James Manke

Audio Engineer, Music Producer

James Manke on SoundBetter

My name is Jimmy I am an audio engineer and production technician for Facebook looking to take on some side projects in my off season. Can help with Mixing, Master, Consulting, or General Production.

My name is Jimmy I am an audio engineer and production technician for Facebook looking to take on some side projects in my off season. Can help with Mixing, Master, Consulting, or General Production. I do Audio and Music Production at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park so I have a wide variety of gear, and experience at my disposal. I have worked for many bands and artists in the SF Bay Area aswell. As this is my side project I keep my rates very competitive and tailored to the client. Please email me at jamesmankeaudio@gmail.com if you have any questions, thanks!

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Interview with James Manke

  1. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  2. A: At my job I preform a myriad of tasks. I run audio boards for Facebook live events, which includes concerts, speeches, and broadcasts. As well my department films music videos, edits and produces audio and visual entertainment, and creates content for creators visiting the campus. We have worked with many celebrities and well known artists.

  3. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  4. A: I am really inspired by Artists with a sense of professionalism, like Kendrick, J Cole, and many of their producers.

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: At the studio I have state of the art recording equipment. Yamaha mixers of all types. Large stores of microphones from Scnoeps, Rodes, Sennheiser, Blue, and Shure. A line of synths by Arturia and Roland. Drumkits, guitars, and many brass and woodwind instruments. Access to many different amplifiers and audio inputs. As well as access to, Protools, Audition, Ableton, Logic, Studio One, and Cubase. I have 24/7 access to the studio but also have a home setup with a very similar line of equipment.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: Typically I work 8-5 on my assignments at my studio, but make time during before and after to work on independent projects.

  9. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  10. A: I bring a sense of professionalism to everything I do. As well as the ability to make a poorly recorded, or messy song, sound studio quality. As well as a knowledge of industry standards, and the math that goes into Mixing and Mastering.

  11. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  12. A: My strongest skill, and gift, is my education and the knowledge and team I work with. My understanding of music as an art, but also as a science.

  13. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  14. A: I usually work with Alt-Rock, and Hip-Hop on my independent projects.

  15. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  16. A: What makes a good modern mix is a great understanding or Stereo Sound. Pan in my opinion is rarely necessary when you know how to move sound and arrange a good surround sound/ stereo space.

  17. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  18. A: Honestly, I would love to work with up an coming or independent artists, as they are often the ones who need the most help. A good engineer can show the amazing artistic ability that an artist has and hasn't discovered.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: I would describe my style as analytical, and logical, yet still artistic.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: I have been in this industry since I was very young. I have been doing music professionally since I was 17, and working my current job for 1 year.

  23. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  24. A: If I had food and water and shelter then I would say - 1. A laptop with my DAW 2. A good Mic 3. A wifi receiver 4. A good midi keyboard 5. A friend! Because working in a team leads to the best results in my opinion.

  25. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  26. A: Find someone you connect with, find someone who is honest and open with you, someone who doesn't want to take advantage of you. An engineers main goal should be seeing you succeed, not abusing your naivety, and not trying to flaunt themselves, show off, or help only their career. A provider should also only charge you what you can realistically make back with their product.

  27. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  28. A: - What artist and song were you thinking of when making this project? - What are you goals? - Who are you making this for, who is your intended audience? - How confident do you feel about this project? - What is a healthy/realistic budget for you that won't hurt your wallet? - Why do you want an engineer?

  29. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  30. A: When networking people often see me in my job as closed off, or "bigger than them", or like I am bragging. When in reality I am very lucky to be in the position I am in, and as someone who was once struggling in the industry I want to give back the kindness and the amazing opportunity that was granted to me.

  31. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  32. A: What is mixing vs. mastering? To me I like to compare the process to cooking. Mixing is the prep. Assembling the ingredients, choosing the flavors, thinking about what type of dish you want to make, as well as portions and ratios. Mastering is the cooking. Its the process that refines and creates the final dish that is your song. It the type of cooking, the equipment you prepare the food with, its the plating and the preparation of the final product. Its following industry standards and making something thats not only enjoyable to you, but the people consuming it.

  33. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  34. A: A lot of people say "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life", and I think that is a trash statement. I love to work, and I love what I get to work on. When you do what you love you work almost constantly. There is rarely a time when I'm not producing music, or reading texts, or learning a new skill, and I love it.

  35. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  36. A: My promise to my clients is that they will walk away with a professional sounding product that they are happy and excited to show the world, or they won't spend a cent of their money. My job is making my clients happy.

  37. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  38. A: It depends on the medium. If I am producing, or mixing, or mastering I am going to want to go with digital, because that is the only way to keep up in todays industry in my opinion. The sounds can be analog but the process has to be digital. If its a live performance I would always go with analog and its feels more natural and its more exciting for the crowd.

  39. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  40. A: Independently right now I am working on an EP for a band called Directives, who are based in San Franscico and are going on tour in the fall. So we are putting the final touches on everything and essentially remaking all of their music before it gets released.

  41. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  42. A: I am really proud of some of the XXXTentacion remakes I did, as they were some of my first published productions. As well Im very proud of some of the artists Ive worked with, seeing them happy about their music is all that I need, whether its a big or small project.

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