October 19, 2012

In the Studio with Miles Walker

If you have followed the titans of Hip Hop and R&B for the past decade then you have probably heard the name Miles Walker. Miles has recently worked on Grammy award winning and nominated records from Beyonce to Katy Perry, but his past is littered with mega hit makers including Usher, Ginuwine, Young Jeezy, Omarion, and the list goes on. With a degree from Berklee College of Music, Miles considers music to be his ultimate passion. If he is not is actively mixing, engineering, or producing, he is speaking at events and panels where his expertise is highly regarded in the Hip Hop, R&B, and studio production community. Miles has recently been working on mixes for the production/songwriting team Stargate who are responsible for such monster tracks as Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.” With a few Grammies under his belt, Miles has also been actively working with up and coming international artists like Jasmine, Timomatic, and Guy Sebastian.

Miles Walker

As an Apogee sponsored artist, Miles continually champions the Apogee line of  I/Os and more specifically their Symphony I/O. In addition to the Apogee Symphony I/O, Miles also uses a an array of other types of hardware including the MixDream for analog stereo summing and a 4B Bryston amplifier to power his trusty Yamaha NS10 studio monitors. This is of course a small sample of the top of the line hardware included in his laboratory. While predominately working in AVID’s Pro Tools, Miles also showed us how he integrates Maschine software and groove sequencing controller into his mixes. After talking to Miles in his studio, its easy to tell that he is a 21st century engineer. By combining the latest technological innovations in production and engineering, and keeping true to the hardware that has stayed reliable for him throughout the years, Miles has found a way to tailor his studio for his purposes and it has been working very well for him. For those of us with an affinity for comic books, anime, and video games will notice Miles’ extensive collection of figurines that would make any science fiction/fantasy fan green with envy.

At Atlanta’s underground hip hop festival A3C, Miles was invited to sit on a panel to discuss the importance of a good engineer as well as to discuss how engineers make a living doing what they do. Miles’ relevance in the hip hop and R&B milieu cannot be denied and we can expect to see many more great things to come from him. Until then check out our video to get a better idea of who Miles is and perhaps get a better understanding of a career path that you may also choose.

To find out more about Miles Walker visit his profile on the Parhelion Studios website.



Hey guys it’s Miles Walker I’m here at my studio Parhelion in Atlanta, Georgia. Come on in and let’s take a look at some of the stuff I’ve been working on.

Inside the studio we’ve got a couple of the records we’ve worked on. Rhianna’s last album “Loud”. Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Over here we have Wiz Khalifa and it was great working on your boy on black and yellow black and yellow. Did some records with Beyonce and her “Sasha Fierce” album. Here we go into the studio and let’s see what we’re doing today.

So over the course of my career I’ve had the good fortune of working with Katy Perry, Rhianna, Wiz Khalifa, gosh just a lot of artists. Great new upcoming ones, some from other countries like Girl’s Generation and Jasmine from Japan as well as Timomatic and Guy Sebastian from Australia. So originally I used to DJ while at was at school at Berkley. A lot of it was because I just loved music so much but it was also a great way to make income while living in the city. So now as a mixer I’m constantly thinking about how records blend, how the sound at the club and where they’re ultimately going to be played, from other DJs or just you know, people in general listening. That in turn got me to think about behind the scenes and why this record really works, is it the sonics, is it the song writing? And I’m able to take those thought processes and move it to how I mix records now.

For pieces of gear that are important to me as a mix engineer obviously a lot of it starts with the pro tools rig and I’ve got a great HD6 system, I haven’t moved up to HDX yet because a lot of the software isn’t ready. I’m able to further that sound by using really great hardware and an interface I’m really proud of like Apogee symphony IO. It’s one of the newer IO’s that’s available and the interconnectivity is great but also it being a modular piece you can add more IO as you need it. There’s no faders so you just assume everything is at unity gain. You make all your volume adjustments in pro tools but from there I’m able to interface with all of my analog outboard gear as well as the sonics of just having a great stereo bus. From there I really do love my  Mix Dream. It allows me to mix analog as opposed to just entirely in the box which it basically functions as a 16 channel console. For my monitoring situation I’m pretty old school and I’ve worked in studios for a long time so I’m pretty comfortable with the NS10s. Of course with the NS10s being a passive speaker meaning they don’t have an amplifier themselves you have to pair them with an amplifier and a lot of the NS10 studio sound comes from that with a 4B Bryston, one of the high end amplifiers. It’s a very expensive amplifier but it’s also the reason NS10s have the clarity and definition that I’m used to so really have a great amp behind a basic simple speaker can really help you get the definition that you’re looking for in figuring how to mix.

Hey this is Miles Walker, Engineer for Katy Perry, Rhianna, and Beyonce and you’re watching