One on One with Chad McIlvenna

In this Bell Robertson One on One, we get to know Bell Robertson co-founder Chad McIlvenna a little better. Chad is an eclectic personality who is not only on board with us but works as a commercial insurance agent and music producer/writer/engineer. Originally from Orlando Florida, Chad now resides in the Athens, GA area with his wife, two daughters, dog and cat. So, let’s jump right in…

BR: What / who are you currently listening to?

Chad: I am currently listening to: Khalid (Free Spirit), Jule Vera, Halsey (Hopeless Fountain Kingdom), TwentyONEPilots (Trench), Switchfoot (Native Tongue), Elevation Worship (Paradoxology), The Score (Pressure-EP), Panic At The Disco (Pray For The Wicked) as well as lots of other stuff from nearly all other genres. I am just a music fan in general. 

Chad McIlvenna in his production studio Unicorn Valley in Georgia

BR: Tell us about your current studio projects. Who are you working with?

Chad: I am currently working on several different projects including a pop artist out of California called VANACO, Athens, GA based hip-hop artist DEZ from the Jawga Boyz, soul-pop artist Kara Waters, and lastly my own project that goes by the artist name Thank God For Payday. 

BR: What is your favorite piece of gear in your studio?

Chad: Honestly, other than my vocal mic it would have to be the instrument I use the most which is my Digital Audio Workstation, Logic Pro X. Inside of my DAW I have my favorite plugins and instruments and one of the favorite plugins I use inside of Logic Pro is a distortion/saturation unit by Soundtoys, called Decapitator. I mean the name says it all! It will literally destroy anything I want in a creative and musical way. I would say it is my desert island audio plugin for sure.

Decapitator plugin by SoundToys. Chad Mcilvenna's desert island plugin.

BR: What is on your studio gear wish-list?

Chad: Right now the one piece of gear that I am really wanting to get for the studio is a hardware compressor called the Doublewide from Retro Instruments. This is a piece of analog hardware that is a classic sound for a compressor and is quite versatile. I mainly record vocals in my mixing room and this is probably the best piece of gear I could get that I don’t have for the type of vocal sound I try to capture when recording vocalists.

Doublewide audio compressor from Retro Instruments is currently on Chad McIlvenna studio Gear wish-list

BR: Tell us about your favorite Bell Robertson Product?

Chad: My favorite BR product would be really hard for me to narrow down because there are three that I don’t think I could function without. First would be my Shell Cordovan Colonial Drive minimalist wallet. I use it about many times a day and it helps me carry everything I use daily in my front pocket without all the bulk. I opted for the Shell Cordovan version because it's one of the most durable luxury hides in the world. The second would be my leather Apple Watch strap. I wear my Apple Watch everyday and I want a classic look when I wear it not a sporty silicone band that comes standard with the watch. The BR Apple Watch strap is perfect for that. I have it in every color too! And lastly, is my Cavalier messenger briefcase. I need a laptop with me regularly as I travel around for my day job (insurance agent) and when I'm on location doing mobile recording and songwriting. It comfortably holds my 15” MacBook Pro, portable audio interface, cables, as well as my Arturia MiniLab piano and a microphone. It literally holds everything I need no matter where my work day takes takes and my goodness it looks good to boot! On top of all that, I will get to pass it on to my kids down the road because it is such a durable, heirloom quality bag. 

Bell Robertson Cavalier messenger briefcase.

Chad McIlvenna and his Bell Robertson leather Apple Watch strap.

Bell Robertson Colonial Drive minimalist wallet in shell cordovan - Front

Bell Robertson Colonial Drive minimalist wallet in shell cordovan - Back

BR: What is your favorite place to eat in Athens, GA?

Chad: My favorite place to eat in Athens is Trappeze Pub. They have such great pub food but more importantly they have a large, and regularly rotating craft beer selection. Oh…and they have probably the best boiled peanuts I have ever eaten in my life. The atmosphere is lively and energetic yet conducive to intimate dates or large group pub gatherings. 

Trappeze Pub in Athens, GA

 We hope that you all have enjoyed getting to know Bell Robertson co-founder Chad McIlvenna. Stay tuned for more One on One interviews in the near future.