The musicians aren't the only ones making magic in the studio. Newvelle is proud to work with 5-time Grammy Award-nominated, 3-time Grammy Award-winning engineer, producer, mixer, sound designer and front of house engineer Marc Urselli.
Along with a veritable who's who of venerable jazz musicians, Marc has also worked with artists such as U2, Foo Fighters, Sting, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Les Paul, Buddy Guy, Luther Vandross and Nick Cave. Born in Switzerland and raised in Italy, his musical education began at age 12. At age 17 he opened his ﬁrst commercial recording facility in Italy. Marc later moved to New York City, where he currently resides and works as Chief House Engineer for the legendary recording studio Eastside Sound.
Elan Mehler: Do you have some favorite memories of working at Eastside Sound?
Marc Urselli: I’ve been the chief house engineer at Eastside Sound for a decade or so and I got my start there as an intern in early 2000 so I have loads of memories. My earliest one is meeting Luther Vandross for a session with three background singers and watching him direct and record the three of them plus himself around one microphone and pushing and pulling them forward and backward to achieve the vocal blend and the chord he was hearing. I also have very fond memories of recording Les Paul and of how he’d have a story for everything anyone mentioned. He had lived so much and for so long that you couldn’t say “pizza” without him saying something like “1957 Corona NY, first pizza in NY, I was there!”. The man invented multi track recording, and this little thing called a solid body electric guitar, so he’s truly a legend!
E: What makes a successful atmosphere in the studio?
M: Being relaxed and at ease makes everyone happy. Newvelle Records is great at this and has understood this, which is why their business model accommodates for two recording days in the studio—they didn’t want to make musicians feel pressured and I appreciate that choice and that methodology of work. I have no problem working fast and I perform well under pressure, but it’s nice not to have to race against the clock and be able to try things in the studio. It’s a luxury that’s been lost to today’s limited budgets reality, which is why sadly there is less experimentation and less pushing of the boundaries in recorded music and recording techniques.
E: How can you tell a session is going to go well or poorly?
M: I don’t have a crystal ball to foresee how it will actually go but I can prepare ahead of time for things, do my research, do my homework, setup ahead of time etc., so as to ensure a smooth session. Frankly, I never have sessions that go poorly.
E: Who were your biggest influences as an Engineer? Who did you learn from?
M: I learned from the people I interned under—Nanni Surace in Italy and then Lou Holtzman in New York. My heroes are mostly engineers and producers like Rick Rubin, Bob Rock, Glyn Johns, George Martin, Tom Dowd, Brian Emrich, and Al Schmitt. I’ve met some of them but never got to work with any of them unfortunately.