A Perfect Circle, it appears Mat Mitchell has come full circle himself. Starting out as a guitarist, Mat has progressed from guitar tech and programmer for Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle to producer and performer on stage with Puscifer. He joins Tool Frontman Maynard Keenan’s side project among a rotating list of members, including Actress/Model/Singer Milla Jovovich, Primus’ Tim Alexander and well-rounded rock musician Danny Lohner, resulting in a collaborative project which, according to Keenan, “sounds like a smooth but firm hot buttered pelvic massage.” With “C is For,” Mat used his Apogee Symphony Mobile System, Duet and Ensemble with Logic for the album, and, most recently, his GiO for live use with MainStage.
“I’m enjoying the rawness of performing and the immediate feedback I get on stage,” Mat reveals. Gear-wise, Apogee has been with him every step of the way. “On the Nine Inch Nails tour, we started using the Rosettas with Symphony Mobile which has taken things to a new level sonically. When it comes to low latency and high quality, Apogee just has really great products. I find myself using Duet on everything.”
Mat first began working in the 90s doing production for his own bands. “I started out as a guitar player. I ripped it apart and learned how to make it better, and then started getting into gear,” he says. With a self-taught technical foundation, he undertook some live work on other projects, like A Perfect Circle where he first met Maynard Keenan, and later programming and live tech gigs with Billy Howerdel and Trent Reznor. After what he says was “a lot of live work,” Mat got back into the studio working on what would eventually become a performing and production role in Puscifer.
“The integration that Apogee has with Apple products that makes it so wonderful. You don’t have to have separate applications open; everything is integrated and meant to work together, and it does so quite well.”
For the band’s latest recordings on “C is For,” they used the Duet on its own with just a Soundelux U95 plugged straight into Duet’s mic pre, using only the Dynamics Plug ins in Logic for compression. “We couldn’t be happier,” Mat says. “On tour, we’re using Apogee everywhere. We use MainStage, which takes care of playback, synth sounds, and guitar sounds and we run that into an Ensemble.” After being introduced to GiO, Apogee’s guitar interface and foot controller, Mat was able to really make the most of his live performances. “Since we are already using MainStage live, the GiO is a great addition,” he says. “It allows me to switch through my amps and all my pedals through MainStage. Another thing we discovered is that you can assign buttons to create a new track and arm that track.” Additionally, Mat highlights it’s “the integration that Apogee has with Apple products that makes it so wonderful. You don’t have to have separate applications open; everything is integrated and meant to work together, and it does so quite well.”
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