Let's create something together!
I've always loved being a part of the recording process. I love the nerdy stuff like finding the right drums and cymbals for the song, the perfect part, pushing for the perfect take. I love the intangibles like helping the songwriter finally see their art take shape. All of it. So I've decided to enter into the world of remote recording hoping to build relationships through music and art with people all over the friggin' world. What a time to be alive!
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2 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Alexander Young - Drums
Right on. Doubt I'll go anywhere else for drums. Thx Alex!
How many wonderful things can I cram into one review? If you need someone to actually CARE about your song, over deliver for every track, ask for and respect your vision (but also completely WOW you with his interpretations on the songs you DIDN’T quite have a vision for), work in a timely manner, hit every flipping beat on time like a MACHINE, and be an overall very pleasant human being... you better hire this man! I know I will for all future projects. Thank you Alex!! Really....stunning job.
Interview with Alexander Young - Drums
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished my first couple of projects on SoundBetter with great results! I've got a couple of friends looking for some drum additions to their songs so I'll be tackling that next. I love this new part of my life so much...
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Oh jeez. I've worked on a bunch of records and I'm pretty proud of all of them. I think most recently, however, a band I'm in (Fathom Lane) released a record last year called Asilomar. The first single from that record, "Fingers & Toes," was voted #1 in our NPR local affiliate's (89.3 The Current) Top 89 Local Songs of 2017. That was a pretty special feeling. I also happened to play drums on #22 on the same list.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I think there's a pretty special feeling that comes with analog gear - that warm hiss that everyone is chasing. There's also NOTHING that beats getting a bunch of people in a room and playing together. But I'm going to have to say digital. It's so easy to do so much with so many people all over the world. It's a pretty magical thing.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to give only my best to my clients. I will never just phone it in or half-ass anything.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Fiona Apple. I feel like she would really challenge me creatively and also I LOVE HER. Blake Mills would be a really fun producer to work with. I feel like I really resonate with his sound ideas, structure ideas, etc. Lastly, I'd be a pretty happy camper getting to tour on the newest Kacey Musgraves record. That would be a dream gig for sure...
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm pretty lucky in that I get to share a REALLY beautiful recording studio in Minneapolis, MN called The Library (owned and operated by Matt Patrick). Every wall is covered, floor to ceiling, with books. It's really stunning. The room sounds fantastic and is inspiring as hell to create in. Matt is letting me use his vast array of mics as I slowly assemble my own collection. And lastly, I'm about to make a serious upgrade from my 2-channel interface to the Universal Audio Apollo 8p. I have experience recording into Ableton but I recently made the switch to Logic Pro X. Until I get my UA rig up and running, my good friend at Runway Studios (formerly Flyte Tyme Studios - Prince, et al.) is allowing me to use his amazing 24 I/O rig - also based around a couple UA Apollos.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: The answer to this question is ever evolving. I love a lot of music. As a drummer, I'm most inspired by Matt Chamberlain, Paul Mabury, and Aaron Sterling. Though, there are literally hundreds of other drummers who I love and who have shaped me into the musician I am today. My teacher Steve Goold is a never-ending supply of life and music inspiration. On the production end of things, I can never get enough Blake Mills. Holy crap, right? Jon Brion, T-Bone Burnett, Daniel Lanois, Nigel Godrich, and Steve Jordan also come to mind but I am likely leaving out someone huge. Here's a list of albums that have been totally dominating my Apple Music stream lately (as of April 2018): - Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour (Ian Fitchuk) - The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy - Richard Edwards - Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset (Rob Schnapf/Pete Thomas) - Caroline Spence - Spades and Roses - Bahamas - Earthtones - Chris Stapleton - From A Room Vol. 1 (Dave Cobb/Derek Mixon) - Theo Katzman - Heartbreak Hits - Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins - Various Jason Isbell - Laura Marling - Semper Femina (Blake Mills/Matt Ingram)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Is there such a thing as "common" these days? Currently most of my work consists of live gigs, I've done a fair amount of touring, I've been brought in to record everything from singles to full albums. I really just love playing drums and creating with people so I try to keep my options open.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I love it when I get reference examples from artists. Literally yesterday a friend asked me to take a stab at a song of his. He immediately told me he was hearing a relatively simple vibe and a close-mic sound a la "In Rainbows" by Radiohead. That saved SO much time in potentially sending several versions/interpretations of the song.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: What a strange question. Are we to assume that this desert island has power for recording gear? Thankfully drums don't need power. And I'd be perfectly content with a kick, a snare, and a set of hats. There's 3. Less is more, SEE?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing drums for 23 years (I'm 33). I was in rock bands, jazz bands, concert bands, and orchestras in high school. I did the "conservatory" thing in college really honing my classical and jazz chops before realizing I wanted to do something a little more modern. I joined a major label band and did some touring. That experience sort of got me on people's radars in Minneapolis. And I've spent the last several years building a reputation here as a reliable live player and a professional in the studio. A few months ago, I randomly started experimenting with recording myself through a crummy 2-channel interface. I was really excited by the sounds I was getting even with just 2 mics! I've ALWAYS loved the recording process and have ALWAYS wished I had more recording work. So now here I am, finding a new path to hopefully get just that: more recording work.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: This is SO cliché, but...less is more. If everyone on a particular recording had a supportive mindset - supportive of the song itself and of the other musicians - the mix would have this magical transparency and the message and emotion of the song would be clear.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Isn't this already covered elsewhere in the profile section? Singer/Songwriter is my wheelhouse. But I love to do really anything and everything. Check out the discography on my website, it's pretty diverse.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: See: "What do you bring to a song?"
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My years of experience being a musical director in a bunch of different environments has really shaped the way I hear and play music. What I bring to a song is shape and direction. The ability to feel momentum and arc with the WHOLE song in mind; not just the song's parts.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to listen to a song and write down a few notes based on my gut reaction while simultaneously jotting down the form/structure. If I receive notes from the artist, I'll cross reference those and start forming more complete ideas. Once I've got that all down, I like to figure out what gear will help support the vibe of the song. Next I'll do a rough take making note of what is/is not working, tweak gear, tweak sounds, and dive in for the keeper take! Once I feel like I've gotten close, I'll bounce down a rough mix of the song and send it off to the artist for critiques. Depending on their thoughts, I'll either make the desired revisions or bounce down and send off individual tracks for the artist.