Matt Mateus in his studio at home. Photo: John Lascaris
In / Out:
Years Recording: 10-12
Studio Location: Home
Gear Found in Studio: Digidesign 003, Pro Tools 7.4, Ableton Live 7, Logic Pro 8, SM57s and other various cheap mics, Space Echo RE-201, Virus A Synth, M-Audio MicroTrack II, Yamaha MT120 4-Track, various guitars and basses, vibes, piano, drums and glockenspiel
Notable National Acts Recorded: N/A
Notable Local Acts Recorded: Not currently recording local bands. Recently recorded a song for Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon, sound design for a Nintendo DS game, film scores for Darkroom and Natural Family Values
SLUG: How did you get started?
Mateus: I think I really started getting interested after I met Herc Ottenheimer. He taught me pretty much everything I know. I was so jealous of his lifestyle–getting to record bands for a living seemed like the best job in the world. When I was living in New York City, I bought a bunch of gear, some ADATS, a Mackie board, and some mics and started recording bands. I got really lucky and landed an internship at a fancy studio where lots of big names recorded. I learned about technique and the fundamentals of recording. From there, I moved back to Salt Lake. Actually, it was me, my wife Tamara and Andy Patterson in a bench-seat U-haul driving all our shit across the country. By the third day, we weren’t allowed to mention anything about recording. When we got back, I helped start a little studio with Andy, but realized that he definitely had more passion and patience for recording bands than I did. I happened to luck out and get a job teaching recording at Spy Hop Productions, where I am currently the programs director. It is the best day job that a person like me could ever hope for. I have discovered how great it is to work with young people, and it allows me to be around people that inspire me.
SLUG: What is your studio setup like?
Mateus: My studio is nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary: just a bunch of toys, an iMac and a 003. I am a huge fan of Ableton Live and all the Native Instruments software. I love sampling and messing with found sounds. As far as the design of my home studio goes, I think that it’s a reaction to how much time I’ve I spent in dark, windowless studios. I wanted to be surrounded by a bit of nature. So, I put one of those huge 70s wallpaper murals of a forest up and built my control room like a cedar cabin, with shingles and everything. My wife is an interior designer, which definitely comes in handy. She helped me design the space around this concept of a little haven in the woods. It’s small, but very relaxing. Last spring, some birds built a nest above my control room and that really sealed the concept (but I had to do all my voiceover work at another studio until they left).
SLUG: Any final thoughts?
Mateus: I have the privilege of knowing many of the recording engineers in town and I know how dedicated they are to providing the best possible experience to the local music scene. Many of them struggle to pay bills and keep their studios updated, but it’s that dedication, which often goes thankless, that moves me.