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Paul Goodyear

Interview Pt. 2 – The Remixer
Paul Goodyear

hotdiscomix: How and when did you start doing your own edits and remixes?  Where did you pick up these skills?

Paul Goodyear: I first started doing my own edits in 1991 on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.  Wow what hard work that was!  Mark Alsop and I used to spend hours cutting tape and getting highly frustrated at times doing our own unique mixes for different labels.  We did have a lot of fun doing it, though.  I did have a lot of success with editing for different labels, but started to find that I needed to move into the digital domain.  I bought a computer in 1994 and ditched the reel to reel.

I do believe I became a great editor because I learn’t the hard way first.  When I was a little kid, I would do edits with a pause button on my sister’s tape deck.  I didn’t really know what I was doing but I was determined to change the structure of a song.  I bought my first remix service in 1983.  It was a Disconet issue with Robbie Leslie’s mix of “Hold On To My Love” on it.  Around this time there were two other Sydney DJ’s who were inspiring me: they were Stephen Allkins and Robert Racic.  They, in turn, were inspired by The Latin Rascals from New York.

Robert passed away in 1997 after being very successful in his career.  I work with Stephen these days in the studio.  Truly a great producer.  A dream come true!

hotdiscomix: What was your first remix published on vinyl and what was your popularly acclaimed remix?

Paul Goodyear: The first was a mix of a track called “You Can Do It (You Know)” by Better Days.  Mark Alsop and I worked on it together.  It came out on Rhythm Stick records in 1991.

The two mixes that people went crazy over was a mix I did of Glam with Pete Burns’ “Sex Drive” and also “Get Here” by Q feat. Tracy Ackerman, both out on Direct Hit.

hotdiscomix: You have over 200 releases on remix labels. Which of these remixes are your personal favourites?

Paul Goodyear: I have a few but the ones that I would consider to be favourites would be “Get Here” by Q feat. Tracy Ackerman, “Fingers & Thumbs” by Erasure.  As for full production remixes, it would have to be “On My Own” by Whitney Houston and “Real Love” by Deborah Cooper.

I choose a sound that I think compliments the song.

hotdiscomix: Do you have a special manner in which you remix your songs?  Are there any specific features that make your remixes Paul Goodyear remixes?

Paul Goodyear: When doing a remix, I treat every track differently.  I don’t really have a “particular style”.  I choose a sound that I think compliments the song.  Sometimes I use the same kick or hats or some other sound that I have used before.  I do like a heavy bottom and bass and kick, though.

hotdiscomix: In1995, along with James Fraser, you founded the Ace-DJ Remix Service.  How did you and James meet each other?

Paul Goodyear: I met James in 1991 when he was manager at a record store here in Sydney.  We instantly hit it off because we both shared such a passion for dance music.  We are still great friends to this day, although he now lives in another state.  James is also a DJ, and together we thought we could come up with a service that was just as good, if not better, than some of the other DJ services around.  We really wanted to do a label that showed it could be diverse in its music selection and have a great song structure.  We always thought there was no need for silly breaks in the middle of a track that would disrupt the energy of a song.  James and I had some wonderful times together running the label.

hotdiscomix: Please tell me a bit about your function and work for Ace-DJ.

Paul Goodyear: Our roles at Ace-DJ would include… James and I would choose the tracks together.  We were both equal owners and directors of the company.  In the early days, I would do about 75% of the edits and mixes and James would sort out label clearances.  My wife Wilma would do our accounting and help out in general keeping of the label.  She would also clean up some of our mess, too (thank you Wilma!).  There was a lot of hard work with hardly any financial reward.  We were very proud of what we achieved, though.

hotdiscomix: How does the song-selection process for an Ace-DJ remix work?

Paul Goodyear: For the selection process, the tracks would have to be not working properly in their original form.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  We would clean them up as much as possible in all areas, including editing and equalization.  We would try and choose tracks that weren’t getting much attention from DJs.  We also tried to put a “little bit of everything” on an issue.  Also rare classics would make an appearance that needed work.  We would fix up the timing on tracks that had a floating BPM.  Also with the song selection process, it was hard at times with the record labels not wanting to give permission on particular tracks.  DJs sometimes didn’t understand why we couldn’t use certain tracks.  A lot of DJ services got closed down for bootlegging.

hotdiscomix: In the ’90s, you worked at Ace-DJ, Direct Hit, Discotech, Hot Tracks and several other remix services.  Did you experience any differences in remixing for and in the politics at these services?

Paul Goodyear: Some services were very strict about break structure and the length of the mixes.  At Ace-DJ and Direct Hit, it wasn’t as strict.  The actual mix always came first.  After all it’s the music that should come first, not how long it is.  We always had the best mastering done to our issues as possible.  Tony Mantz was responsible and is the best in Australia.  There was one label I worked for that didn’t even bother with mastering!  I guess, like any business, there is always competition.  When we started Ace-DJ, I stopped doing mixes for other services and concentrated on our own label.  Being far away in Australia I didn’t really get caught up in the politics of it all.  I like it that way, too! 

Note: I actually have just started back doing mixes for Hot Tracks.  The last project I did for them was back in 1996.

hotdiscomix: You started with reel to reel tape edits, then you changed to digital edit.  What software and equipment do you use to mix your remixes?

Paul Goodyear: After editing with tape for 3 years, I switched to using a PC computer using Micro Sound editing software.  I used this until 2002 and then called it a day.  I wanted to progress much further into full-scale production.  So then I converted to buying Pro-tools Digidesign 001 with a Mac G4 computer.  It is 180 gig and very powerful.  I’m learning a program called Cubase as well, and I also have Logic Audio, which I haven’t figured out yet.  I’m now writing and producing music from home.  No more expensive studios to hire.  It’s amazing what you can now do at home.

hotdiscomix: For some of your remixes, you used additional instruments (keyboards).  Do you play these parts yourself?

Paul Goodyear: I have a Nord lead 2 Keyboard and lots of soft synths and plug-ins.  I am learning keyboards and do play some of the parts on my productions.  I do know my basic chords from mixing in key with my DJing.  I have two good friends –Ian Gordon and Ari Kaisserian– who help me out putting down keys.

hotdiscomix: Do you burn CDs of your latest mixes and test them out spinning in front of club crowds? If so, how does that experience impact your final mix?

Paul Goodyear: Oh yes, I always try out a new production at the clubs where I work.  There is always something that needs to be adjusted.  They are normally only minor things, though.  You can hear so much more on a huge club system.  I will normally try out a finished production on three or four different sound systems.  Plus I always check the mix with my fantastic Senheiser headphones.


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