Thiago Baggio

An engineer’s most-wanted weapons

Thiago Baggio
An engineer’s most-wanted weapons

Thiago’s recording and mixing engineer work spans across funky pop, jazzy keyboard experimentations, and dreamy indie rock. A recipient of 5 Latin Grammy nominations and a 2019 Best Recording Engineer winner by Music Pro, his go-to tools have to satisfy the highest levels of software artistry. We sat down in Thiago’s studio in São Paulo, Brazil, and went through how he uses the FX Collection to reach a seamless sonic result.

Standing out


Arturia’s FX Collection combines history’s greatest outboard effects, console components, and pedals - all with added contemporary features to fit the demands of the modern studio. Upon opening up a mixing session he did with an indie rock band A Balsa, Thiago shares:

What I think is really cool about the plugins is that Arturia ended up modeling some pieces of gear that other brands have not modeled yet. That helps me a lot with being creative and also when it comes to having a sound that differs from other people.

With Arturia’s FX, you can pick and choose from 22 unique and usable FX to find the perfect choice for any task. Want the iconic lo-fi delay that helped the greatest guitarists achieve their original sound? Delay MEMORY-BRIGADE is your answer. Dreaming of adding that iconic British 70’s sound? Pre 1973 is here for you. The range of compressors, delays, reverbs, preamps, filters, Bus FX, and Modulation FX will supercharge your production to the highest level possible. With the added bonus of contemporary capabilities, the soundscapes you’ll paint will shine bright.

Producing in the digital age


Is the analog VS digital fight over on the mixing deck? For Thiago, like many successful engineers, it is - if the virtual tool is an excellent recreation of its analog counterpart:

I don't think the analog vs. digital comparison comes into play. The quality of the plugins is so high that for me this issue is something that's in the past.


As with any sound engineering tool, ease of workflow can make a huge difference to the creative juices flowing freely:


Besides, there’s the speed, right? That changed a lot. It is much faster to work with plugins, and that’s something I like very much.

On top of the user-friendly interface, FX Collection offers hundreds of presets, notes by engineers for direct technical guidance, and useful in-app tutorials on each effect so you can master the effects quickly without slowing your inspiration down.


Gear up for a better reality


The FX Collection is there when you need it, even when your immediate surroundings during a recording session are limited.


Even when you record in a simple way - perhaps in a studio with a simpler interface and without processing or analog gear - I know I can then go to my studio, open up my plugins, and insert them in the tracks as if I was processing them at the time of recording. And man - it sounds amazing!


Toy Story 5


For A Balsa’s track, Thiago used Arturia’s Filter MINI for drums, vocals, and keyboards. He says ‘it accentuates the dynamics change just as I wanted’ where the music comes back in full power. While listening to the drums and the keyboard solo, the difference is clear - the Filter MINI, Dr Moog’s famous 24dB per octave low-pass ladder filter, can bring in exceptionally low-hitting volume that will be felt in the bones.


Another trick up Thiago’s sleeve is automating a reverb in the snare drum, resulting in creating a ‘bigger space’. A relatively dry sound is transformed and the composition then gives the impression that the instruments were all recorded in the same place. The luxurious and smooth Rev PLATE-140 is Thiago’s go-to choice:


The Rev PLATE-140 is an emulation of hardware that already exists and it has some other interesting features that I like using.’ Crafting sonic authenticity has never been easier!


Compressing magic


Another cool thing that I do is a parallel compression with the kick drum and the snare drum with the Comp VCA-65. It brings a pumping effect and it gives me the impression of more energy.


With this rhythm section compressor, the ability to inject oomph when you need to becomes an accessible superpower.


With the two other compressors in the pack, controlling dynamics is a breeze. The Comp TUBE-STA is a reimagination of the legendary vacuum-tube powered Gates® STA-Level, an iconic tool used widely on bass and vocals since the 50s. With Comp FET-76, the most iconic studio compressor of all time, you can make anything sound better - the way your project really deserves. It’s audio magic at your fingertips.


Edging with sound


Once the song reached an 80's vibe, Thiago shares his next step:


I used Rev INTENSITY and Delay TAPE-201 to be able to bring a more natural, more organic feeling to the vocals. I guess I managed to blend them both in a very interesting way.


A smooth, angelic, and flawless echo follows, caressing our ears and hearts. He then automated a second Delay TAPE-201 in the choruses


to give it even more movement.


The result is an immaculate illustration of adding a deeper dimension to vocals. Arturia proves you don’t need divine intervention to create the right sound - just the right effects.