At just 22 years old, Andrew Wells has already established himself as an incredibly skilled producer in the industry. We caught up with him at EastWest Studios in Hollywood where he had recently finished tracking Jason Mraz’s latest album. Andrew’s other recent projects include work by Meghan Trainor and Australian pop rock band, 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS).
Andrew spent much of his time working on Jason Mraz’s record in Studio 3 at EastWest. While Studio 3 is the smallest in the facility, it’s arguably the most famous, notably being where The Beach Boys made their 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Many other iconic 1960s hits were recorded there, including “California Dreaming” by The Mamas and the Papas.
The studio’s centerpiece is an original Trident A Range console–one of six in the world. Andrew humorously noted that the Trident is completely unpredictable in terms of operation, but the unexpected roads it leads you down can sometimes produce the best results!
Producing Jason Mraz
We had a chance to talk quite a bit about some of the techniques he used on the Jason Mraz album. The idea for drums, for example, was to avoid using any samples or loops altogether. To get the same attack and punch out of acoustic drums without samples, Andrew found himself relying heavily on the SPL Transient Designer.
Likewise, much of the album’s production involved committing to decisions on-the-fly. Considered an “old school” approach nowadays, Andrew noted how much fun it was to print tracks and roll with it. For instance, kick and snare tracks were printed through a signal chain of Pultecs, Neve 1081s, and SPL Transient Designers.
Very interestingly, no tom mics were used on the entire record! The overheads were such an integral part of the desired drum sound that they simply weren’t necessary. Instead, anywhere a tom fill needed to be emphasized, a gated mono overhead signal was used.
We also chatted about tracking acoustic guitar, piano, and violin, the wonderful “vibe” of Studio 3 at EastWest, and many other things.
Links to Newly Released Tracks produced by Andrew Wells (As discussed in video):
Meghan Trainer – No Excuses:
5 Seconds of Summer – Want You Back:
Jason Mraz – Have It All:
Please enjoy the following conversation with the amazing Andrew Wells.