Caesar Edmunds on studio highlights, Dolby Atmos and his new Genelec setup

Engineer, mixer and producer Caesar Edmunds reflects on his start in the industry with Alan Moulder and Flood, reveals his favourite ever studio memories, and shares how Genelec monitors give him the confidence to mix in Dolby Atmos.

How have things been for you during and post-Covid?

I've been pretty well. Last time we spoke I had just been nominated for an MPG Award, which I then managed to win! At first, just like everyone else, I thought that 2020 was going to be my year, but a bat from Wuhan had another plan, allegedly! We were just working along and managed to survive the pandemic, but it was quite uncertain whether I was going to stay in the UK or move back to Singapore, where they had a Covid-free situation.

I am in the Battery Studios Complex at the moment, and since we last spoke I've taken on a room by myself. I’ve been working with Flood and Moulder since 2012 so it was a big jump for me. It got to the point where basically, I had to grow up, and I thought that in the middle of a pandemic was the best time to do that, because if you can get through that when the times are bad, you should be able to survive, right?

When did you first start working with Alan Moulder?

Alan was a patron of LIPA which is the university that I went to. A few of my friends had done work experience with him, and I basically just asked, ‘Hey, can I do work experience?’ And they said yes. That was around 10 years ago now.

I think it was on my first day in the building, Flood and Moulder were working on Holy Fire by Foals. I was sitting in on the session and when I heard the first track – which turned out to be Inhaler – it was just one of those moments of ‘Oh my God, I think this is it’. I loved the music coming out of those speakers, and I’ve been very fortunate to be allowed to carry on doing this for a decade.

Growing up I loved sounds and playing guitar, although I wasn’t into music production. I discovered Nine Inch Nails and just thought that sonic was crazy. Flood and Moulder were producing and mixing all these artists that I loved at the time and it got to the point where I just thought I’d try and get a job there myself, and then it happened. It’s crazy how sonic families can be formed internationally without even meeting each other.

Tell us about your new room at Battery Studios, and why you decided to equip it for Dolby Atmos mixing.

It has been very good, and has allowed me to explore more opportunities. At the end of 2020, I had a conversation with Alan and told him I want to get into Dolby Atmos to see what it’s all about. So I bought the whole kit, the speaker setup, everything – and then had no idea what to do with it! And then a few months later we got an email from Dolby asking us if we're interested. At that point I had the setup but didn’t know how to use it, so I just started reading forums and looking at graphs and basically trying to figure it all out by myself. Thankfully there was a great team at Dolby that pointed me in the right direction, and since we started those discussions, it seems like the world has been talking about it ever since. I was very lucky that one of the albums that I mixed myself in stereo, I also had the opportunity to mix in Atmos, and that was How Beautiful Life Can Be by The Lathums. It was great, because I already knew the songs, so I was able to get straight to it!

I love the whole concentric vibe of these monitors – all that top end clearly and concisely coming from one source; it's been killer.

There was a lot of trial and error at first. During the pandemic, I went back to Singapore just for a holiday to see some friends and family over there. I was stuck in a hotel room with my brother for three weeks. Every now and then when I got bored of playing video games or watching films, I started reading up on Dolby Atmos – it was like I was cramming for an exam. It led me to trying different methods, almost like having a mad scientist moment. The fun bit is trying to translate the sound from two speakers to a 30-speaker setup or whatever it might be, and just trying to gel everything together.

Most of the things that I do in Atmos, I also do with stereo mixing. There’s the conversation to be had with the artists and the producer, like where to pan stuff where to place certain elements in a mix, so by the time you get to Atmos, you’re just building the world around it. I want it to feel like you're in a concert; the band’s playing in front of you, but surrounding you as well. I work with many guitar bands who have that big wall of guitar sound, which when it comes to Dolby Atmos, translates to guitars all around you in 360°.

What’s one of your favourite memories from the studio?

There was this one moment when Jimmy Page was here, and there was a lot of hysteria in the building before introductions were made. When we’d spent some time working in the studio, someone turned round to me and said, ‘Hey man, when you go back to uni, you're going to tell your friends that you've been hanging out with Jimmy Page all summer’. And I just had this moment where I was like, ‘Oh shit, no one's ever gonna believe me!’

Can you tell us about your new Genelec monitor setup?

I am using Genelec The Ones – the 8341As. I've been fortunate to try some of The Ones and just fell in love with them. Combined with the GLM software, they’re absolutely genius. When I went to Singapore, I managed to bring a pair of them with me along with the GLM software. It worked like a charm. The room I was in wasn’t as acoustically treated as the studio, but with the room correction software, it felt like I was in a similar space, so I’m a huge fan of that.

I started using Genelec in 2020 just after I won the MPG; Andy Bensley got in touch because Genelec had sponsored the award and was just like, ‘Hey, try this’. I love the whole concentric vibe of these monitors – all that top end clearly and concisely coming from one source; it's been killer.

What releases have you got coming up?

There’s an album I’ve worked on called GULP! by Sports Team and it’s out July 22. I mixed half of it and Alan mixed the other half. Sometimes I still have to turn around and pinch myself and remember I’m working with someone of his status and calibre. Work-wise you have to prove yourself, and it's been great. I'm really thankful for everything.

Listen to the full interview with Caesar Edmunds on Headliner Radio, here: