Darrell Thorp is the kind of Engineer so many of us aspire to be. For me, he is THE definition of a recording engineer; someone who sees his job as capturing the best performances of the artists he works with in the best way possible. I spent a day watching him work, choosing instrument/player position in the room, mic selection, mic placement and the many other decisions he made in a quick and focused manner. Not only does he make albums with artists we all admire and who strive to be the best, he enhances their uniqueness. He’s made some of the best sounding albums over the last 20 years.
Darrell Thorp is a producer, mixer, recording engineer, and seven-time Grammy-winner. He’s had the opportunity to work with many acclaimed artists throughout his career, including Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Jay-Z, and Foo Fighters, amongst others. In 2013, Darrell served as principle recording engineer on Beck’s ninth studio album, Morning Phase, released in February 2014. The record went on to receive three Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, and Best Engineered Album.
Interestingly, Darrell served a 4-year term in the US Navy before moving to Los Angeles and pursuing audio in the late ’90s. He first started out as an intern at some of the smaller studios around town before working his way up and becoming an assistant engineer. As assistant, he was fortunate to call some of L.A.’s top studios home, including Track Record, Conway, and eventually Ocean Way.
At Ocean Way, Darrell met Nigel Godrich–an engineer, producer, and musician primarily known for his work with Radiohead. Shortly thereafter, he became Godrich’s full-time engineer and recorded Beck’s Sea Change (2002), Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief (2003), and Paul McCartney’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005).
We had a wonderful time chatting with Darrell Thorp and hope you enjoy the conversation as well. For more, you can also check out Darrell’s live tracking session at Sunset Sound, using only Lauten Audio microphones!