Highly experienced producer & engineer with a versatile skill set who has worked with major artists (G-Eazy, Bob Weir, Slightly Stoopid). In my time, I’ve worked on over 1000 released titles, started Zoo Labs a non-profit that accelerates artist development & have been Grammy nominated twice. My work is imaginative, diverse, empowering, connected.
I’m happy to be here on Soundbetter and hope that the we can connect and talk about your music.
An immersed creator, I always come at music as an artist first. My experience flows from my diverse path as a producer & engineer, where I’ve made music in the studio with major artists including G-Eazy, Chickenfoot, Slightly Stoopid, Bob Weir, Finish Ticket, Madame Gandhi, Primus & Journey. I’ve also helped craft the sound of the future with up and comers like Mary Bragg, Sol Development, The Outer Vibe, Alison Harris & Catch Prichard. I’m constantly at work creating & releasing music under my own name. I live, write & record in Nashville, travel to Oakland frequently for sessions & artist guidance and am available to work in person or remotely internationally.
My strength comes from the expertise of a lifetime of capturing the music being created around me and creating a powerful & positive environment for it to be born in. I think in terms of melody and impact of sound, quickly going from a memorable idea to production that tells a real story all the way to a fully finished song ready to connect with the world.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
Interview with Brad Dollar - Music Catalyst
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Getting to work on so many different projects and with a wide variety of artists gives me energy and momentum to do this my entire life. I get to spend time honing my craft so I can help others hone theirs.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring motivation to get the best parts of a song to shine through by creating an empowering environment for artists & musicians to coax the magic from the songs. Through crafting great sounds, providing a thoughtful and focused zone to make music in and having clear communication, I open up every possible opportunity for the song to be the best it can be. If it falls short for any reason at that point, then I know its on me and it can and should be fixed.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Producing & writing tracks for Malik Yusef & Electra Mustaine. Building my community in Nashville. Catalyzing artists as entrepreneurs at Zoo Labs in Oakland. And working on getting more work producing, writing and building elements for songs!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Mary Bragg is an incredible vocalist and seasoned songwriter I turn to often to help me find and polish the gold in the music I create. I'm sure there are other incredible people here as well!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: At the end of the day, the sound and most importantly the workflow that will best serve the song is the right answer. Analog and digital are just mediums. There is absolutely a place for both. To me analog is more than just running something through a console or using a tube compressor. Analog is a mindset of linearity and no returns. It is also a harmonic choice and sonic texture that dictates other production elements. Furthermore, actually recording with analog equipment, from tape machines to synthesizers, inspires different performances than digital counterparts. That said, digital makes things move quicker and keeps us closer to the inspiration. It is also the sound of the cutting edge, the future within grasp. Digital is the tool that enables us to choose between (wo)man and machine, between living and manufactured, choices that are often slipping from our reach.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise my clients that I won't quit until they're happy with what we've made. And if they aren't happy, it needs to be fixed, remade or replaced. Songs are worthless without excitement behind them, especially from the team that makes them. If we don't care about them, why should anyone?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be really clear about what you want and don't be afraid to not know everything about how to make it sound or feel the way you want. Thats our job. You be you and the best of us will decipher it and translate it. Be open minded, but push for what you want, especially if its a song you have to get behind to perform or publish.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I get that many?! So generous, Soundbetter. I'd take a coffee machine, Macbook, a JBL Charge, any interface that has a preamp in it and a Sony C800g.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Nostalgic pop rock made for the future that nods to hip hop and feels like a movie. In other words - Taylor Swift dreams about the Talking Heads making a record with Kendrick Lamar that St Vincent covers for a soundtrack to a movie co-directed by John Carpenter & Spike Lee.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Every choice should feel like how you want the song to make people feel. From tones of instruments to delivery of a vocal to how fast you move faders during a mix. Let the feeling always be your leader.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Soft skills: Good listening paired with patience and positivity. Hard skills: Building killer tracks and writing melodies that make an artist excited to perform and deliver the song.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Rick Reuben for his ability to surf between genres. Justin Meldal-Johnson for his intersection of musicianship & production chops. Ludwig Goransson for his ability to be hyper realistic but ultra dirty and personal at the same time. Max Martin for his timeless writing & productions. Grimes for being a role model performer/producer/artist.