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Interview with Last Horizon Audio
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Either/or. It doesn't really matter anymore. I have a reel to reel, some cassettes, analog gear; I also have a computer with a ton of plugins. Sometimes analog works for a particular project and sometimes it doesn't!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love hanging out with musicians. Just talking music and joking around, it's so much fun!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: It depends on the project. But I usually ask for examples of similar artist so I can get the sound they want.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to ask questions! Give examples! There are a lot of different ways to record, you should make sure the "provider" understands what it is you want. Most of the time someone isn't happy with my work it's because of a miscommunication and it's usually easily fixed after a short phone conversation.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been recording since I was 13 (in 1996!), my dad let me tape up some old carpet in the basement. This was my 1st studio with a Tascam 4 track cassette recorder! There have been many other adventures along the way...
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Brian Eno. I just want to pick his brain.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: To fake a large room on the drums put another mic directly in front of the drums a few feet away, add a quick slapback delay to this mic. BAM! Big drum sound (obviously mic the rest of the kit, too)
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Post-Rock, Punk, Hardcore, Metal, Rock, Country, Hip Hop, Rap, Indie Rock, all sorts of bands and musicians!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have taught guitar lessons for over 15 years and I have learned and taught thousands of songs to hundreds of students. I am good working one on one with musicians to capture their best performances. In mixing and mastering, I can figure out a song very quickly and dive right into what needs to be done.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am a songwriter and a musician. I approach audio as a musician, I bring out the best of the performances and use the audio process to bring out the nuances of the song. I want to capture the magic of the moment. The audio process should enhance a song, not get in the way.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Every project is different, but I usually mix and master by myself. Typically I get to the studio in the morning, usually by 10am and I work all day with a short dinner break, then I work usually until 12-2am. Rinse. Repeat.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a two room studio on the top floor of a 6 story warehouse: there is a large tracking room with multiple baffles and a drum booth, a snake runs all the channels into my 32 analog mixing board, which is in the control room where my daw is located. I also have a nice comfy couch and a fridge and a microwave for those longer sessions!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Rick Rubin, Steve Albini, Jack Endino, Sylvia Massie, Andrew Scheps, Ian Sheppard...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I seem to get a lot of work tracking and editing. I record a fair amount of hip hop, mainly tracking vocals to a beat the client has brought. I also do a lot of mastering. It's really hard to say, I've found that not many days I am doing the same genre or even the same type of work.