Artist Interview with Euge Valovirta
- Gabriel Maceu Faria
- Magnetismus 2
For our latest interview, we had the absolute pleasure of having a talk with the guitar player from the band Cyhra, who also happens to be a great music producer, Euge Valovirta! A tremendously cool guy, Euge has spoken to us about his working techniques and his growth as a musician and as a mixing engineer.
Hi Euge, thanks a lot for taking part in our interview series. Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Euge: I’m a Finnish born guitarist, musician, recording, mixing & mastering engineer currently living in Switzerland where I have my own studio.
Tell us about your audio setup in general and, of course, in which part of your processes our product(s) are most important to you.
Euge: I have a souped up iMac 2020, my DAW is Cubase Pro and I use Softube’s Console 1 Mixing System as the center piece of my hybrid setup. I use Steinberg’s UR816C audio interface but will most likely update it soon to their AXR series interface for more I/O and a bit better preamps. The Cremé RC lives in my mix bus. I mix everything through that, or you could say into that, since I have a top-down approach to mixing. I have a few plugins in the mix bus as well but the most important thing is the Cremé RC.
Building an analog setup is all about creating a signature sound and constantly developing it further. Before you got your Tegeler unit, which changes in tone or workflow did you look for and why did you decide to go for our devices?
Euge: I have lots of real tube amps and I use them the most when recording guitars / bass. On some occasions I have used amp simulation plugins ‘cause they are really good nowadays, but analog gear has just that “mojo” I love. Before the Creme, I mixed everything in the box and I just wanted to have that analog mojo to my mixes I get with my tube amps with guitars. Just by adding the Creme to my mix bus, it lifted my mixes to another level. At least in my opinion ;-). And I like the certain commitment you get with analog gear. Like “this is my gear and my sound and I commit to that”.
Can you describe the most important aspects of your work in 3 short sentences?
Euge: Feel, ears and good gear. It doesn’t matter to me if something is generally considered to be technically correct or not or whatever ‘cause if it sounds and feels good, it’s good. And having good gear doesn’t hurt. :-)
How did your production/mixing/mastering techniques evolve since you started?
Euge: I’m in the place where I can get the sound from my head to come out from the speakers. Finally! :-)
Do you think that gaining experience in audio production/engineering primarily benefits technical skills or does it also affect creativity?
Euge: I think it’s all in the ear. I mean technical skills are really important, ‘cause how else you’d get the sound from your head to come out from the speakers? So technical skills, to me, are just the “vehicle” to get from point A to point B - the sound in my head.
The effects of the still ongoing Covid pandemic were a hard hit for society. We think it's important to keep up a good spirit. Did you experience any subjectively positive side effects of the pandemic? Did you spent more time in the studio?
Euge: I think so too. I’ve been a touring and recording musician for the last 20 years, and have done about 60-150 shows / year, toured all over the world, recorded multiple albums etc. So the pandemic hit pretty hard. I just thought, "f*ck this; I’m going to spend all this free time now and do all the things I’ve never had time to do before". So I finished my Bachelor of Arts degree, started a YouTube channel, have recorded and released my second solo album - and one “Finnish/Swedish All Star Project” album (Red Wolf) -, many singles, and finally took a deep dive into mixing and mastering. I’ve always been involved in mixing and mastering with the many albums I’ve done with my bands, and as a solo artist throughout my career. But I had never considered myself to be professional enough to do those entirely by myself. Until now. My mixing and mastering skills have grown to another level ‘cause I’ve been working pretty much 24/7 non-stop. I think the “do something 10 000 times and you’re starting to be pretty good at it” - rule holds true.
Are you currently planning on changing your hardware setup?
Euge: Not changing but adding. I have a few Tegeler products in mind I want to add and the next one is most likely the Schwerkraftmaschine compressor. There’s so many instances I could / would / will use it. Parallel drum compression is probably the first instance I’ll use it.
How satisfied are you with our products and would you modify them in some way if you could?
Euge: Really satisfied. Would be awesome if the Schwerkraftmaschine would have a dual-mono switch in the front panel. I’m a big fan of dual mono compression on busses (except mix bus). But if I’ve understood correct you can already do that with the plugin controller, so it’s not a big deal. But I just like to do things with my hands & real knobs than using a mouse. ;-)
If you could have our team of experts design your dream analog gear, what would it be?
Euge: Oh man that’s hard. Probably something like the Brainworx’s BX Digital V3 M/S EQ plugin. That’d be awesome!
Last but not least, what are you working on at the moment? Any projects that will be released in the near future?
Euge: We’ve been working with next Cyhra (my main band) album, and it will come out later this year with several singles before the album release and hopefully we can get on tour to support that. I released a solo track, 'The Boogie Boy', on January 5th and there will be more to come this year too. I’ll also produce other bands in 2022 and mix and master a bunch of stuff.
Thank you for the talk, Euge!