Carlton Lynn is a multi Grammy award winning sound engineer on projects with TLC, Pink, Lecrae, Leona Lewis and Chris Brown shares his story in our within our soon to be released Special Edition The Grammy Gods 2.0. As teaser to the full-length Q&A, which will be released and published later this year, we are delighted share with you a short excerpt of the back and forth with Carlton Lynn.
BSM: Where and how did you get your start in the industry ?
Carlton Lynn: “After graduating from the recording arts program at Full Sail University, I immediately moved to Atlanta, GA to begin an internship at producer Dallas Austin’s studio, DARP. At the time, he was just finishing Madonna’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ and TLC’s ‘Crazy Sexy Cool.’ I was lucky enough to be one of the only interns in the four room facility so I got plenty of face time with the engineers, artist and producers. They noticed that I was eager to work and learn, so Dallas’ engineer, Leslie Brathwaite pulled me aside one day and asked me if I wanted to become his assistant engineer. That was the beginning, and from there I was able to gain tons of knowledge and experience from Dallas, Leslie and programmer/engineer Rick Sheppard.”
BSM: How was it working with Dallas Austin?
Carlton Lynn: “Working with Dallas Austin introduced me to real artistry. Before then, I’d never been in the studio with someone as they created something amazing from scratch. In session with Dallas, I witnessed him sequencing killer beats on the MPC, SP1200 or in Logic. Then he would switch over to piano and play lovely delicate synth parts. Later when the artist came in, he’d huddle with them and teach them a top-line that he had composed in his head as he made the track. I saw him do this type of thing on many occasions on piano and guitar. There are lots of people that can make tracks and write songs, but he was doing it at such a high level – it was quite something to watch and be a part of.”
BSM: What projects have you received a Grammy for?
Carlton Lynn: “I received a Grammy as recording engineer for TLC’s ‘Fan Mail’ in 2000. In 2015, I received a Grammy as the mixer for Best Gospel Album, Lecrae’s ‘Anomaly’ – although it was actually a hip-hop record!”
BSM: What other chart topping records did you work on?
Carlton Lynn: “I recorded several songs of Pink’s album ‘Missundaztood’ which I think has sold over 12 million albums worldwide. Another big record I’ve worked on was Leona Lewis’ debut album ‘Spirit’ which is at 10 times platinum in the U.K. and did fairly well in the U.S. too. I also worked on Chris Brown’s ‘Exclusive’ album which went 3 or 4 times platinum I believe.”
BSM: Any advice for up and coming engineers?
Carlton Lynn: “Learn about microphone techniques and the ‘front end’ of recording and mixing. Don’t just treat everything with plug-ins once it’s inside the DAW. Learn how to get great sounds from the source. I know that in modern music, there might not be an opportunity to record live instruments, but if you can show proficiency at doing that, when the opportunity comes along, you’ll look like a rock star! Everyone can run Ableton, Pro Tools and Live, but if you can record great sounds, whether it’s vocals or drums, you’ll be noticed.”