Mike Dawson

Mike Dawson: Mixing the Adam Carolla Show with StudioLive

Mike Dawson shows the new StudioLive 16.4.2AI mixer at the 2014 PreSonus NAMM booth demo room.It’s raucous, irreverent, and unabashedly real. And it’s incredibly popular. In fact, the Adam Carolla Show has been certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the Most Downloaded Podcast.

Host Adam Carolla, a veteran actor and comedian, is quick and acerbic, and the show is fast-paced and full of surprises. Cast and crew are constantly on their toes, including Carolla’s long-time audio engineer and announcer Mike Dawson, who mixes the show on a PreSonus® StudioLive™ 24.4.2 digital console.

As Dawson explains, the StudioLive is ideal for some of the quick changes that are a regular occurrence on the show. “Most of the time, we need to sound like a radio station. But when we have musical guests come in, or a guest breaks into song, I need to, immediately, at the touch of a button, be able to put them in the studio. So first, we’re in a broadcast booth. Then all of a sudden, somebody starts playing, and I’ve got your reverb, I’ve got your delay, I’ve got the right vocal compression. And it’s all at the touch of a button.”

Dawson cites a recent typical day in the studio: “The band Hanson showed up in the studio. They come in, and I get a quick line check. And then I get 45 seconds with the band before we go live. And in that 45 seconds, I pan vocals, set reverbs, set delays, and pan the keyboards.” The result, says Dawson, was “one of the most beautiful, clean-sounding performances I’ve ever heard. When you’ve only got 45 seconds before you go live, you want this console in your corner.”