Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Nonpoint Factor "Depression '94" - Originally a 3-song demo recorded primarily live in an 8-track studio in South Florida. Drum heads look like they hadn't been changed in a decade, dangling snare wire, cracked cymbals...but the feel and energy were great. Did the whole recording and mix over two 8 hour sessions. Was later released by an indie label as an e.p. in 1994. Six years later they were signed to MCA/Universal and shortened their name to Nonpoint.
Though raw and unpolished, I still use the recordings to present my work.
What are you working on at the moment?
Mixing various live tracks for Cheap Blonde Blues Band (Greenville, SC) and restoring/mastering recordings from 80's Xian metal band Revelation (West Palm Beach, FL).
Analog or digital and why?
Both. Both sound great if what is put down is great.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To give any project I choose to work on everything I've got.
What do you like most about your job?
A great song/performance.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can my tone sound like so and so? Yes, if you're using so and so's brain and hands. Otherwise we may get close, but it will sound like you.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That all I do is turn a few knobs and do a few mouse clicks and all is grand. Seriously, I've had people say that.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Do you have everything prepared and are you confident in the material you've laid down.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Be well rehearsed, have great songs, and track them the best you can with what you've got. If I enjoy what you're doing we'll make it sound good.
If I'm not personally enjoying the samples/roughs you've provided I will pass on the job. Just doing it for the buck will be of no benefit to either of us.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop, monitors, a good sounding pre-amp, a u87, and a solar powered generator. Let nature provide the rest.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started in 1992 freelancing and doing demo's to start with. The first label release I ever did was for Florida based grindcore/death metal band Royal Anguish ("Shocking the Priest"). It was really a demo recorded/mixed in a 12-track studio the band rented (practically carpeted from floor to celing in the control and live room!!!), and which was later picked up by a label and released as an e.p..
My first real studio job was at GLED Recording in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I walked in with my 1/2" work reel and was immediately put on the spot to edit drum tracks (splicing block and a razor blade) for the album "Fatbox" by the band Naked Rhythm (Massacre/IRS). It was there I got to work on projects for Aerosmith (pre-production demo's), Brian Howe (former Bad Company vocalist), Amboog-A-Lard, Raped Ape (later Paingod), Get Some Crew, Cash Money Brother, etc...
How would you describe your style?
I honestly don't feel I particularly have "a" style. I try to approach each project as its own. If I do have one, I'll leave that for others to decide.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
My dream band would be King's X. Song's, musicianship, vocals...the total package.
Can you share one music production tip?
75% of the success of the mix comes down to the song and performance. All any engineer can do is provide that other 25%.
What type of music do you usually work on?
In the beginning primarily thrash, hardcore and death metal. I still fully enjoy those genre's as well as good heavy rock. As a fan of jazz, fusion, and blues I thoroughly enjoy working within those genre's as well.
I have also worked on projects for Hip Hop, Miami Bass, and CCM/folk projects. Though not my primaries, if I dig the material I'll gladly work on it.
What's your strongest skill?
Listening and truly being able to feel a song.
What do you bring to a song?
A fresh pair of ears and enthusiasm.
What's your typical work process?
Really to listen and get a feel for the project. From there decide where to begin with a given track and make it sound the best that I can.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Analog and digital hybrid. Primary DAW is Cakewalk Sonar Producer. Plug-ins used are from Waves, Slate, Focusrite, BBE, Cakewalk, Sonitus, Antress, UAD, Lexicon, Voxengo, Massey, and others.
Hardware: Mackie, ART, Alesis, Phonic, Fostex, BBE, DBX, Presonus, and (are you ready for it?) Behringer (they happen to make a couple of compressors I truly do like).
Mic's: Shure, Audix, Avantone, MXL, Sennheiser, Prodipe, CAD, AKG, Audio Technica
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
My early mentors: Jimmy Starr (Hide-A-Way Recording in Davie, FL), Chris Rutherford (current FoH engineer for Cameo, his work with Anthrax on "Among the Living" drew me to him) and Gary Stryder (former owner of GLED Recording, and later Conquest Music, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Others were Tom Morris, Scott Burns, Neil Kernon, and Andy Wallace.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Presently, have been primarily mixing, location recording, mastering, and transfer work.