Ryan Sanchez Interview (Score mixer)

Ryan Sanchez Pulsar Audio interview
Ryan Sanchez, owner of Echo Lane Productions, is a renowned film, video game, and TV Score Mixer with over 10 years of experience. Over the course of his career, Ryan has worked on more than 400 episodes of TV, including hit shows such as The Walking Dead, Outlander, and Foundation. He collaborates frequently with a variety of composers including Emmy and BAFTA winner, Bear McCreary. Ryan is known for bringing scores to life while maintaining the integrity of the composer’s sonic vision. Most recently, Ryan mixed the scores for Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and the Nickelodeon/Paramount+ animated film, Baby Shark’s Big Movie. Ryan also mixed the score for Director Christopher Landon’s horror comedies Freaky and We Have a Ghost; served as a score assistant on Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane; and did additional recording and mixing work on Sony Playstation’s God of War (2018).

What are the projects or artists you have worked with?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked on over 70 different scores between TV, films, and video games. Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a wide variety of score genres, including over 400 episodes of TV alone. From The Walking Dead, Outlander, and Foundation to most recently working on the Halo TV series and Percy Jackson and the Olympians; I cherish each and every project I’m involved in.

How did you discover Pulsar Audio?

I discovered Pulsar through a friend of mine in the industry. He had mentioned the Echorec and 1178 a few years ago, so I decided to give them a shot. From the moment I tried Pulsar plugins, I was hooked and knew it would be a company to keep an eye on. As the next wave of products were released, I didn’t even bother trialing them. They were instant buys for me, including Mu, Massive, and Smasher. They did not disappoint!

Is there “one” or more reasons why you would recommend Pulsar Audio plugins?

I highly recommend Pulsar to anyone looking to add to their plugin arsenal. The most important reason is obviously because they sound so great. Whenever I’m searching the plugin market, my main concerns are sound quality, unique features, CPU friendliness, and an inspiring UI. Pulsar covers each and every one of my preferences!

Which of our plugins do you use the most and why?

I use the 1178, Mu, and Massive the most. They’re all so user friendly and sound phenomenal! There’s a level of detail and character to each one that I’ve found myself continuously reaching for. They have a beautiful UI that quickly sparks creativity, as well as unique features not easily found in other plugins.

For you, what are the advantages of audio plugins compared to hardware units?

The biggest advantage is really the amount of time you can save with plugins. In my line of work, I’m responsible for mixing and delivering hours of music per month so there really isn’t a lot of time to use hardware. I’ll always love analog gear; however, it’s used sparingly in my workflow, if at all, because I need to crank out high quality mixes in very short time frames. It’s a really exciting time to be a mixing engineer because there are so many revolutionary plugins that simply don’t exist in the analog realm. We’re able to expand the boundaries of mixing in new and inspiring ways.

What is most important to you when it comes to approaching a score mix?

The most important thing to me as a score mixer is representing the composer and their intent with the score to the highest level. You always have to remember that it’s not your music; your job is to honor their sonic vision at all times. It’s a technical, creative, and collaborative role all in one. Respecting the demo mixes and referencing the picture to get inside a client’s mind is essential. An efficient workflow is the next most important thing in score mixing. Having a system and template for every step in the process is crucial and allows for me to deliver on time without ever sacrificing quality. I must know my plugins like the back of my hand in order to solve problems quickly.

Can you share an experience where one of our plugins played a crucial role in the realization or completion of a project?

I really enjoy shooting out plugins. I’m always comparing them across different scenarios to know where I can use my tools to their greatest potential. I’m especially obsessed with how I can improve my orchestra sub with different kinds of EQ, tonal compression, and saturation. When I tried Pulsar Massive and Mu for an upcoming project, I was blown away. With Massive, I can dial in very musical curves while also utilizing the fantastic sounding drive parameter. It’s so nice to have one plugin with multiple features instead of using two or more to get a similar sound. The auto gain feature is essential and helps me get faster results without my ears being tricked by level discrepancies. Pulsar Mu is also a very smooth and musical compressor that adds a lot of character and glue to my mixes. Both plugins are on my orchestra and choir bus at all times and have become crucial in completing my projects.

What are your expectations for a plugin, and what attracts you the most in a new plugin?

Plugins with multiple features, ease of use, inspiring UI, CPU friendliness, and auto gain are all super important to me. Pulsar checks all these boxes and I think that’s what really makes them stand out as a company. Not only do the plugins sound great, but they’re very easy to use and provide incredible results with just a few clicks. Because of the tight deadlines in scoring, I need plugins like Pulsar to ensure that I can meet my clients’ demands both efficiently and effectively.

Can you share a tip or trick that you often use in your mixes with our plugins?

As I had mentioned before, Massive and Mu are outstanding on orchestra and choir subs. I really love the 1178 on drums, percussion, and vocals. Smasher works well on drum room mics and the parallel channel of a drum bus. Echorec is a very nice delay when you need to add some vibe and mojo to solos and vocals. I can’t truly say enough how great of a company Pulsar is. I’m excited to see what else comes in the future; my wallet will be ready!

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