Neal H PogueMixer, producer, tastemaker with FX Collection 4

Neal H PogueMixer, producer, tastemaker with FX Collection 4

In the world of mixing and production, few names have garnered more respect than Neal H Pogue. A true tastemaker whose unwavering passion for music and innate ability to arrange, transform and enhance a mix has touched the hearts of millions around the world and led to collaborations with leading artists from Doja Cat and Norah Jones to Kaytranda and Pharrell Williams.

We visit Pogue at his home studio where he gives us a run through of Crazy World by Dylan Cartlidge and shares some insights into the creative enhancements and mix-defining effects possible with FX Collection 4.

Legendary Mixer & Producer

From his early days in Roselle, New Jersey, to his current Los Angeles studio, Neal H Pogue's journey has been one of continual sonic exploration. A mixing dab hand and signature touch that has led to a prolific mixing career and earned him multiple Grammy Awards.

His sensibilities for production began at a young age, after receiving his first drum set and starting to play in a band. Incidentally, he would be the one arranging the songs which led naturally to the role of producer, and later to a focus on mixing after graduating with a degree in audio engineering.

Illustrious career

Neal H Pogue’s career boasts collaborations with some of music's most iconic figures. He has overseen the production of releases such as Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, TLC’s "Waterfalls," and works by Tyler, the Creator, adding to an ever-expanding discography.

From hip-hop and rap to R&B and soul through indie, electronic, reggae, rock and beyond, Pogue's production prowess has had a wide-reaching influence, from innovative pop hits to underground anthems - making him a true legend in the realm of music production and mixing.

Mixing with FX Collection 4

Pogue lets us know that mixing a song is like going on stage, where you work to ensure the end result is up to the standards of both the artist and audience. Decisions in the studio can either “make it or break it”.

To explore this point further, we get a tour of some of Pogue’s go-to studio effects from FX Collection 4 - Arturia’s curated selection of audio effects for modern music makers.

Taking a classic B-3 organ sound, Pogue adds the ROTARY CLS-222 on top - a classic speaker emulator. Rather than focus on stereo width with this sound, he seeks to add some edge and drive and raise the distortion level - crucially elevating its presence in the mix. The final result brings the smooth B-3 swirls closer to the gravel and character he remembers resounding from the original speakers.

That’s the sound that I grew up on, you always heard that little bit of distortion coming out of the rotaries, it's a beautiful noise… you don’t need much of it, just a little bit.

Adding That Extra Spice

Pogue makes sure to always be involved in the recording side of his collaborations. This is in order to ensure all the sonic elements are right from start, so that the mixing process is more about subtle enhancement rather than correction; small adjustments that are wanted rather than needed, because if you need it Pogue says “that means you're fixing something”.

We are shown REV INTENSITY, an algorithmic reverb. As the energy is already present in Dylan Cartlige’s vocal line, Pogue again applies a small touch, as dynamic post production is not needed.

I love the way it sounds, I feel like I can just reach it and grab it…I can just touch it

Pogue’s mixing philosophy speaks to an end-to-end care and consideration for sound quality, where professional recordings are combined with quality mixing and mastering tools to refine and define the final output and add “that extra spice to the song”.

“The arturia plugins have been good to me, I love them, they have a different sound…it adds to my arsenal.”

A Personal Connection

For Pogue, music production goes beyond mere mixing - it becomes an intimate creative act, with each decision, amplification and attenuation influencing the final outcome. Over the years he has developed his craft, with a discography that reflects a dedication and ear for innovative music making, helping to bring into the world some truly hit releases, rhymes and beats.

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