Tell us about your studio setup.
Inside Diamond Studios we have a multitude of outboard gear such as compressors and els that really help your music come alive. We recently purchased a mixing console which has easily become the heart of the studio. Along with this we various amps (for tracking or reamping) and keyboards which we use extensively. Lastly we have some of the industries greatest plugins which are used in the top studios around the world. Some plugins that we swear by include Waves, SoundToys, UAD, and FabFilter. But of course, its not about the fancy gear, its about how you use it to help create good music.
Analog or digital and why?
It doesn't matter to me. When have you ever heard a listener say, "I love how you used that 1176 on the vocals! Thats definitely the real thing and not the CLA plugin." Never. No one has ever said that. Sometimes Analog is better and sometimes digital is better. Analog CAN be warmer, but you get so much more control with the digital versions.
What do you like most about your job?
The experience. Every time I work on a track, I always learn something new.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is their vision for their music?
How would you describe your style?
Polished. Of course if someone wants a more raw style record, then thats what I'll do, and I do like raw sounding tracks. Although, I tend to want to give a more polished sound to tracks. Personally, It just sounds better to my ears.
Can you share one music production tip?
Follow your ears. A lot of times people spend hours upon hours tweaking little things and running every track through hundreds of outboard combinations. And yes, you can definitely get a good sound that way. But sometimes, the simple way is the better way. Sometimes you don't need to run vocals through an 1176 or you don't need to sum your guitars. Sometimes the way its tracked just fits the song. How do we know when to do what? Use your ears. If it sounds good, then it sounds good.
What type of music do you usually work on?
The most common type of music I work on would definitely have Rock and Hip-Hop. I also work within Metal and Country as well. To clear up any confusion, I use the term Hip-Hop very vaguely just for convience. But elaborate, when I say Hip-Hop I mean, Rap, R&B, and EDM as well.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill would be having the ability to help and artist let their passion shine through their music.
What do you bring to a song?
What we bring to a song is a new perspective. Because of personal experiences and musical taste, we might have a entirely different direction that a client might of never have thought of. Of course the client is always right, but giving the client a possible new direction or idea could be the difference between a song that only your close friends hear or the next big hit. You never know what may happen.
What's your typical work process?
Always, always, always, the first step is to listen to the song and take notes. This helps us get a direction as to where do we want the song to go. Whether we listen to a preproduction from a band or artist or we've received a song to be track to be mixed. We always just listen to a song and take notes, because this is how we get a our first impression of a song and when we get a critical area that may need work. Our goal is to insure that listeners first impression of a song is a great one no matter who the listener is. After that first listen, your ear and mind begin to adapt to the song and may cloud your judgement and potentially limit your creativity. After that we work with the most predominate instrument and sound source and base the rest of the mix around that.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Professionals that have inspired Diamond Studios are Dave Pensado, Chris Gehringer, Cameron Mizell, and Joey Sturgis to name a few.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Diamond Studios is a full production studio capable of tracking, editing, post production, mixing, and mastering for all genres of music and TV production as well. Everyday is different, but our most common type of working is mixing for singles and albums for both Rock and Hip-Hop genres.