People always say, "find something you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life." If that's true, Tobias Lindell may be one of the most productive non-working people around.
Messing around with DJing as a kid lead to making remixes and beats as a teenager. Then that lead to producing commercial loop collections and building a studio. Outgrowing that studio lead to becoming a resident producer and mix engineer at Bohus Sound Studios in Sweden. From there he decided to begin Lindell Audio in 2010 to create high-end pro audio hardware with features he wanted that no one else provided. Now, in less than six years, Lindell Audio has 16 well-reputed and well-distributed products on the market.
It wasn't much longer that Lindell Audio expanded into plugins, and Plugin Alliance swooped in to bring them into the fold. Lindell's ChannelX channel strip, 7X-500 FET compressor, PEX-500 passive EQ and 6X-500 Class A preamp plugins are all based on Lindell Audio hardware. Then last August, Lindell released the 254E compressor/limiter, its first plugin emulating a piece of classic third-party gear: the Neve 2254 from 1969.
We pulled Tobias away from his busy schedule of recreation to grill him about his audio endeavors. It was kind of like the job interview he'll never have.
Tobias Lindell: My interest in music started when I was around 12 years old. I was given a bunch of 7" records from my neighbor, and immediately started to play them on my mother's turntable. Not long after that I got her to buy a second turntable and the cheapest 2-channel mixer, and off I went playing my first DJ set at my school's prom party.
TL: I moved to my own first apartment when I was 17 years old. By that time I had already bought my first PC 486 dxII-50 with Session 8, Cubase Audio and SampleCell and started to mess around with remixes and extended edits for my DJ friends.
I also had a huge interest in beats and loops that I created for my remixes. I wanted to make some money from my beat making and contacted Swedish company e-Lab. My good friend Eric Swan at e-Lab liked my stuff and together we released Nu Groove RnB, Stricktly RnB, Stricktly HipHop, Stricktly 12", Stricktly House, X-static Goldmine 3, and more. So that was my first paying gig.
TL: Definitely, getting those records from my neighbor.
TL: I've had my own studio for a couple of years. Harrison Series 10 console (I was doing mix recall very early), Pro Tools, a lot of outboard gear. But I wanted more, so a logical step was to merge with a bigger studio. So I sold my console, packed my gear and moved to Studio Bohus.
TL: At that time it was both: Euphonix CS-3000 console, Pro Tools, [Mara Machines] MCI 2" [tape machine], Quested main monitors.
TL: I really enjoyed producing and recording Mustasch's "Double Nature," where I incorporated a 20-piece live string session orchestra. The arrangement was something new in heavy rock and quite a breakthrough for me as a producer.
TL: Yes, Dirk bought that console some years ago. It was replaced by a 60-channel Neve 88R.
TL: Yes, the bx_console plugin is all of the VXS 72 digitalized. They've done a nice job emulating the console. I like the way their TMT technology recreates the natural channel-to-channel variation found in the real console, so you don't have just a static single channel. The GUI is the best I have ever seen in a plugin.
I've enjoyed it quite a bit on my last mix. I wish they did the master mix bus section as well… Maybe it's next? J
TL: All well-produced and mixed music: rock to hip-hop to EDM.
TL: I was totally blown away and really scared the first time I heard and saw Kiss. I love it loud. What a mix! Bob Clearmountain at his best. After that I discovered Zeppelin and Sabbath.
TL: Yes, many times.
TL: Mats "Dojan" Hansson—the best drummer in Sweden. He is the drummer in above Mustasch track.
TL: Many things: Editing is faster and better. Sound quality is better. More people can get into music thanks to cheaper home DAW systems.
TL: Nothing really. There is still a choice for us how to work. We can do 100% analog or 100% digital. It all sounds good if you know what you are doing.