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On The Record: David Simpson

David Simpson has engineered sessions for some of the UK's top pop performers including Clean Bandit, MNEK, John Newman and Ed Sheeran. He is also one of a handful of engineers mixing in Sony 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos, having worked on projects for Lianne La Havas, Dua Lipa, Arlo Parks and Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds.

How long have you been working at The Crypt?

I’ve been at The Crypt for just over 5 years now.

What do you do there?

I’m Head Engineer here, so I run most of the sessions in Studio One and handle a lot of the invoicing and bookings.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on at The Crypt?

I had a really great couple of days with Birdy back in 2020 - we recorded drums, guitar, a string quartet and double bass on some really beautiful songs of hers.

If you could take one bit of kit from the studio home with you, what would it be? Why?

Probably our Wurlitzer 210 because it just sounds so different to any plugin I have, it’s always nice to feel like you have something a bit unique on your tracks.

Who’s your producer hero?

I have more than a few, but I keep coming back to anything by Jack Antonoff, Justin Meldel-Johnson (I have his signature bass), Mark Ronson and Aaron Dessner.

You’re making a supergroup: who’s playing in the band?

Steve Jordan on drums, James Jamerson on bass, Jamie Cullum on keys, John Mayer on guitar and Madison Cunningham on vocals and guitar.

If you could go for a night out with one musician, who would it be?

I feel like the guys from HAIM would know some cool spots. I suppose that’s more than one musician though so maybe I'm cheating there…

The best decade for music is…

I love the dry sounds from the 1970s but I’m actually a big fan of where we’re at now with music in this post-modern era. Being able to borrow from some amazing decades of music is super fun! There’s a place in my heart for 2010s pop but I don’t know if the kids of tomorrow will be borrowing much from there.

The artist that reminds you of childhood is…

Paul Simon always reminds me of visiting Australia with my family when I was 11. It was the only CD we had with us for the hire car.

Your musical hero as a kid was…

John Mayer really got me into playing guitar - I saw him live a few years ago and he was incredible.

An artist you’re embarrassed to love is…

Taylor Swift - I used to practise acoustic guitar to her songs and I’m loving the trajectory of her music. Artists like her and Paramore have really evolved as I’ve grown up so I actually keep coming back to them.

An artist you’re currently loving is…

I’ve been revisiting Marcus Mumford’s “(self-titled)” album recently - some really excellent stuff on there.

An artist you think is underrated is…

Clean Cut Kid have some great music - I especially love their Painwave album for it’s drums and guitar sounds. Really cool modulation effects on the vocals too.

Your favourite film:

I'm a bit of a sucker for The Truman Show.

Your favourite TV show:

Been really enjoying Ozark but can alway rely on the US Office and Parks And Recreation.

Your favourite book:

Glynn Johns' biography is super interesting.

Your favourite food:

Indian, hands down… Or a good bowl of Ramen

Your non-music hero:

Not a person, but all the chefs on Saturday Kitchen. I could watch that show all day.

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