EP 174: Joe McGrath – Making the Most of What You Already Have

master your mix podcast, ep 174 joe mcgrath

Joe McGrath is well known within the music industry and is an accomplished producer, and recording/mix engineer who leads the team at Hellfire Recording Studio Dublin. His ability to put people at ease, combined with brilliant technical skill has led him to work with a diverse list of acclaimed artists including Republic of Loose, Mary Coughlan, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, The Coronas, Johnny Mc Evoy, Loah, Stano, Fields, David Keenan, Wyvern Lingo, Niwel Tsumbu, and Yankari to mention but a few.

Joe studied acoustic design and has sat on the Programmatic Review panel for the Certificate, Diploma, and Masters courses in Music Technology at the Dundalk Institute of Technology. He designed the vast majority of the acoustic spaces in Hellfire Studio. His understanding of live rooms and how to quickly manipulate acoustics allow him to capture sonics that bring out an artist’s originality. Acoustics and recording are Joe’s passions and live recording is Joe’s specialty. A session with him is performance-driven, keeping creativity and individuality center stage, whilst also being productive and fun.

“Collaboration to realize artistic visions” is what Hellfire Studio stands for to Joe. Producing for artists, working alongside engineers such as Rob Kirwan (Hozier, PJ Harvey), Ger Mc Donald (U2, Manic Street Preachers) and engineering for producer/composer Valgeir Sigurðsson ( Bjork, Feist, Sigur Rós) on Mary Couglans powerful “A Woman Undone” – has given him the insight and attention to detail to make great records and set the standard for Irish recording and production.


  • Using mic positioning to change the sound of an instrument
  • Providing value to your clients
  • Surviving a recession as a studio owner
  • Getting your first clients
  • Why your gear doesn’t matter to clients
  • Acoustic design: What actually matters?
  • Picking the right monitors for your room
  • Getting big studio sound in a small room
  • Why having a big room doesn’t always equal big sound
  • The importance of using a “random” mic
  • Micing your walls and floors
  • Starting sessions with the vision in mind
  • Creative freedom in engineering
  • Building trust with your clients

To learn more about Joe McGrath, visit: https://joemcgrathmusic.com/

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