You are here because you have a sound in your head that you want the world to hear. I am here because I find so much joy in helping make your sound heard. Specializing in music production and performance, I am excited to help take your project to another level and deliver quality, detailed and creative sound.
For over fifteen years now, I have had the pleasure of making music. I have been fortunate to tour the world and perform with platinum recording artists, share the studio with some of the industries leading producers and have had the honor of having some of my own compositions used through various marketing mediums. At this point in my life, I have turned my primary focus to producing new and creative artists which is why I am so excited to be apart of SoundBetter.
My mission here is to meet new and talented people and offer any help that I can in order to make their project stand out amongst the rest. Whether it be laying down guitar or piano tracks, or producing a full album; I feel like my goal is to simply compliment the sound you want to express.
While I have access to top tier studios, I do most of my work from my home since there is rarely a need for such an expense. I am prepped with proper outboard gear and instrumentation to be able to capture whatever sound you are going for.
My natural style of production could be considered somewhat "old school". I love having more organic instrumentation up front while "modernizing" the overall sound through mixing and processing. With that being said, I also embrace that every project is different and every project is always treated as such. I sincerely look forward to being apart of this community of creatives.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with James Otis Gabbie
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently just finishing up a title track for an independent film. I am not sure what specifics I can discuss but I can tell you the client asked for music and lyrics for a song that would resemble a love-child between "My Sharona" and "Venus". Was a really fun track to compose!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analoge has such character and life. Digital has such reliability and endless opportunies. I suppose theres always room for both but if I had to choose one, analog all the way.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to treat your projects as if they were my own. I don't know how to work any other way. I am extremely passionate and thankful for the abilities that I have and to be able to collaborate and make a living making music is something that I know I will never take for granted.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The fact that there's always something "fresh" on the horizon. You may not know when something new will come along, but what you can always trust is that it will be unique.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Why did you choose music? And the answer, because I believe I'm pretty good at it. ;)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I simply don't have an answer.... at least not right now.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you want your listener to feel? What is the purpose of your project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Please be prepared and passionate about what you're wanting to create. I can assure you that anything that I have the pleasure of being apart of, I will be nothing less. In addition, good communication is always welcomed. No detail is too small and there is no such thing as a bad idea. I am a strong believer that good communication is the foundation for creating something spectacular.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. Ipod (The classic "brick" one, loaded with my library....(headphones included) 2. Acoustic Guitar (extra strings included) 3. 8-track recorder (extra cassette and batteries included) 4. Steinway Grand (doesn't matter what model) 5. A tuner
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been doing this since I was 15 years old when I first started playing guitar in the church. Since then I haven't really ever strayed from that path.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Old school with a touch of Salt and Pepper.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Currently, I have to say that I would love to work with producer/writer Greg Kurstin. For those of you who aren't familiar, I give him credit for developing the sounds of artists like Adele, Harry Styles and so many "timeless" sounding artists. Such an inspiration.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Produce with your ears, not with your eyes.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Typically, I tend to fall into the "alt" category; whether it be alt-rock, alt-pop, alt-orchestral or so on. I also like being able to make music that has a purpose. This could be as simple as producing a track because the artist has something they want to express or as complex as composing a track to capture a particular emotion for a visual.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I feel like my strongest skill is adaptation. I have been very fortunate to have been apart of so many different musical genres. It's almost like when someone asks you who your favorite band is and you struggle because you have so many favorites in so many different genres. I thrive on being thrown into a new sound or genre because overall, it makes me better. Not to mention, it keeps things fresh and interesting from my end.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: It seems strange but I try to bring empathy to a song. I feed off of other peoples inspirations and sounds. I feel like my goal is to help "amplify" that sound with the unique abilities that I have.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Overall, it varies from client to client but what remains constant is good communication. From that, I feel like there is a sort of comforting trust that all parties can feel. When producing a song with an artist, I typically spend the most time communicating about the foundation of the track. The chord structure, dynamics, lyrics and melody are so important in my opinion. From there I can usually build a track around that foundation with the appropriate instrumentation within a day or two. After that, the artist can add or take away whatever he or she feels is needed. I have come to find that doing this process a couple of times, before you know it you have a finished song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My setup is fairly simple. I have 2 channel API 512c's that run into Empirical Labs Distressors which I use with a variation of different mics. I use Waves and Soundtoys as my primary go-to's when dealing with processing sounds. While I have both ProTools and Logic, I do tend to lean more towards Logic simply because of its MIDI formatting.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I tend to go for the musicians that "push" the envelope. Who carry a unique voice or sound and, through their music, you hear how proud they are of being unique. Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead are all artists that I gravitated to when I was developing my musical foundations.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: In the past, I have primarily been used as a session guitarist and keys player. In more recent years, I have beeb composing custom tracks for various marketing mediums along with producing music for new artists.