LOS ANGELES — January 28, 2022 — It’s difficult to think of a Billboard Top 40 hit album that Manny Marroquin hasn’t had a hand in mixing over the last two decades. With some 10 Grammy awards to his name, he keeps busy at LA’s legendary Larrabee Studios, juggling several projects at a time. To help him capture sonic inspiration in the moment, Marroquin recently installed Flock Audio’s the PATCH System — a revolutionary digitally controlled patchbay routing solution.
“I’ve been mixing records since I was 18 years old, so for me to get excited over something, it takes a lot because I’ve seen it all,” Marroquin said. “But the PATCH System is the most inspirational thing I’ve had in my room in a long time. I don’t like using the word ‘gamechanger’ because I think it’s overused, but the PATCH System really is a gamechanger for me.”
A ‘Less Is More’ Approach
When Marroquin first used the PATCH System, he employed it for Post Malone’s forthcoming album, taking the vocals to the next level.
“I changed one of the compressors and bypass each one and the vocals were just amazing — all because of this piece of gear,” he said. “I used it on the entire album that’s going to be released in a few months.”
Since installing the PATCH System in Studio 2 of Larrabee Studios, where he’s mixed for more than 20 years, Marroquin said he’s used the Flock System on 100% of his projects, from Charlie Puth to Lizzo to Camilla Cabello. Working on so many major projects at once, Marroquin and his assistant have had to work quickly.
“I have a lot of projects on my plate,” he explained. “When I’m mixing, my assistant might be in another part of the building and by the time I find him, any inspiration I had is gone. Having access to all my outboard gear and my plugins is the best of both worlds and the PATCH helps me achieve that.”
Changing the Mixing Game
Marroquin first discovered the PATCH System while talking to A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel. He began researching the system and saw its capabilities and reached out.
“I got the system and all of a sudden it changed the way I was mixing forever,” Marroquin said. “It’s so easy to use. This was exactly what I had been looking for for the last 20 years.”
Marroquin is a self-professed, right-brain-oriented mixing engineer. “I’m always asking what the emotional connection is,” he said. So, when it comes to his workflow, he explained he’ll have a track on his desk, work on it and, once it’s ready to send to the artist, his assistants will spend a few hours printing stems in the DAW.
“It already has that analog processing,” Marroquin explained. “When it comes to recalling, I’m in the box, already having that ‘glue.’ It took me years to figure that out, but that’s the process.”
Currently, the first PATCH System Marroquin received went straight to the patchbay. The second unit, which he’s anticipating installing in the next few months, will be used with the actual console.
“We are going to start with 48 points and squeeze it into 48 channels — that’s the easiest way,” he explained. “It will be interesting to see how my workflow needs to be.”
For more on the PATCH System, visit: http://www.flockaudio.com.
About Flock Audio
Flock Audio Inc. is a pro-audio manufacturer based in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, founded in 2017. The company is best known for its PATCH System Series, which is a Digitally controlled, 100% Analog Patch bay routing solution for professional audio environments. For more information on Flock Audio and its products, please visit the company website at http://www.flockaudio.com.