What are you working on at the moment?
Mixing a song for Big Tray Dee (of Snoop's Eastsidaz) for his next album.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Not anyone who is better than me, nope! =)
Analog or digital and why?
Analog *AND* digital. For obvious reasons.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
On mastering, it's that you'll "Love it, or your money back!". For mixing, it's that I bring a lot to the table and you've chosen me because you know and love my work and with that, if I didn't turn down your project, then I'm excited to work on it and I'm ALL IN!
What do you like most about your job?
Setting my own hours! Seriously! Would you want me working on your project at a time when I HAVE to rather than a time when I WANT to? I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance and focus on doing projects during my most productive times of the day.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can I mix a song that has a 2 track instrumental with vocals laid over? The answer is yes, but it will almost ALWAYS limit the sonic potential of the track. Even if it was mixed exceptionally well, it still may not be perfectly suited for your voice. Many producers are great at making music but they're not experts at engineering so if you're serious about your craft, pay the extra to get the track-outs from them. Otherwise you're already at a disadvantage out of the gate.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it's easy or fast. I've been doing this for more than 25 years and still learn new things all the time.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I generally just ask to hear a couple tracks - rough mixes, so I can get an idea of their sound and if it's something I think I'm a good fit for. It's not uncommon for me turn down a project if I don't think I'm the right guy for the job. Honestly, you want to hire an engineer who is passionate about your music, otherwise they won't be able to give you 100%.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Get to know my sound. That should be extremely high on your list - finding an engineer who's a good match for your style of music and production. There's 1000's of us to choose from, so if you choose ME, it should be because you like sonic signature I put on my product.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
1) A power generator. How are you going to run any equipment without electricity? =)
2) Pro Tools with a UAD Apollo interface.
3) 500 Series Lunchbox with Shadow Hills modules.
4) Analog Design's Black Box HG-2.
5) Ultrasone 550 headphones.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I took an interest in drums at age 4, was taking apart electronics by age 6 (to see how they made sound), singing, playing piano and sax by the age of 10, buying my first mixer, drum machine and synthesizer by age 13, then hitting Musician's Institute for Keyboards when I graduated high school, followed by graduation from Los Angeles Recording School with honors. From there I began a long run of studio work in the early 90's up to today, cutting my teeth on a Neve V3 console and 24 track tape to where I am now with a hybrid setup and DAW.
How would you describe your style?
Aggressive, punchy and colored.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Kendrick Lamar or any of the TDE artists. They're on that next level.
Can you share one music production tip?
Yes. Pultec EQ is generally awesome on kicks, snares and synth basses.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rap, Hip Hop, and some EDM.
What's your strongest skill?
Making the low end on mixes have authority. Rap and Hip Hop REQUIRE this to be effective contenders.
What do you bring to a song?
I am musically, as well as technically, trained so I understand both harmony, melody and rhythm as well as understanding frequency, dynamics and signal processing.
What's your typical work process?
I'm really flexible for mixing sessions. I mix in Pro Tools and master in Wavelab. I am a proponent of not doing both processes to the same song if it's going to be included in an album, but generally when I master my own mixes, they're suitable for promotion, marketing and even sales as a single.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I use a hybrid approach that includes both outboard gear and a carefully selected set of plugins. Everything I own has been specifically selected to add value to the rig.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I really like Derek Ali as an engineer. He does fantastic work and really embraces large format analog console mixing with tons of outboard gear which, without getting into an analog vs. digital debate, is a very cool process on it's own. Kendrick Lamar's last two albums are some of my favorite albums to listen to and reference with.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I tend to do a lot of single or EP mastering for clients, but I really love to sink my teeth into a heavy mix if it slaps, grooves and has soul.