What are you working on at the moment?
Epic 20 song album for a civil war re-enactment band, a vocal demo for a Verdi-Baritone, writing, arranging and performing an instrumental track for a vocalist and overdubs for a rock and a funk band. I work and schedule around each clients's needs and timeline to make sure I am 100% present and vested on their project during (and around) their session time.
Analog or digital and why?
Both. Digital on its own is sterile. At the same time we're products of our environments, so a strictly Analog recording will in most cases no longer stand up to the tastes of the modern listener. Digital clarity with the addition of Analog warmth.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To provide my personal attention to each project and strive to always exceed their expectations.
What do you like most about your job?
Working with different people and sharing in their musical journey.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Question- 'Why should I work with you instead of ....'
my answer- ' who do you feel more comfortable with and who do you believe understands and can provide what you're looking for?'
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Anyone can do it
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is the purpose of their recording (demo, album, bookings, gain label interest, etc)? What is their timeline? What is their budget? Do kind of music do they listen to? What are examples of songs, artists or mixes that they like or would like to emulate?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Your music is a personal expression of yourself. Make sure you're working with a professional that can understand and share your vision.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A guitar with heavy gauge strings that wouldn't break, a portable digital recorder, a solar cell, a power inverter and a large hard-drive so I can record & playback what I create. I can make the rest of my instruments and use 'found sounds' for percussion and everything else on the island.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I graduated college with the intent on being a touring and session guitarist with a small project studio. After years of 'almost making it' as an original artist, I found that I really enjoyed working as a producer and engineer as well as a guitarist. I've been playing guitar since the age of 9 and have been a professional musician, producer and studio owner since 1994.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I recently worked with a Grammy Award winning violinist/arranger recording an original arrangement of a widely known acoustic song for a civil war re-enactment band. This client tours internationally as a classical virtuoso as well has having been a session violinist for the likes of The Bee Gees, Luther Vandross and others. I was originally hired to just record and mix, but at the last minute they needed a bassist. I can read music, so offered to do it and the client sent me the chart. My original intent was to record the bass as an overdub. However, during the session (basic tracking of violin with piano) the violinist said he'd really prefer I play live with them (from the control room while acting as engineer). Just before heading into the live room he turned to me and said, 'By the way, just double check your tuning before we start. I have perfect pitch and I want to make sure the bass is in tune and performed exactly as written'. I smiled and said, 'sure... no pressure'. At the end of the session he was very happy with my performance, but unhappy with the work done by the session guitarist for the track. The client and I were talking shop when I mentioned I'm actually a guitarist more than a bassist. He immediately asked if I would consider recording the guitar part for him (a charted out, finger-style guitar part with very unorthodox chord forms), I said yes and a week later I forwarded him the finish product. He was thoroughly impressed and provided me with one of the best reviews I've ever received.
How would you describe your style?
Organic, funky and creative.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Any artist that is passionate about their music and interested in collaborating with another to make the sum greater than its parts. Someone who wants more than just an over compressed, auto-tuned generic mix. If that's what a client is looking for, I'm the wrong person to contact.
Can you share one music production tip?
Always choose QUALITY over QUANTITY! Its the biggest mistake I see from new artists. They have a limited budget yet want to record all of their songs; despite suggestions to focus on making sure they've completed an inspired, creative performance and invested the funds into a creative mix.
What type of music do you usually work on?
With 20+ years as a professional in the music industry, I've worked on a large variety of music from Funk, Rock, Reggae and Hip-Hop to Jazz, Classical, Folk, Country, Christian, Death Metal and Experimental. In recent years I've been come well renown for recording a wide range of acoustic genres (singer/songwriter, jazz, classical, opera, folk/americana/civil war). As a guitarist, I'm an ideal choice for electric guitar for rock, funk, reggae, blues, acoustic, fingerstyle, hip-hop, R&B, classic, indie- pretty much anything except for speed metal shredding or slide guitar! I'm a creative rhythm guitarist as well as an inspiring lead player
What's your strongest skill?
Understanding the unique needs of each client and then providing a track that meets and exceeds their expectations.
What do you bring to a song?
Creativity derived from over 20 years as a recording studio owner, producer and touring guitarist. I love my career, because each day is different as I write, arrange, perform, record, mix and master music in a variety of genres. I enjoy new challenges because it furthers my creativity as a musician, producer and engineer.
What's your typical work process?
I typically like to have a complete understanding of the clients needs and time-line before I start a project. Each client receives my total, personal attention from concept, through tracking and mixing to completion of the final product.
Tell us about your studio setup.
We have an Auralex designed studio with a 25x20 live room, 20x15 control room and 6x8 Vocal & Iso booths. Protools Accel HD3 recording platform with extensive collection of mics, plugins, preamps/outboard gear, guitars and other instruments and 5' baby grand.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Any musician or professional who is genuinely excited about the process of creating music. Whether they're new to recording or a seasoned veteran of the arts, I'm inspired by their energy and the opportunity to share in their musical journey.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Clients hire me when they are searching for an experienced, professional minded producer, engineer or session player willing to take the time to understand their unique vision and goals for their project and help them make it a reality. My clients prefer creativity and artistry in performance and mixes that favor depth and substance rather than being simply loud and generic.