Brian Starley

Producer - Engineer - Mixer

Brian Starley on SoundBetter

Freelance recording engineer/producer/mixer/post-production sound editor.

-Track Restoration
-Music Video Location (Studio)

-Original Music Score
-Sound Design
-Sound Editing
-Sound Restoration
-Audio Books
-Field Recording

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

Interview with Brian Starley

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: (Earlier 2015) I recorded, produced, and mixed a country record with Jason Whitton. I had never worked in the Country genre before working with Jason. We have a great chemistry together. The actual process of making this album was about 4 years of collaborating and building a working relationship, and a friendship. I learned so much in the process and got to work with some amazing musicians! Jason would come to the studio with his acoustic guitar and a song idea. Together we would whittle each part down until we had the final structure of the song. After releasing an EP in 2014, we decided to take the remaining songs we had and do a full length album. We crowd funded the project through Kickstarter and got session musicians together and made a record! I couldn't be happier with the final result. Here's the link:

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: (Sept 2016) I just wrapped up mixing a record (Industria) for Dot Plaza. Dot Plaza is the brainchild of Erich Tomkinson. This was an incredibly rewarding collaborative experience. Erich is a (very humble) musical genius. Not only did he play every instrument on the record, he also recorded 99% of it himself (without any formal training in engineering). Clear communication and lots of dialog throughout the mixing process allowed me to build up Erich's trust. That trust led to tape-echo layers, crazy effects/transitions and automation that I performed to the mixes to give the songs a sort of sonic ether. He pretty much just let me do my thing and those elements really gave the record a sound and space he was looking for. Any of the mix choices I made, were a direct result of his performances. It made for a great collaboration and an amazing record!

  5. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  6. A: I try to work in every genre. I am constantly refining my taste. I believe we are all on this planet to become better human beings and grow in every aspect of our lives and professions. There is something new to learn from every style of music (and every person for that matter). Personally, I actively seek artists who are really trying to grow and get to the honest core of themselves and their art. Those are the artists I work with. Nothing makes me happier than helping people achieve their full musical potential.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: Every situation is different. I like to meet with my potential clients beforehand and discuss their project at length and find out how I can fit into that process. I'm not trying to "put my stamp" on their art. If I don't feel I'm good for a project I'll try to refer the person to someone who will be right for the project. Without taking the time to get to know someone and why they do what they do, there really is no way I can know how to help them. Getting to know the potential client would be the first part of the work process. Depending on how deep they want to go, this can take weeks, months, even years... Once the actual work is obtained, it can vary from project to project. I like to choose the path of least resistance. Once I know the band or project and what their vision is, I can then choose a process that makes their workflow seamless, and hopefully fun. I will quite often change my studio around to not only meet the needs of the client, but also create a space for them to feel completely inspired.

  9. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  10. A: That what I do is all technical. Recording, mixing and mastering are all forms of art. Engineers are artists.

  11. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  12. A: Pre-production is everything. Being underprepared or unclear about your vision is the fastest way to burn through your budget and waste everyone's time. Have a plan. If you don't have a solid plan, don't be afraid to ask for help from a professional...

  13. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  14. A: Don't be afraid to commit. If you don't make any mistakes you'll never get any better.

  15. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  16. A: Most of the work I do is recording; drums, string quartets, loud guitars. Mostly live bands. There are so many DIY bands nowadays, that they really want (at the very least) tracking to be done in a proper room, but they usually can't afford a major studio. I have 26 inputs and a live-room big enough to track everyone at the same time with separate headphone mixes. That is where the magic happens. After recording, mixing would be what I do most.

  17. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  18. A: Both are necessary. Whatever feels right for the project and the project's budget.

  19. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  20. A: I will work tirelessly for you until your vision is complete and you are beyond happy with the end result.

  21. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  22. A: Collaborating. There is nothing more exciting than making great art with creative people.

  23. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  24. A: Listening. That's what engineers do, right? Accountability is next. A project has never been held up by me, and it never will be. I do what I say I'm going to do, and I do it in a timely manner, until a project is complete and everyone is happy.

  25. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  26. A: I have my "sonic tricks" that I've learned over the last decade of audio engineering, but I approach every song from a perspective of trying to achieve what the client wants. I'll make decisions on how I can reach their goals (sonically) based on what their end vision is. If the artist doesn't know what they want, then they need a producer. If by default I become the producer, I'll do whatever it takes to surpass their expectations of the idea by working through the song piece by piece, until it's absolutely what they want. Sometimes a song can require hiring outside talent to fulfill certain needs that are not fully achievable by the artist alone. I have a network of LA based session musicians that I work closely with. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Terms Of Service

Turn-around time for mixing a song is usually within 15 mix hours or less (a day and a half), revisions included. Attended mix finalizations and listening are encouraged. I'm done when you are happy.

Gear Highlights
  • Pro Tools HD 12.7.2. Universal Audio. Apollo. API. BAE. Heritage Audio. Izotope Production Suite 5. AKG. AEA. Mojave. Sennheiser.
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