Mixing film scores for Hans Zimmer—one of Hollywood’s most sought-after film composers—sounds like a dream job, and Alan Meyerson is living that dream. Meyerson has always relied heavily on the Manley Massive Passive EQ to achieve that big, larger-than-life sound that draws us into big films such as Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Night, and Pirates of the Caribbean. "I have six Massive Passives, because I work in 5.1 and needed one of each of 6 channels. I like the sound for an insert across the entire orchestra, because it has the warmth, it has the air, and it has the headroom that really is necessary. It is such a great sound. It always felt, when I didn't use it, like the mix just lacked that little bit of magic. And it took very little EQ to give it the sparkle or the warmth that I was looking for."
Meyerson recently test drove the Universal Audio Manley Massive Passive EQ plug-in and was quite impressed, "It certainly has the cleanliness of the hardware version, but what I was surprised at was how it really did capture the warmth, and that high-end sparkle."
"The Massive Passive has a very particular sort of signature sound on the top end. It's not the same as any other EQ, it's just a very unique sound. You could do the same frequency boost and cut on any other EQ and it just is a completely different sound. The same way a Pultec has its own unique sound. What I didn't expect to get out of the plug-in was that quality. I was surprised at how well Universal Audio really captured that uniqueness."
Meyerson recently employed the Massive Passive plug-in to mix the song "My Life," produced by Pharrell Williams for the closing credits of the upcoming film Despicable Me. "This was the first time I had an opportunity to really use the Massive Passive plug-in versions in a large-scale way. I used ten of them on the mix, and they really sounded amazing. I used them on vocals, on drum tracks, and keyboards. I mapped the knobs to my console and set them the way I do the hardware versions, just spinning knobs. I don't look at frequencies or bandwidths. I just tweak 'til it sounds right."
"This was the first time I had an opportunity to really use the Massive Passive plug-in versions in a large-scale way. I used ten of them on the mix, and they really sounded amazing. I used them on vocals, on drum tracks, and keyboards."
The UAD Massive Passive plug-in is now an important part of Meyerson’s arsenal, and Hans Zimmer’s as well. "Now we're setting it up so that I can have the same plug-ins on all the different studio's rigs. Hans put one on his rig as well, so it's become the go-to package. All of the UAD Powered Plug-Ins, and this Massive Passive EQ plug-in specifically, are definitely going to get used constantly."