Award-winning engineer, mixer and producer Marta Salogni was recently shortlisted for the 2021 MPG Best Producer award, having spent the past 10 years establishing herself as one of the industry’s most talented – and, indeed, sought after – studio professionals in the business. Here, she tells Headliner about her latest award nomination, recent projects and the “life changing” Genelec monitors she has added to her East London facility, Studio Zona…
“It’s a huge honour because it’s peer-to-peer recognition, so the people who think my work is good are people I call friends, colleagues and role models,” Salogni tells Headliner after congratulating her on her MPG Awards Best Producer nomination. “I deeply admire a lot of them and to be recognised for my work feels like a huge honour. It’s very special, and I know how much it counts, and I know how high these people’s standards are.”
Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic that has blighted so much of the industry for the past 16 months, Salogni has remained busy. During this time she has provided sound design for the critically acclaimed Sisters With Transistors film, which celebrates the unsung women who pioneered the electronic music scene, as well as adding her production skills to new records from the likes of Daniel Avery and Black Midi. Each of these projects, she explains, have been special in their own unique way.
“Working with Black Midi was really fun,” she says. “The guys are just so brilliant and such amazing players. That was last summer – I produced the track John L. They are so well rehearsed. They make it sound effortless. We work hard to make it look easy, and when it sounds so effortlessly brilliant, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you can enjoy things and push things further and have some fun. When the playing is brilliant you don’t have to worry about the performance – they have it nailed from take one. There is no greater joy than having great material to work with and then being able to take it to the next level.
“I also worked with Daniel Avery, finishing off his next record,” she continues. “I always love mixing his music, it’s a conditioner for my brain! I feel like we are on the same page and my instincts are the right ones for him, and I can use the desk in a musical way. We are really pushing sounds sometimes, up to the point that it breaks, and that allows me to learn a lot about my own way of working.”
As for the Sisters With Transistors film, Salogni became involved with the project after working with one of her idols in the form of Grammy-nominated composer, electro pioneer and artist Suzanne Ciani. Salogni worked with Ciani on a 2019 project entitled InKolab, alongside composer and producer (and InKolab founder) Katia Isakoff and artist Anil Aykan. The project was centred around an audio visual piece called Making Waves, which caught the attention of Sisters With Transistors director Lisa Rovner.
“We did a playback of this project at British Grove Studios and Lisa Rovner was there and was really impressed,” Salogni elaborates. “She approached me and said she was working on this film about the unsung pioneers of electronic music and asked me if I’d like to do some of the sound design, but on a more musical and conceptual level. It’s a film about women making music, so I felt the soundtrack itself shouldn’t take over the narrative – it should be about the sounds that the protagonists of the film are making. That’s how I approached the soundtrack – linking the stories and amplifying them. That film includes a lot of my heroes, it was really special to me.”
The past year or so has also allowed Salogni to upgrade Studio Zona, most notably with the addition of some new Genelec 8350As.
“Genelec have always been my favourite monitors, they are second to none,” she concludes. “I love them, and these specific ones come with the GLM technology that allows you to tune them to your room. That has been life changing for me.
“They are calibrated for the room, and they come with a sub, which is also a life-changing factor for me. It’s really important for me to be able to hear all of the frequencies when I’m working in the studio. It’s absolutely vital for modern standards of music to be able to hear those frequencies. This technology makes these monitors very flexible and unlike anything else I’ve used.”
You can listen to an extended version of this interview below.