Producer, songwriter, film composer. I run a song writing retreat in the forests of Bellingham WA and work remotely world wide. We've built our team to be a one-stop-shop for any production need. We can take a song from scratch to distributed, or meet your needs (session musicians, beat, mix/master) anywhere in between.
Hey, I'm Austin!
I'm a twenty-eight year old music producer and film composer with fourteen years of production experience. I've played music and written as long as I can remember. I mostly write for pop, hiphop, R&B, and folk artists, but I've also written for and played with jazz, rock, and classical groups.
I grew up playing in bands and writing music with people from all over the world. From underground rehearsal rooms in London, to tour vans in the desert, to backstage at famous LA venues, the one thing everyone used to say was, "How amazing would it be to go to the forest and make some songs?" I would do this from time to time to write, but it was impossible to find full studios in the forest to record at (not to mention with great wifi).
So, Fie (my wife) and I have built it!
We host artists/directors here and also work remotely around the world.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Austin Danson
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Cop-out here, but every record I work on is thrilling. It's like choosing between your favorite dogs or ice cream flavors... they're all super special for different reasons. I love the vocal sampling we do with Daisy, I love the melodies with Jaake, I love the negative space, sound design, and character themes with Niki Byrne's films... an impossible question! I think it comes down to the unique connection with and desires of each client.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A debut disco-pop record with The Outer Galexies, Daisy Draper's next album, a virtual reality pop project, a heavy dark trap album, a summer album with royvine
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Michael Lanza
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: this is a pretty outdated question. Just use what sounds good and gets it done in time.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My ego is not involved in the production
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: when we listen back to the track and are like.... damn. that's wild.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can it sound like this? yes. Can you play this line? yep! How did you do that? ummmm let me show you
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think the word "producer" is a little unclear in music because so many producers do so many different things. Ultimately, I think the best description is that the producer is responsible for finishing and delivering the project to the client's specs. I happen to be a producer who also writes the instrumental, but not all of us do that.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How do you like to write? (to a beat or acapella to start) Do you want to write with a reference track in mind? What are 3-5 adjectives that describe how you want the song to feel?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: All you need to know is what you like. If you don't know yet, we'll figure it out together. If you're new, save half your budget for marketing.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop (Ima include all my samples and plugins there for free thanks), headphones, a good all-around ldc, keyboard, an infinite supply of Islay whisky
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I grew up writing for and playing in bands. At various times I either played drums, bass, guitar, or sang. I did this through my graduate years in the US and London, went back to LA to do more. I started co-writing for other artists during this time. I began to realize that I was happiest when I was writing with other people and so decided to focus on it exclusively. I built a team of engineers such that we could quickly and seamlessly turn around any project. After a few years in LA, my wife and I moved to the forest in Bellingham WA to create a music retreat there for the artists and directors we work with.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Vocals dance with drums tied together by bass. Everything else compliments the vocal through harmony, tension, and rhythm.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The ship's sailed sadly... but to work with Bowie to try to understand how music came to and out of him would have been incredible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you like how it sounds, it's good.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, hip-hop, film
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Audiation -- writing down what someone sings or what I hear in my head
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think my past experience as a musician and artist helps me understand the position an artist is in. Being able to put myself in the artist's shoes and know what needs to be done to bring their sonic world to life is the biggest thing.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Whatever works best for the artist.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've built my studio to be like an extension of myself. I keep my Komplete Kontrol 88 infront of my on my argosy and my guitars and mics right beside it. The idea is to have as seamless a transition as possible from my mind to the daw. I'm a collector of sounds and samples and work weekly to refine and catalog my sounds.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I like musicians who are very open about who they are in their music. I like producers who focus on the artist's vision.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most often an artist will have a lyric demo or a vibe they want to write for. We'll work on a beat together, record vocals, then send it off to mix/master. For films, we either start at picture lock or come up with musical themes before shooting. For games we discuss feelings and atmosphere for locations, characters, and objects, and work back and forth in tandem during development.