I turn dreams into sounds. I'm a producer, songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. I mostly work in the rock/rap/electronic/pop genre. My sound is my brand identity. My goal is to help you create your identity.
SouthPaw is owned by Sydd Stone - a songwriter/producer/artist who writes/performs/records rock - rap - pop music. Growing up in a small city off the East Coast of Canada, Sydd was exposed to a healthy DIY music scene. "Because of that DIY attitude I was able to expand on my songwriting experiences and evolve it into production" he says. "I wouldn't have the work ethic I do now if it wasn't for being in a scene where we all worked our asses off to make it happen."
Luckily, he fell in love with production, which gave Sydd strong songwriting sensibilities. Paired with touring the country, and moving from city to city, Sydd's talents began to really take shape from his experiences. "I'm a songwriter, thats the essence of who I am. Everything I've set out to learn was because I wanted to make the song better".
Sydd has become pretty self efficient, "I grew up in bands, but moving all the time I had to adapt," he says, "I do miss collaborating with people, especially in bands, but Ive gotten to a point in my career where I can make things happen by myself. Thats not to say I wont collaborate, I love it, but if you need to rely on one guy, i'm that guy"
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Interview with Sydd Stone
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Everything ive been doing the last year has made me proud. Ive been lucky to be happy in every project ive been involved in. having fun is important to me. Making sure my client is having fun is important to me as well. Sessions where we are both having fun always comes out on top!!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Im working on a few songs for a Rock Project called Mata Hari. Im also working on solo acoustic work and a few rap songs.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Im new to this!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Does it matter anymore? I spent alot of money in a studio a few months ago tracking through a bunch of hardware 1073s. I wasnt happy with what I had so I decided to redo them at my homestudio using UNISON UAD 1073. The difference was almost non existence. So to me that debate is over and done.. Saying that. I wouldn't want to produce electronic in the analog world. But i understand rock bands still wanting to use analog as it sets up a "mood" but as far as actual sound quality, it doesnt matter anymore.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To give them the care and attention that they deserve. That we will work together until you are completely happy!!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love to write and perform music. Theres nothing more I enjoy on this planet then writing great melodies and hearing them play back from a set of speakers.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How quick will it take? Can I do certain things? What direction do you hear the song going? Can you replicate this? Do you do package deals with more than one song?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That its not hard work. It is! Hard work that i really love enjoy doing but sometimes melodies dont come right away and you need to look deep inside to figure it out. Its not always an easy job, but its usually always a rewarding one!!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are you looking to get out of the song. In what time frame? what specific things do you want me to do with your music?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be honest with what you want. Dont be afraid to express yourself. Explain clearly what you expect from me. Im here to make your song the best it can be.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Im 37 and ive been in bands since 17. I stopped touring from 20 to 25 so I could focus on my songwriting. During that time I found myself in studios and looking at the production side of things. Ive moved around alot but since moving back into the country a few years ago, ive been building my music up locally. In the last year i decided that I wanted to produce more, helping people create amazing music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Melodic. Im about melody. Be it Hard Rock, Soft Rock, or Electronic I make sure that its something people can get in their head.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Id love to work with Jack White and Josh Homme. I believe those two are at the top of the Hard Rock world and they both come from the old school of recording. I believe they could teach me alot from what they have picked up over the years. Id love to play with Slash and Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page, to me those are THE best rock guitarists ever. I would love to work with Dave Grohl as well. I think he would enjoy playing with me as well :)
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Dont be afraid to double if it sounds good!!! Try to get it right going into the mic instead of trying to fix it in the mix.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hard rock and everything else in the rock genre.. I do acoustic singer/songwriter/folk work as well I produce rap but i create my own samples and tracks, i dont use other peoples samples. I am colouring outside the lines with this genre I also work with synth pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Songwriting, producing, and performing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring originality and a strong sense of melody. My goal is not just to produce rock/pop music, my goal is to produce songs that people will still want to listen to 20 years from now. I maintain a balance of pop sensibility and raw power. I keep in mind whats going on with todays sound but I also try to focus on what works for the Artist. My job is to create music that people want to hear more of. Ultimately it comes down to extracting your personality and putting into the music.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If im producing and performing a song, I generally get 5 to 10 takes and edit down to the best one. Then ill move onto the next track and repeat the same thing. Ill start with Drums, Bass, Guitars, Synths, then vocals. As the song starts to shape and form ill start thinking about adding little flavours here and there. Ill also be thinking vocals and how many takes need to be done to fill out the song. When everything is recorded ill clean everything up and organize it so that the Mixing engineer doesnt want to kill me in his sleep :)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a professional home studio. The last two years ive given up on recording live drums as I feel I can achieve the same thing with programs like BFD3. It saves ALOT of hassle and set up time. I use an apollo to track with plenty of plugins including the Unison NEVE 1073. Lately ive been plugging guitars straight in the Apollo as well as i feel the tones are great, but I can also track through mics as if needed. I use a Sure sm7b to record most of my vocals but i do have access to to other microphones. I use cubase as my DAW, and sometimes I rewire that to Reason so I can use their synths Im monitoring with KRK 8's. I mostly use Fenders and Gibsons for guitars. I also have a Precision bass from Fender. Synths are generally done in the box but i do have a SH 201. I also use alot of soundtoys as i find those plugins are top notch for adding sugar and spice. Besides Soundtoys, i mostly use UAD stuff with the odd waves plugin.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: For modern rock Queens of the Stone Age really inspires me. I enjoy the tones of black sabbath, and the recording techniques of Jack White. I also take huge inspiration from Dr Dre's production which has inspired me to get into electronic and rap production along with OutKast. Quincy Jones is at the top of the list of producers as well and George Martin. Rick Rubin and Kayne West are others who I look up to for production techniques.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I take artists ideas and turn them into full productions. Im great with melody and visualizing where a song needs to go. I can add vocal, guitar, bass, drum, and synth instruments as well as arranging and writing. If you have even the rawest of ideas, we can turn that into a song you will be proud of!!!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: guitar, bass, UAD apollo, good pair of headphones, Midi controller,