Tell us about your studio setup.
I'm using a hybrid set-up incorporating 8 channels of analog summing with industry standard software / plugins from Universal Audio, FabFilter etc.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Husky Höskulds, Oz Fritz, Stephan Bodzin, Gavin Bryars, Pixies, Dmitri Shostakovich, Tom Waits, Minotaur Shock, Ratatat, J.S. Bach, Jon Brion, Mahalia Jackson, Phillip Glass, Ochre
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I'll definitely bring up release dates as they are important to know in advance. You will need to set aside ample time (ideally weeks rather than days) for the production and pressing process. Remember that the revisions that must take place will take time as you communicate back and forth with your mixing / mastering engineer who will be sculpting your audio to its best possible state.
Also, it will help to know what the end goal is for your music as far as distribution is concerned. Are you looking to release your product digitally only for direct-to-fan sales or are you looking to press CD's or vinyl?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I graduated from the University of North Texas in 2001 with a BA in Music and have been building up my studio and mixing / mastering skills since that time working with artists in and around the vibrant Denton music scene.
Can you share one music production tip?
If you are planning on working remotely with a mixing / mastering engineer which could save you some money, first spend some time learning and implementing the recording process (i.e. capturing good performances via good mic placement and recording techniques) which is a complete art in itself. When you have a quality recording to begin with, your results from the mixing / mastering process will be fantastic.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Common questions are why would anyone pay to have their music mixed? Can't I mix it myself and send it on to a mastering service?
You certainly can if you are confident in the accuracy of your mixing environment, but please be cautious of corrective mastering which cannot give you the result that a properly mixed and mastered solution will bring.
Continuing, many mastering engineers will ask that you go back and correct problems in your mix and would use corrective mastering as a last resort. Then there are those who will quickly churn out your master, warts and all, without giving you a chance to deal with the underlying issues in the mix, while gladly taking your cash.
In other words, your focus should be toward getting the mix as good as it can be (or hiring qualified help like Burro Music Mixing) rather than relying on the mastering engineer to work a miracle with a flawed mixdown.
Flawed mixdowns are often due to the effect of room modes from an untreated mixing environment manifesting in things like excessive low-end, mid-low frequency mud or nasty resonance build-ups in certain frequency ranges.
I am offering a mixing service for those who feel they have already done a tremendous amount of work by writing, playing and recording their tracks and would like to hand off the mixing duties to capable hands for a superior result in an acoustically accurate environment.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Projects almost always benefit from bringing in a fresh, objective set of ears along with industry standard gear and the all important experience / expertise needed to know how to use that gear to fully help your specific situation.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A recent job I completed was re-mixing and mastering a great blues tune that you can hear in the audio excerpts above (see "Mastered Tune - blues"). The drums were a real challenge to rein in from the recording source due to excessive hi-hat and cymbal bleed in all the drum tracks, but I was able to tame them with some creative use of compression and EQ as well as lots of hard work involving volume automation. Have a listen above and enjoy.