Renowned audio engineer Cliff Mäag visited Salt Lake Community College and shared the finer points of sound design with audio production students.
For a more than an hour, Mäag held a special sound clinic and gave a demonstration of his EQ and compression units in the audio production control room at the South City Campus.
“[He looked] over some of our student mixes and recordings,” says music recording professor Stephen Sue. “He [also] demonstrated some of his new [equipment] and we applied it [on] different instruments to show what can be achieved by them.”
Mäag has spent more than 35 years in the music industry, recording and engineering albums from a vast array of artists from all genres. Mäag’s engineering can be heard on everything from Marie Osmond to Cheap Trick and beyond.
After so many years behind a mixing console, Mäag transitioned into designing high-end studio EQs and compressors. His intuition and ears finely tuned over those years have made him an authority on the subject of sound.
His small line of analog outboard gear anchored in a sea of digital has gained a loyal niche following. Some of the most in-demand recording engineers proudly endorse his product.
“A lot of equipment designers design equipment around very generic specifications,” Sue says. “Cliff tends to look a little more on how people actually hear. In a way it’s kind of tuned to our sensitivities and our ear, as a result it seems to produce a much more pleasing, transparent sound.”
The small group of students in attendance were exposed to certain applications and techniques, in addition to fine tuning their ears by knowing what to listen for in a mix.
The visit gave Mäag an opportunity to get acquainted with the facilities inside the Center for Arts and Media.
“It’s a great place you guys got. You’re lucky to have it,” Mäag says. “It’s great to have a booth big enough to fit all of us here.”