Engineering the King of Pop with Studio One
When your discography includes names like Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, and Marcus Miller, it’s safe to assume you’ve got a pretty solid grasp on what it takes to produce award-winning music. For Grammy-winning engineer and producer Khaliq Glover (a.k.a. Khaliq-O-Vision), these foundations were set nearly three decades ago, when the young engineer was selected to assist the all-star production team behind “We Are The World.”
“Watching Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie take apart the lyrics, and seeing how Quincy Jones instructed and guided the process, was simply amazing,” Glover recalls. “The opportunity to watch all of this creativity come together at a top-notch facility like Lion’s Share Studios was for sure one of the major highlights of my career.”
Indeed this early experience established Glover’s pattern of A-List collaborations and taste for top-notch production tools that continues to this day. It was just such a collaboration with producer Teddy Riley on the first of seven posthumous Michael Jackson albums from Sony Music Entertainment that exposed Glover to one of his favorite new production tools: PreSonus Studio One Pro software.
“Teddy is actually the person who turned me on to Studio One,” Glover explains. “I had always been a Pro Tools guy but we were doing the production in both platforms, and that presented a unique opportunity to compare the two. Over the course of many months, Teddy and I listened to the same things back-to-back in Pro Tools and then in Studio One. The PreSonus software always sounded so much better. From then on, I was convinced.”
Like most artists, Khaliq is a firm believer that any good production tool should enable creativity, not hinder it. He admits that both Pro Tools and Studio One are now part of his creative process but when it comes to sound quality, Studio One gets the nod. “Most of the stuff I get comes in Pro Tools,” he explains, “but I rely almost exclusively on Studio One for processing individual parts and making the final mix sound good,” he explains. “I move back and forth a lot.
“I really like the mastering set up in Studio One,” Glover notes, “so if I need to process something to make it sound better, that’s where I go. I recently did a project for Evelyn Champagne King. She brought me Pro Tools tracks from a few recent live gigs that simply didn’t compete sonically. I transferred the tracks into Studio One and used the mastering tools to bump them up. The difference was absolutely night and day. She was really happy.“
Studio One’s effortless compatibility is only part of the equation for Glover. He also cites an intuitive workflow and ease of use as favorite qualities that assist his creative process and contribute to a more polished result. “Studio One is such a powerful program and at the same time so easy,” he states. “In fact, I’ve never even used the manual. You can really just figure a lot of stuff out on the fly. Every time I use it I learn something new, and that’s pretty exciting.“