Joe Barresi — A Keen Overloud User

Check out the full video interview with Joe Barresi.

What do Slipknot, Alice in Chains, Weezer, Queens of the Stoneage, and Tool have in common? They have all worked with legendary producer/engineer Joe Barresi! Joe's impressive list of clients, creativity, and strong work ethic have accelerated him to the pinnacle group of producers around the world. It comes as no surprise that he's been actively using Overloud products in his mixes. We recently stopped by his California studio to ask how he uses Dopamine and REmatrix. We were accompanied by our friend from Italy, Sabino Cannone, owner of MoReVoX, impulse response expert, and conceptualizer of REmatrix. As you read on, you'll get some invaluable production advice from a legend of the industry.

What happens when you accidentally drop a Dolby 301 unit?

Joe recalls working at Sound City back in the day when the Dolby 301 noise reduction units were being used. He tells a story about how one of the engineers fell and dropped the unit while transporting it from the control room. When he got back up he didn't quite put the bass compression card all the way back in. Without knowing this at first, they patched it into the signal chain and discovered that they actually really liked the sound, so engineer Keith Olsen drilled screws into the card preventing it from being fully inserted, and a now-classic tracking technique was born!

dolby 301


Here's a Shot of Dopamine

Judging by his vast collection, it's obvious Joe appreciates the sound of vintage hardware, so it makes sense that he'd be intrigued by the emulations of classic hardware found in Overloud's GEMs series. He'd long been seeking out that "damaged Dolby" sound when he stumbled across Overloud's Dopamine. "Now everyone is in the digital world and you can't even find these [units] anymore. There have been a few [emulations] that have come out that have always tried and none of them have quite sounded as good, but Dopamine sounds killer."

dopamine screenshot

"I use it all the time. I used it on Alice in Chains, I'm using it right now on Slipknot — this thing just gives you a nice clarity."

For anyone not familiar with noise reduction units, they typically took in an input signal, colored it (usually adding high end to the signal) and when returning the signal, removed some of the high end and hiss. Dopamine takes this classic technique and process and brings it into the box. By emulating two classic tape encoding processors (180 and 361), and two cartridges (A-Type and the Stressor), Dopamine enhances sound naturally. It is designed to revive individual tracks as well as complex mixes while preserving their natural tone. 

We know there are a lot of reverbs out there Joe, but why did you start using REmatrix?

If you ask any producer-engineer, they'll probably have a favorite reverb. A good reverb is an essential tool in any production arsenal, and Overloud's REmatrix has been a part of Joe's workflow for quite some time now.

"Sometimes I go 'man I just need something that gives a lot of control and that's different.' And that's when the light bulb usually clicks: 'hey REmatrix!'. It's kind of like a one-stop shop."

Created by IR (impulse response) expert Sabino Cannone, owner of MoReVoX, and produced by Overloud, REmatrix allows you to blend five different IRs to create truly unique spaces and effects.

rematrix screenshot

"It looks like a mixer, there's no layers and layers of menus." For a man like Joe, it's all about simplicity. When you walk into his studio, you'll notice a gigantic console, which he engages more often than his computer. Joe is old school and keeping things simple is a key factor in his workflow. When adding a new plug-in to his DAW it needs to be easy to grasp right away and that's one thing that attracted him to REmatrix. Stocked with 330 IRs and 640 presets, some of which were created by another legendary producer John Paterno, REmatrix never fails Joe in inspiring his creativity.

joe b at console

In a world so full of eager producers and engineers, how does one separate themselves from everyone else? Since everyone ultimately ends up with similar technical skills, Joe's advice is to "create things that are different, sounds that are different, environments that are different." In the plug-in world, the advice is similar—if everyone has access to the same kinds of plug-ins, blending those delays, reverbs, and audio processors in unique ways propels ambitious engineers and producers into a blue ocean of opportunity. All we know is that with the high-quality plug-ins Overloud is consistently developing, the tools are there, but the creativity and the pursuit of greatness are in your hands. You can watch a full video interview with Joe Barresi here:

Did you know you can try out REmatrix, Dopamine, or any Overloud product free for 14 days? Head to to download your trial and of course, reach out to ILIO's world-class tech support with any questions. Go get your sound!