Audio Engineer - Recording, mixing, and mastering engineer. Sonic Sculptor - I selectively craft my sounds and textures to engender the artistic intent of the project. Musician - I am a multi-Instrumentalist, songwriter, and relate to musicians through this lexicon. Creative - I utilize constraints to drive the process and evoke art.
Galen Wallace Clark is a songwriter, musician, producer, and audio engineer born in Riverside California from an Air Force family. Since age 10, Galen has been playing broad varieties of music in bands for over 15 years, often serving as a songwriter, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA in 2017 with a BM in music production and recording technology, Galen moved to Brooklyn, NYC and commercially released a 3 song electronic EP (entitled Amnesia) under the name of Wallace featuring Wolfelt and other artists. While in the city, Galen performed in singer songwriter circles, assisted at renowned jazz studio, Big Orange Sheep, and was a freelance live sound engineer for jazz club The Django among other aspirations in the city. Following NYC, Galen moved to Maryland and became the founding front of house sound engineer for a brand new music venue, Pearl Street Warehouse on the Wharf in Southwest Washington D.C., engineering over 200 concerts for artists such as Amy Helm, Kyle Craft, Dom Flemmons, and more. Galen currently freelances around the US as an audio creative and touring artist. Galen continues to produce, record, mix, and master records for a wide variety of artist and is always seeking more artists to collaborate with and help evoke their music.
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4 ReviewsEndorse Galen Clark
Super great to work with! Had great input and advice!! Would recommend
Galen has been a gem to work with - he literally transformed a little ditty into an all out banger - my band members and I were completely gobsmacked by his efforts - he makes an effort of understanding the vibe, dynamics and the intent of the tunes and comes up with a masterclass - at a very reasonable rate too. The last engineer I spoke to was charging an arm and a leg (which I'm assuming we all value to some extent) for a single tune - Galen delivers a premium grade mix at rates that can be managed by any struggling musician. Very friendly and responsive - highly recommended!
Galen track drums remotely, as well as programmed drums for two tracks that I’m working on currently. Great drum tones on a live kit. I also loved the custom samples he built for programming purposes. Galen is a pleasure to work with and is incredibly responsive when working remotely. The final product was exactly what I needed to continue fleshing out these songs during quarantine!
Galen remotely tracked drums for a recent song of mine and totally killed it! His musical ideas, the sounds he captured, and the ease of communication all contributed to this great experience. Galen is creative, knowledgable, and adventurous and would be a welcome addition to many different projects. Check out his original music for a perfect example of his musicality and unique vibe!
Interview with Galen Clark
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording, mixing, mastering, audio editing, audio restoration, and live sound reinforcement for concerts/events.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Les Paul is one of my favorite engineers and musicians of all time. He was an absolute pioneer in the advent of multi track recording, was a stellar musician, and was a genuine guy. As far as musicians go, I'd say some of my biggest influences would be Nick Drake, Mark Kozelek, Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), and too many to count. Some of my personal mentors I have learned from in my journey in music through the years include Lisa White, Geoff Turner, Gene Freeman (MACHINE), Dirk Schüler, Richard McCready, Dan Shores, Michael Perez-Cisneros, and many many more.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have access to a number of world class studios depending on the scope of the project, but my personal studio is capably tailored to my workflow and highlights my creative approach.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen, internalize, and intuit what the song needs. I try to balance engendering artistic intent through an objective lens before imparting anything, but do so with intention. Often experimentation is the spirit of coincidence for what a song never knew it needed - Im simply passing the torch.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to bring out the emotion, captivating qualities, and the substance of the song through my skillset and understanding of the confluence in recording technology and music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have a strong empathy for emotions and gauge my contributions in a visceral, human, and adaptive way.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: To date, I have done almost every genre you can think of in a myriad of capacities. I have recorded and mixed live concerts for grammy award winning jazz musicians, remote recorded world-renowned classical artists, and lugged my gear into basements, cellars, and various places to record bands all around the east coast in search of capturing the same thing - emotions and moments in time. I do not discriminate or associate with genres necessarily - but I would say I primarily enjoy engaging with music that has an edge, seeks to push the envelope, and is somewhat progressive.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Too much is apparent in the production. It's like seasoning a nice soup. Too much of one flavored seasoning and its going to mask the beauty in the nuance of subtlety.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: If I could, I would love to work with putting together more than one artist to see what would happen. The spirit of collaboration is where the magic really happens. I'd love to get Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), Adrianne Lenker (Big Theif), Evan Stephens (Pinegrove), and Wayne Tucker together and see what would happen.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would say my style is generically alternative. I mix it up and try to keep things fresh and intrinsic to the project at hand.