New York Spotlight
Fab Dupont ’94 has firmly established himself in the music industry as a mix engineer and producer, with credits on recordings by Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Kirk Whalum, Toots and the Maytals, and more. The single-room studio he built in New York in 2001 is now an international business.
“I started out freelancing, making records for different artists, and things just grew over time,” Dupont says. His studio, Flux, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, houses three state-of-the-art recording rooms. The studio’s mantra, “a music recording studio with a vintage heart a modern head and vibe,” mirrors Fab’s quick wit, smooth personality, and steadfast approach to music and business.
Dupont majored in songwriting at Berklee, and had a strong interest in recording. “I was always the one in the band tinkering with the sound or recording equipment because we couldn’t afford to pay anyone to do it for us,” he says. He credits his songwriting coursework for helping him to understand the intricacies of music and to communicate with other musicians and singers in ways that have benefitted his engineering. “Engineering is really supposed to be at the service of the music,” he says.
In 2004, Dupont worked on the album True Love with the legendary reggae band, Toots and the Maytals, one of his first major projects. Unbeknownst to him, the album won a Grammy. “I don’t usually pay attention to awards, but in 2006 I was putting my résumé together, and when I went to the Toots website and saw that it had won, that was amazing.”
Owing to his reputation as an engineer, Dupont gets calls by various producers for mix engineering. This sometimes morphs into full production or vocal production work. “I am fortunate to have people calling me,” Dupont says. “I’ve gotten calls from Shakira’s producer John Hill and Peter Wade Keusch, who produces Jennifer Lopez. What I like to do best is produce records, but people call me most often to mix records because I’m able to make records sound current and ‘big.’”
Dupont is in demand internationally. One amazing opportunity came while he was teaching a production mixing masterclass in South Africa. “One of the students in the class was a producer and came to my hotel with CDs and said, ‘You should be producing this band, Freshlyground.’ The band was one of the biggest acts in South Africa.” Dupont returned to South Africa a few months later to help record, mix, and produce Radio Africa, the recipients of four South African Music Awards nominations and two wins.
Dupont is also involved with recording technology companies. His work with Sonnox resulted in an online resource for engineers, and his session on how to use its plug-ins received more than 150,000 YouTube views in six months. One of Dupont’s interns suggested that he create his own tutorials. That idea resulted in pureMix.net, a website that attracts 30,000 to 40,000 visitors every month and sometimes spikes at 70,000.
“I do this because when I learned about mixing, I was on my own,” he says. “There were no resources like this available at the time. If I’d had something like this, it would have saved me some time. This is a way for me to give back.” Seventy percent of the site’s content is free to pureMix.net’s grateful users. Dupont is also looking for opportunities to collaborate with members of the Berklee community and offers special pricing for alumni at Flux Studios.
For the past five years, Dupont’s work has been quite consistent. He’s currently finishing projects with fellow alumnus Will Knox ’07 for the bands, Banda Magda, Cyrille Aimée, the Dø, Tomboy, and Wakey! Wakey!. But Dupont recently made it a priority to carve out some time to reorganize, learn new software, listen to new music, and think about the next big thing. “Right now, I’m taking four days a week to study new things, get better, and grow.”