Eric Palmquist is a soft-spoken mad scientist of sound. Up-and-coming artists seek him out to find their sound at the bottom of his “pedal pile,” and established bands count on him to capture their signature sounds with clarity and punch, with a little bit of “x-factor” thrown in for good measure.
We caught up with the Los Angeles-based engineer and producer (whose impressive resume includes The Mars Volta, CHON, and Thrice, among others) to learn more about how he integrates effects pedals into his studio workflow during pre-production, tracking, and mixing.
Palmquist Studios is a treasure trove of vintage gear. “When I collect gear . . . I collect very slowly,” he says. “I like to build up pieces that I know are gonna last and be the sounds that I want and sounds that make my job easier.”
One of Eric’s most treasured bits of gear is an EMT 140 plate reverb, previously housed at A&M Records. “The word is that John Lennon sang through it during some Plastic Ono Band sessions and that it was the snare reverb for Metallica’s Black Album,” he says.
"The Warden gets used on a lot of records,” he says. “[On] clean guitars, it keeps them punchy and articulate . . . [and] a little bit of the Grand Orbiter always gives that sense of space . . . [it’s] a nice little bit of je ne sais quoi.”