I am a NYC based music producer, multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer with an obsessive love for quality. I have been working with both local and international artists, producing albums, singles, doing musical direction and tweaking knobs in order to achieve frequencies that move you.
I work with both artists and labels in the producing and shaping songs, helping artists achieve their musical vision up to the highest industry standards. My work covers different aspects of the production process (songwriting, recording/engineering, musical performances, editing, mixing and mastering).
Worked with top-artists in Montréal, Canada (The Voice, Star Académie) producing albums, singles, doing musical direction / arranging, and many other things related to the production process. I am coming from a musician background, having played guitar professionally for the past 12 years, so my main approach is to make music sound like it is supposed to be, keeping the musical integrity natural and dynamic. Worked in the finest studios in Montreal (Planet Studios, 451, Trebas, etc) as well as in remote places all around the world.
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Interview with Andrei Nobbs
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Seeing the customer happy once the masters are delivered.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it is easy and everyone can do it
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the sound you are looking for ? What is the type of project ? What is the deadline ? What is missing from your music and hoping to bring in ?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been playing guitar professionally for the past 12 years. Started as musician, playing and gigging over 150 shows a year in every imaginable venue/event (festivals, theaters, clubs etc.). I got visibility and built a reputation that quickly connected me to different artists and got hired me as musician, session player, arranger and then producer. The first time i got into a studio, my sparkle lit up and i became fascinated with audio recording and wanted to learn every aspect and micro-detail about it. I spent thousands of hours learning and consolidating my studio skills by working and learning from different people that i admire. By word of mouth and networking, artists heard the work where i have put my name and helped me grow by bringing more and more projects on the table. By treating every client with the utmost attention, i build a strong working relationship with the artist's team, i expanded my network and my branding to the point where i started living out of it.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: If I am producing, i start by finding the strong elements of the song and mix them with the forces of the artist bringing an unique sound in the most unexpected ways. If I am performing, i work closely with the producer and/or the artist to create and play the parts that will suit the song best and find the things that will make the song stand out. If i am mixing, i focus on bringing the best out of the song sonically by using specific techniques and processing (balance, eq, compression, use of effects, panning, etc.), making sure the song translate well on every playback system. I can mix on analog gear or ITB.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by having an insightful communication with the artist in order to fully understand his artistic vision and his goals for the project. I will ask him for reference songs/artists that are close to its tastes stylistically. Since i am a musician in the first place, i can easily deconstruct a given song that the artists likes and emphasize on every specific elements that create the song in terms of sound choices, arrangement (chord voicings, melodies/harmonies, etc.), mixing style and apply that to the needs of the project. Then i work on building the song finding the melody and the harmonic structure, either on piano or guitar. When that is done, i will record some basic tracks (drums, bass, guitars and piano) in order to have a reference and to get the right feel when i perform the instruments. I build the song structure and the main takes in a couple of hours, depending on the song. Finally, i will take 2-3 sessions for the vocals and i take my time to track them, making sure the artist is giving his absolute best. Unless there i have a stylistical restriction, I will edit the vocals (timing, tunning, etc.) to make sure everything is perfect. I will take a session to mix the song and send it to the artist as the starting point and i get away off the project for some days in order to have better perspective. If any adjustments are necessary, i do them and from there, if the budget allows it, i will bring the song to one of Montréal's best mastering studios and let the ME do the magic.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work in the studio of your choice and i can deliver the work either in smaller project-style studios or in muti-plantinum facilities.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Full production for artists starting from the scratch, being in charge of most of the aspects of the production process (songwriting, arranging, recording and engineering the musical performances, editing, mixing and mastering).
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you do it for cheaper ? Answer : YES
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital, for the rapidity and efficiency of the workflow.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Communicate and ask me as many questions as possible.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My vinyl of "Band of Gypsies" by Hendrix for the inspiration, a portable 4 track recorder, a shure SM58 and an electric guitar.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Every time i hear something i produced on the radio
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Versatile, fast and 5-star.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The unknown one ... that is going to be the next BIG one
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Record like there's no mixing and mix like there's no mastering; get things right at the source instead of fixing them later and have an obsessive attention to details.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Rock, Soul, Funk, Blues.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My sense of musicality and technical understanding of what i am doing.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Quincy Jones, Max Martin (production) Richie Kotzen, Santana, Usher, Jimi Hendrix (musicians / artists) Serban Ghenea, Dave Pensado (mixers)