Analog or digital and why?
Digital. However, I think that the tools you use are not what makes your results good or bad, it is how you use them that matters.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise to do my best to make their songs sound good. As I said before, it is important that we are a good fit and that we are adding to the process.
What do you like most about your job?
I like to hear the song coming together, how every decision adds to the overall song. There is no better feeling than noticing that I'm dancing on my chair when the mix is sounding as a song.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
The most important question to ask is what is how they want the final record to sound. I ask for a lot of references, I think they help me and the client understand what they want.
I also ask about the recording process, ideally it is best if the clients talk to me before they record, so we can discuss the sounds they want before they commit to them.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Ask a lot of questions to the provider!! When working with music it is important to find a good fit, this is supposed to be a process where we are adding to each other, not a process which is a pain to get over with.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started to record and mix in my bedroom working on my own songs, and after a while I started to record some friends. In 2005 I got an internship at S de Samba studio of Wilson Simoninha and Jairzinho, two Brazilian musicians, I worked there until 2007. In that same year I did the Instituto de Audio e Video audio engineering course, where I deepened my understanding of recording and mixing. In 2008 I started film school, where I recorded and mixed film scores and soundtracks and parallel to that I also worked in home studios. When I graduated in 2012 I worked with film, where I did the whole process of production and post-production in audio and video. Recently I started my own studio.
Can you share one music production tip?
To me gain staging is probably one of the most important and also most overlooked aspect of mixing, especially when working in the box. Plugins are designed to emulate analog gear, and in turn, their sweet spot. If gain staging is not done properly the plugins will not sound good, either because they are being driven to hard or not hard enough.
What type of music do you usually work on?
My references are mostly rock and pop, therefore I like working in these genres since I understand the way they sound and how to achieve these sounds. I also have a good understanding of blues as well as singer/songwriter as genres.
What's your typical work process?
When recording, my typical work process starts with listening to the song together with the artist in order to get to know the song and what are the artist's intentions. I then record scratch tracks, I believe they help to envision the song before finally committing to the recording as well as help enhance performance, since the musicians are actually listening to the full song when they record their parts.
When it is time to record the final performance I like to treat my DAW as a real console. Apollo lets me do this by committing to the sound I want on the way in. I set up the microphones and run them through eq, compression or any other effects I might want to apply and print them with the recording. By emulating the workflow of outboard gear in my DAW I achieve the sound I want on the recording phase, instead of trying to process sounds on the mixing phase.
When mixing material I recorded it is a process of balancing and fine tuning the previously recorded tracks, which were already recorded with a final sonic result in mind.
When mixing material that was not recorded by me I start with organising the tracks by renaming and color coding. I then move on to gain staging to make sure there ate no tracks which are too hot or too quiet. After gain staging I do a rough balance of the tracks using only volume and pan. Once I have this rough balance I start processing the mix bus, then the group busses and finally the individual tracks when needed. I finalize the track by adding effects and doing automation.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio setup consists of an Universal Audio Apollo 8 connected to my computer. I use Logic Pro X as a DAW and mix entirely in the box. I use a pair of Yamaha's HS50M as monitors and a Bayer Dynamics DT770 headphones for reference.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
As a songwriter I'm really inspired by Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Morrisey and Ray Davies. Musically my favourite bands are the Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, the Velvet Underground, the Who, Primal Scream and the Smiths. I admire Jimmi Miller's work with the Rolling Stones and Primal Scream, I also like Quincy Jones' work with Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as well as his Michael Jackson productions.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The most common type of work I do for my clients is producing, recording and mixing.