Music has defined who I am as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories I have of this is composing drum rhythms by hitting my hands in different places of the dinner table to get different sounds. Now I use top notch software and other equipment with my musical ear in my private studio to arrange sounds in a mix that is pleasing to all.
Mixing and engineering music artistically in Nashville TN
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5 ReviewsEndorse Travis Ball
I had the privilege of working with Travis on a song for my EP, which I believe he may have as a part of his portfolio. He pays attention to the details of the song, the space in the mix, and has an acute sense of EQ. He's a great man and I know he takes his mixes and his clients seriously and adheres to the highest professional standard.
Travis is the man! My band had the opportunity to have him work on our album earlier this year and we couldn't be more pleased with his work. Not only were his mixes awesome, but on top of that he was extremely easy to work with. He was responsive, timely and very patient with our many requests. Can't wait to work with him again
I recently asked Travis to mix a song that I had produced for some friends of mine, and I was so impressed with how professional his mix sounded when he was done! Not only that, but his communication, flexibility, and musicianship during the project was nothing short of amazing. Simply put, Travis is a great guy, and a great producer to work with.
I have sent Travis songs to mix on multiple occasions, and every time he has embodied professionalism and dedication. He has a skilled grasp on how to sculpt his mixes; the low end is tight and punchy, and the high end is clear and smooth--traits that give your recordings a radio ready sound. You can count on him for a great final product.
When I met Travis, I knew he was good, but not this good. I had songs ready to go for mixing, but they were all a mess organizationally. My computer had some issues come up, complicating the mixing process. Also, I knew Travis was incredible with real instruments, but this involved all electronics. Regardless, Travis was patient, communicative. A+
Interview with Travis Ball
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing! Its the most natural thing for me in the studio so naturally I gravitate toward it.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Anyone whos work can make me forget about the production and get lost in the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Cozy and comfortable. Lit by floor lamps and candles, the hint of incense is always in the air. My studio is set up for mixing and overdubs so my gear is tailored to do both of those tasks expertly.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When it comes to a mix, first and foremost its to get to know the artist I am working with. I want to understand the background behind the songs, the influences the artist has and what was inspiring them in the studio during the recording process. From there its maybe listening to a rough mix of the song done by the producer or tracking engineer, getting the tracks into Pro Tools and importing my mix templet to get me set up to begin the mix!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a mix engineer I bring clarity to the song. Each song is like a puzzle, it has many pieces (tracks), typically all jumbled at that start and someone has to put it all together. My goal is to understand the song and do a mix that serves the song and the artist the best, and then put it together piece by piece.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say my greatest strength is my musical background mixed with my formal education as an audio engineer. I have been addicted to music since a young age, and when I decided I wanted to become an engineer I took the passion I had for playing music with me through school. So I know the technical side of engineering/mixing very well, but I don't let that get in the way of doing something creative/different/unique that may not adhere to the science of engineering.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I love to work on anything! I have mixed tons of genres and sub-genres, each providing its own challenges and differences to keep life exciting.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Sometimes simple is better, and sometimes it isn't. Do what sounds the best and feels right.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: So many from all different genres, but to give you an idea: Switchfoot, Justin Timberlake, The Civil Wars, Paramore, Zedd, Macklemore, Adam Young, Kacey Musgraves, Phil Collins, John Mayer, Iron & Wine and many more.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Music has transitioned largely into the digital realm in this day and age and there are tons of great benefits to that, but also some inherent problems. While my set up is mostly digital, I do use select pieces of outboard gear with my DAW. Furthermore, there is something really unique to me about mixing on big analogue consoles. I have been lucky enough to have been able to do that a number of times that I have setup my workflow in Pro Tools to mimic that of a console. This is most noticeable in the way I order my plugins to my signal flow inside the DAW.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I work from time to time with a young artist and producer in the area. Over a year ago he wrote and began producing a really cool new song in my studio with which I then assisted on the producing and then engineered and mixed. It was a fairly complex song with lots of layers and an enormous amount of tracks, but the end result was something that we both felt really proud of and everyone that heard it really ended up loving the song.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started learning how to be an engineering when I was a sophomore in high school where I started recording bands in my parents house with practically no training or any idea what I was doing. As soon as I graduated from high school I moved to Nashville TN to purse being an audio engineer full time by first attending college for an Audio Engineering Technology degree. It was in college that I was able to try many different aspects of engineer and begin to hone in my niche as a mixer, which I was pretty terrible at doing at that time. If we are being technical I have been working on other people music for 6 or so years, but I consider the start of my professional career was when I was done with college.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Super powerful Macbook Pro (with all my current software), Apollo Twin, my Shure 840 Headphones, my API luncbox with my Neves and maybe a few compressors/EQs and the Dangerous Music Source.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Hire someone who is going to get behind your music and enjoy it as much as you do.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are their biggest musical influences.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am a wizard.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Them - "What are your rates?" Me - "What is your budget."
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The ability to get creative.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: A final product that they can enjoy.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! There are somethings digital can't do that analogue can and visa-versa.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes! I know a great pianist for session and touring work!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Printing down a final mix for a house/electronic EP I mixed, Starting the mixing on a blues/rock EP, doing pre-pro with an artist I am producing/engineer/mixing for, and re-mixing an old song I worked on just for fun.