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Oh man...I'll try to keep this short. I moved about 9 times since I was born in Riverside California. When we we lived in O'Fallon, Illinois, I started playing guitar around the age of 10. I had a cassette player that I'd record ideas on and listen back to come up with more ideas. After that we lived in Germany for about 4 years and it was a really formative time for my nurtured obsession with music. I started recording on windows and got cakewalk and started laying down ideas with my older brother. I think at the time we called our band disoriented rubbish. My brother would take piano lessons with a local music teacher near Kusel and one day when we went to pick him up, I was invited to jam afterwards with Dirk's (the teacher) son Felix and my brother. We had an aunt and uncle come stay with us and at the time, our uncle Bob had just seen his investment in apple start to have major returns and as a thank you, they sent us a Mac. Once I got into garage band, things started to make sense. Flash forward to high school when we moved back to Maryland, I was fortunate enough to have an amazing music teacher, Richard McCready. I studied music technology with him and decided it was what I wanted to continue to study. From there I went to Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA and steeped myself in a BM of music production and recording technology. My sophomore year, I took it upon myself to drive to Austin Texas and mentor with Gene Freeman (Machine) which was an incredible and inspiring experience to say the least. My Junior year, I went on a solo 2 week backpacking trip in Europe (which was my first time back since I had lived in Germany) and traveled to recording studios, played at pubs, and met some amazing people. Upon returning, I continued to pursue my degree. I packed more recording, performing, and producing in those 4 years than ever before in my life and shortly after graduating, moved to Brooklyn NYC. After NYC, I moved back to MD and became the founding front of house engineer for Pearl Street Warehouse in SW D.C. engineering over 200 concerts for a variety of artists. Now, I continue as a professional audio engineer, musician, and creative and travel around the US in search of the next thing. There are details im sure im not filling in, but thats the majority of my career path.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Martin acoustic, my solar rig & UPS, my mac, my MJE Apex460 mod ribbons, and my Antelope Discrete 8.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I thank you for your time and consideration and hope you may take a chance and entrust your project is safe within my hands.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the scope of your project? What are you aiming to achieve? How is it you hope people to connect with your music?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I am not a commodity, nor do I view the music I get the chance to work on as a product. I am not an anti-capitalist, but a major misconception about my profession and passion is that it is in the same vein as the people who devalue the art of recording and music production by making it a saturated, marketed, commodity. I am an open book and am never exploitive. I seek to bring absolute success to any project I am a part of.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: Are there multiple formats and stems you can deliver? A: Absolutely, just let me know! Q: I want it to be loud and proud, can you do that? A: When mastering, I adhere to general LUFS standards so that your music is dynamic and is not normalized when it goes down the line for digital distribution. Q: Can we do this for vinyl? A: You bet. I know proper pre-emphasis for content and have connections to vendors. Q: Can we do this to cassette? A: You bet. I have done several projects for cassette and it can sound quite pleasant. Q: This recording we did was noisy and has some buzz, hum, and car rumble - can you fix this? A: I can do spectral analysis and restoration of just about anything.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love creating and seeking sounds, capturing performance, and harvesting the cultivated energy in a room or given space. I love doing this with other good people.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to listen to and captivate the song you are grasping for.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. I respect the purists on both sides. Plenty of amazing records have been made on tape. Plenty of amazing records have been made in resolutions going into DXD. So many people get hung up on the minutia when really the takeaway I have is that it needs to be what the project and song desires. It depends on if the project is live tracked, overdubbed, etc...I believe the project dictates the requirements of the technology. Often incorporating a hybrid of analog and digital recording chains when crafting a song really allows for an evocative and unique mix.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: If Gene Freeman (MACHINE) or Geoff Turner are on there, those guys rip it. Alex Haley is my go to mastering engineer. I have several other connections who specialize in certain aspects of music production.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished the debut record for Winchester indie rock band NANCY (I drum for), and am finalizing a 13 song album for North Haven, CT based band SELLER. I firmly believe album is really going to put them on the map and help them launch their career. Im also working on collaborating with small film makers for ADR work/ noise cleanup, sound design, and small sync licenses for independent artists.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The debut NANCY record was a really special time. We recorded the entire album live in our bandmates basement and captured some really timeless moments. I was the drummer, engineer, and mixed the record down following the session. I worked closely with my good friend, Alex Haley who is an amazing mastering engineer. He really balanced the whole album and made it cohesive and clear for the next stages. 2 Days following our release, we played the album in its entirety at our first show and people connected to it.