Hi, I am a mixing and mastering engineer in Eugene, OR. I believe that the mixing and mastering process is a vitally important part of the creative process. As an artist you're not selling technology or even great sound but rather feel and emotion. I want to help your song sound as good as it can to convey the right emotion to every listener.
I have been a musician and songwriter for over fifteen years now. I fell in love with the production, mixing, and mastering side of music production because it is a huge part of the creative process. My band recorded an album in 2009 at a professional studio and spent well over $10k. At the end of the process we had a technically nice sounding album that didn't capture us at all. At that moment I decided to step into the mixing game and see if I could blend the creative and technical disciplines and get a more authentic and exciting final product. I went crazy for several years studying and practicing production, mixing, and mastering until I felt like my mixing chops were on par or better than my songwriting. I wanted to be able to make what I heard in my head come to life through the entire production process. I want to help do the same for you!
Let's talk about your songs and where you hear them going. I can help produce or just mix. If you have a finished mix I can add width, depth, and polish through mastering. I have a great sounding (professionally treated) room to mix in that I know very well along with an incredible pair of SE-Munro 150 Egg studio monitors. I do a lot of referencing on my Avantone Mixcube and my AKG Q-701 headphones as well to make sure your mix will translate on all systems. If you want a creative partner to bring your tracks to life let's go!
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Jacob Schmelzer
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've got an amazing sounding mixing room that's been professionally treated with GiK acoustic products and a pair of great studio monitors (SE-Munro Egg 150's). If it sounds bad in my mixing room it is and vice-versa. For my own productions I have tons of VI's from EastWest, Spectrasonics, Toontrack, XLN, UVI, and more. I typically work in the box with Universal Audio plugins but I also use Fabfilter, Slate Digital, Izotope, and many others.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing: Get the tracks imported into the DAW. Listen through a few times while making level and pan adjustments. Start applying Tape, compression, and EQ to the master bus (top down mixing) to get a sense of the song. Then individual EQ, compression, and FX.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh set of ears and the ability to partner creatively with you as an artist to not only get your song out but get it out right. I bring creativity in the mixing phase without comprising quality.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to hear a finished song in my head from a simple idea and knowing how to get there.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie Rock/Pop/Folk, Rock, Pop, Electronic
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't cut corners. Get it right when you record it. Don't accept a halfway decent vocal or instrument performance and think, "We'll fix it in the mix." The quality of your performance is the real ceiling on how great your song can be!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bombay Bicycle Club. I love their sound. It's always unique and seems to lend itself to creative exploration.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Creative, passionate, and willing to try anything. Technically I like to start by getting the soul of a track coming through the speakers within the first 15 minutes. I'll bring the faders up, slap the UA Ampex tape machine on the stereo bus, maybe throw a little bus compression on and get my foot tapping. Once I like the overall feel I'll dive in to individual eq/compression and effects.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing drums when I was 7 years old but picked up keyboard around 14 or 15 so I could write songs. I was interested in recording pretty much from the start. I remember saving money to buy a 4 track Tascam Tape Cassette recorder. When I was 16 I bought a Korg Triton instead of a car when I got my drivers license. I have worked as a music director at a church for over 12 years and played gigs with my band in the Pacific Northwest and abroad. I've done audio engineering professionally for the last five years along with other musical endeavors!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Martin D-15, a laptop (with a never-ending battery), mic, UA Apollo, and a notepad.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Get an idea of how you'd like your songs to sound. Find 3-5 songs that have the quality/characteristics you're after. Music is subjective but some of the worst music is technically perfect but artistically stale. A perfectly EQ'd song doesn't automatically equal a good one. If you sound like Bob Dylan but want a mix like Katy Perry it might not work!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the emotion you're trying to convey or the story you're telling? Can you describe the sonic mood you'd like your song to have? Vintage? Dark? Clean? Bright?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's all about the gear or technical side. It's not. Mixing is a creative skill that belongs in the same category as playing an instrument or writing a song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Hearing a song go from a rough demo or idea to a finished radio-ready track. It's the ultimate before and after!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll think about your project like a piece of art rather than a file on a hard drive. I'll think creatively about how to make your audio translate to every listener.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! It's not about the gear. It's about the sound. I'll use whatever I need to to get the sound I'm after. That being said I really like Universal Audio's digital emulations of classic analog gear. Can't beat the flexibility and ease of trying unique things.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I think my work for Simple Story Productions really helped me become a better producer and mixer. I compose, record, mix, and master TV and radio spots for them on a tight deadline. I usually get 3-5 days at most for the whole process. It's made me work faster without comprising creativity or quality.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on an EDM project for someone at the moment which is really fun! It's a different genre then I normally work on so it's a new challenge!