My name is Stephen Mark Conley, I am a RIAA Gold Certified songwriter and producer. I also work as a mix engineer and session musician at my home studio in Los Angeles.
I offer full production services as well as songwriting, mixing, session performance (guitar, bass, keys, vocals, percussion, and programming). I began my career in music touring as a vocalist and guitarist in a alternative rock band while working as a recording engineer at NADA recording studios, and have ultimately moved into full time pop and indie songwriting and production for major labels and major television productions. I am well versed in many different styles of music but would consider pop, indie, rock and hip hop to be my area of expertise. As a musician with over 12 years in commercial music I'm confident we can bring your vision and project to life! Please contact me for any of your remote or local studio needs!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Stephen Mark Conley
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I would say I'm most proud of my song "Space Between" on Disney's Descendants 2 Soundtrack. To this date its commercially my largest success and one of my most favorite songs I've written to date.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on finishing a couple songs to pitch to the major labels here in LA, as well as starting a short EP for a TV/Film band.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Alex Flagstad is a super talented producer and would recommend him to anyone looking for high quality tracks and productions.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Yes analog gear has certain qualities that just "sound better" (get it?), but more records than not have been made entirely in the box in the last 5 years.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Honesty, creativity and hard work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I make music for a living. It doesn't get much better than that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I'm most commonly asked about the projects I've worked on and whether their ideas are realistic. My answer is normally to show potential clients a private soundcloud playlist that I use for industry artist pitching, and then assess what they project/idea encompasses and how I think we should accomplish it.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we make TONS of money doing this! This industry is much more about the love of art than it is your bank account.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: The obvious questions are specifics like timeline and budget, but the most important questions are your influences, favorite current songs/mixes and what you're looking to achieve with your music/project.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be careful. Vet your providers and talk specifics. If you are working to bring your art/artistry to life don't let someone else ruin your vision.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: An acoustic guitar, my iPhone X, a pair of headphones, an Omnichord, and a Capo
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started recording bands at 16 years old. Currently 27 I've been at the commercial production and recording business for 11 years.I worked as an engineer and producer at NADA Recording studio based in New Windsor, NY prior to moving to Los Angeles, CA.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is easy going but motivated. I'm never satisfied until the song is perfect.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with the Foo Fighters. As an artist I grew up listening to, it has always been a dream to work along side Dave Grohl.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: It's better to sound new than to sound "good" - Dave Pensado
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am mostly working on pop artist pitch, as well as TV/Film composition and advertisement music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skills are people skills! I love working with others in a collaborative and creatively safe environment.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: When looking to "bring something" to a song I try to pull the best and most creative performances together to supplement what is already a well written song. I look to push the production and "feel" of the song to the next level.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically I am working directly with artist and creators looking to bring the sounds and vision of their project to life. I am truly "song first" in ideology and believe the good songs will always win!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My home studio is comprised of a sound treated and equalized production room running an iMac 27in 3.4 GHz Intel i7 core with Pro Tools 12 and Logic X. I am currently running a UA Apollo 8 QUAD and UAD-2 Satellite. I use Yamaha HS8 studio monitors and Senheisser HD600 Headphones as well as a Subpac for low frequency monitoring. I have an API Lunchbox filled with an API 512c, Shadow Hills Mono GAMA and Never 542 Tape Emulator. I have a multitude of plugins as well as multiple MIDI keyboard controllers. I use an American Fender Stratocaster, American Fender Telecaster, Gibson SG Faded with fully upgraded hardware and pickups, A Takamine EF341SC Acoustic Guitar and Martin LX1E Mini.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a huge fan of Jack Antonoff and pretty much anyone else pushing the pop music boundaries.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I most commonly work as a producer and songwriter based out of my home studio in Los Angeles California.