Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Walter Riggi of Riggi International, recording engineer and producer
What are you working on at the moment?
Tracks for clients in England and Florida, plus mixes for 2 artists in Canada.
Analog or digital and why?
Both but for noise floor purposes I do like digital..
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
What do you like most about your job?
I love giving artists a product that inspires and elevates their song and to experience their excitement and gratitude!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How do we best communicate? I say email because I'm on my computer all day long! Phones are normally turned off. Also turnaround time which for me it not more than 2 days normally.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
This!! That because it's long distance that the product is somehow impaired by the person not being in the same room as me. And also that the communication is impaired. It's totally not! I can converse in real time with someone on the other side of the world! It's a new era..
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I want to know as much information about what they're looking for performance wise and tuning wise as they can give me. I ask for examples of popular songs that embody what they're looking for. Or I ask for any programmed or notated drum examples they have that they can forward to me. Basically as much information up front about what they want AND don't want that they can provide. I also ask if they have any time pressures, deadlines etc.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Shop around first! Listen to as much audio and read up on each player as much as you can. Converse with them first. If you're picking up 'attitude' from them run in the other direction!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Tough one! I'd say a good audio system and a solar panel LOL (and a good signal path , mic, preamp and platform)
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
30 years.. I started very early doing session work for a small custom album company playing for free. I didn't care, I wanted the experience and I loved the the whole recording studio setting!
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Probably my favorite is still the Electronic Arts game series NBA Live which had just amazingly slamming music tracks that pushed me to the edge of my ability level. Tracks for huge middle east stars Julia Boutros and Asala Nasri recorded with the Prague Symphony were also highlights
How would you describe your style?
Emphasis on great feel and support of the song. Drawing on my main influences such as Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd, Denis Chambers...Endeavoring to bring musicality to the piece in a way that is sonically beautiful and totally supportive. Never stepping on the vocal or cluttering but strong and intense when it's appropriately called for.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A dream artist would be Joni Mitchell. Or someone like Peter Gabriel.. great writers who employ great song structure and transcendent lyric writing.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't play a note until you've listened to the song entirely first and conversed with the artist about his desires and direction needs.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Varied but I'd say Pop, Rock, Funk, R&B, Country
What's your strongest skill?
Musicality and feel as well as great tuning specific to the genre.
What do you bring to a song?
I am also a published songwriter and music library contributor. I played brass for years before becoming a drummer as well. So I feel that I bring a sensitivity to the song, the lyric, the song structure that perhaps other drummers don't. Plus my years of experience on high profile sessions have taught me what 'not' to play so that the song shines through with the appropriate support, artistry and energy exuding from the drums/ rhythm section...
What's your typical work process?
The artist generally sends me an mp3 with their drum ideas/requirements and an mp3 without drums. Their tracks are usually recorded to a click track but not always and no necessarily required. We converse on email usually and I record a take and send it to them. We converse more if needed and I do changes and send back. This process is done until the client is 100% happy.
Tell us about your studio setup.
From my years of working with top world engineers (Bob Rock, David Slagter, Pat Glover, Mike Fraser, Greg Reely to name a few) I've learned from their mic placements techniques and utilize those standards. My room consists of both a treated tight controlled room sonically which opens onto a live wood room that has lovely ambience which I can blend together in a controlled fashion. As mentioned I utilize Class A mic's, recording gear and recording platforms.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Players and producers, engineers that bring their own unique color and interpretation performed at the highest level with the utmost sonic quality. And equally important, these people must also possess great people skills and a great desire to bring the artists vision to light. They must also have punctuality and complete professionalism!
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I do drum/percussion studio performances (acoustic and also v-drums) for clients all around the world. I've been a session drummer for 25 years and have had my online business for the past 10 years.