The moment he discovered audio editing software on his parents’ home computer, Argentine Luis Bacqué knew that he’d just crossed paths with his creative calling. Later when he stepped into a music store, he found that recording gear drew his interest far more than any of the instruments did.
Bacqué relocated from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Brooklyn in 2012, but not before he studied engineering at Escuela de Música Contemporánea, a Berklee-affiliated college. During his career he’s worked with jazz drummers Ralph Peterson Jr. and Antonio Sanchez as well as Argentine pianist and composer Guillermo Klein, among others. In 2018 he engineered Daniel Binelli and violin virtuoso Nick Danielson’s Nostalgias, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
Production and/or engineering challenges will always exist. What’s unique, however, is the form that each engineer’s reaction takes. “Today I know that I’ll get the results I want when I work on something,” Bacqué observes. “But in the past there were insecurities. Now the challenges come from how I interact with artists; what kind of clients I get. My goal has always been to do high-end-sounding recordings. But now I realize that there are a lot of great musicians that don’t really give a damn [about sound quality]. It’s kind of crazy.
He can classify artists in three ways, he says. “One is those who don’t care about sound. If one of their albums sounded great, it wasn’t because of them. The second is people who can’t tell the difference but also understand that it’s important to have a good-sounding record. Then there’s the third kind: they care about sound and notice the difference. The clients I don’t care to work with are in the first category: they don’t notice sound and don’t care about it.”
Bacqué is a devotee of Sonoris Audio Engineering’s audio tools. When he first sat down to use the company’s Mastering Equalizer and Multiband Compressor plug-ins, it struck him immediately that they were among the finest he’d ever used. He was so impressed that he reached out to the company and offered to enter an endorsement deal. “In Buenos Aires, I used to master in a beautiful studio called Steps Ahead Sound,” he recalls. “They had everything; so many amazing pieces of gear.
“Once I moved to New York, the studio where I worked didn’t have all of that stuff,” he adds. “So I downloaded every mastering plug-in demo––I was particularly looking for an equalizer. When I listened to the Sonoris [EQ plug-in], it was beautiful, easy to use and the interface was straightforward. I was so happy with it that I sent an email to [Sonoris founder] Pieter Stenekes. I told him that I loved their gear and would be happy to do an endorsement. He got back to me quickly and suggested that we meet at New York’s next AES. The only multi-band compressor I have in my studio is theirs. What they do is extremely high-end.” Indeed, he used a range of the company’s plug-ins to master Nostalgias last year.
Recent and upcoming projects for Bacqué include work with Daniel Binelli and Nick Danielson, the tango duo he teamed with on 2018’s Latin-Grammy-nominated Nostalgias. Also on his slate is Argentinian multi-instrumentalist trio Manu Sija as well as the New York outfit, Plasticity.