Jacquire King is an amazing producer, engineer, and mixer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Over the course of his career he’s worked with:
Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, James Bay, Kaleo, Modest Mouse, You Me At Six, Buddy Guy, Norah Jones, Of Monsters and Men, Josh Ritter, Cold War Kids, Punch Brothers, City and Colour, Moon Taxi, Robert Ellis, Amber Rubarth, Dawes, and Graham Cochrane, to name a few.
Jacquire’s involvement in projects as producer, engineer, mixer, or a combination of those has earned him more than 30 GRAMMY nominations!
Earlier in the week, we talked to Jacquire about mixing the Kings of Leon hit “Use Somebody.” We’re back to spend some more time picking his brain and touring his fantastic personal studio outside Nashville!
He first trained at Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio. The Workshop has been a recording school and crash course in pro audio, production, and engineering since 1977. Jacquire got his first studio gig in the Washington, D.C. area, before moving to San Francisco and working there. Afterwards, he called Blackbird Studio G in Nashville home for many years, but has recently relocated to his very own ‘LBT’ which is a personal space he had a hand in designing from the ground up!
Jacquire King was interested in music from an early age.
Like many producers and engineers, Jacquire grew up surrounded by amazing music from his parents’ collection and was immediately fascinated by it. He wanted to be a drummer initially, but his mother didn’t want a noisy kit in the house, so he was given a guitar instead.
He dabbled with guitar as a child and teenager before he found himself spending more time around the mixer and PA systems that his friends in bands were using. At this point, though, he still wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his love of music.
Jimi Hendrix/Eddie Kramer albums inspired Jacquire to pursue engineering.
In his late teens, a sort of lightbulb went off. Jacquire loved bands like Led Zeppelin, but in terms of production, what he heard was nothing more than a captured performance—nothing incredibly unique.
With the Hendrix records, Jacquire realized Eddie Kramer and the band were using the studio as an instrument, which he was very interested in. Rather than going to college he saw an ad for the Recording Workshop and thought it would be neat to learn how to record.
He went all-in on the short recording program and got a job at a studio in Washington, D.C. shortly after doing a variety of records in all styles.
Jacquire’s recording workflow consists of commitment to sounds.
As he puts it, the mixing process should be about enhancement, not making decisions. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon (’80s-’90s) where almost every project is recorded by one engineer and mixed by another.
Jacquire very deliberately captures performances and prints sounds. He doesn’t rely on “fixing it in the mix” or loading up dozens of plugins to create a particular sound. Recording with intention, as you’d like to hear it on the final project, is a skill which he has developed extremely well!
Jacquire also shared his insight about how defining a sound, or a vibe, from the beginning will naturally inform how other things sound along the way.
Jacquire King’s ‘LBT’ studio is purposely discreet.
The unassuming exterior of the studio looks like an average residence. On the inside, however, is a completely renovated professional studio which took about a year’s worth of work. Jacquire got the space around 4 years ago and invested quite a bit of time in designing just to his liking.
As is with any studio, there are rooms built within rooms for acoustic isolation. With the existing windows in the original space, Jacquire simply closed the blinds and started building walls for his studio right behind them!
We took an in-depth look at the gear Jacquire uses everyday to make the phenomenal records he does!
Please enjoy this wonderful interview and studio tour with Jacquire King!