// Your song is your baby - and everyone on your team should care as much as you. I’m an alt pop supernerd with a hands-on approach, who helps artists around the world to bring their songs to life. //
// Sometimes you need a top-to-bottom production. Other times you just need a little help getting over the finish line. Most of the time, I’m a good fit - and if I’m not, I’ll help you find someone who is. You know what they say: “It takes a village.” //
my portfolio ---> https://spoti.fi/2vEYPQ1
- Additional Production
- Drum Programming
- Sound Design
// Obligatory Third-Person Bio //
Whether drumming and remixing for his former band, Cheerleader, or working with artists like St. Lucia, The Wombats, Transviolet and Tokyo Police Club, Carl Bahner has proven himself highly adept at producing playful earworms tailored to fit your ears like a favorite t-shirt.
Carl applies a contemporary slant on the "Wall of Sound" style to his productions, offering his bright-eyed and open-hearted perspective by creatively framing vocals with imaginative instrumentation. He blends the organic with the synthetic, the digital with the analog and the modern with the classic—resulting in rich, vibrant music that’s full of life.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
13 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse // Carl Bahner //
Another great experience working with Carl. I know he really cares about getting the sound right and I can rely on him to take my tracks to the next level.
Carl is simply awesome. He brought every instrument in my song to life and I couldn't be happier with the final mix. He's super nice guy as well. I definitely hope to do some more tracks with Carl!
What a pleasure it was to work with Carl! He got the references I wanted in mind right away and was proactive and opinionated in a very good way, helping me produce and mix my song.
It's not that the guy is a genius. I've worked with other professionals that would do the job, no questions asked, but only follow directions. Carl went out of his way to make amazing suggestions, fix things he didn't have to, and communicate all of that to me.
I'm extremely happy with how the song came out!
Was awesome working with Carl who gave my project full personal attention and is one of the best drum programmers I have come across.
He took my track to the next level both in terms of the drums & instrumentation, plus Carl is a great communicator and very cool person overall.
Looking forward to working with him again on future projects!
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Working with Carl has probably been one of my best collaborations here. He came to me with a very well put together drum and percussion arrangement, which forced me to up my game in a good way since I had to improve upon a very good foundation haha.
Even though he had a very clear idea of what he wanted, he still encouraged me to put my twist on it. Communication flowed really well both ways and we both ended up super happy with the results. Hoping we can work together again!
if you want someone to go above and beyond for you, carl is the man! he set out to bring my vision to life and ended up making my track sound 100 times better than i ever thought it could. he GETS it. fantastic communication, hard-working, and never keeps you waiting. so refreshing to work with someone who genuinely cares.
Carl has been nothing but a dream to work with. He takes the time to understand what you really want as an artist and takes every step to get there, and he does not stop until you’re happy with the final product. His mixes are some the cleanest, spacious and exciting work I’ve heard. His masters are incredibly impactful as well. Couldn’t be happier with the experience and I’m excited to continue working with Carl!
Guys Carl is DOPE. My favorite Carl story:
We were going back and forth on the vocal treatment for a certain section of a song he was mixing for me. This dude comes back with edits and a full on analysis of the lyrical content and how it should be best on display to get the message across in the mix. Beyond that, he was more focused on telling the artist's story than anything else. Carl is more than a mixer/producer/talented musician, he's a storyteller.
I love working with Carl. It's as simple as that.
In our time working together he has put so much time, care, and attention into my projects. He is an overall amazing collaborator and communication is always on point. He's always there to offer insight and a second opinion when needed and isn't afraid to throw out fresh ideas to help make each song the best it can be.
For the longest time, I struggled to find someone who was the right fit for my music, and Carl is just that. I'm looking forward to working on many more releases together. I couldn't recommend him enough.
Working with Carl for about two years now and have formed a great working friendship. He is an eager, empathetic, and honest pop producer/engineer. He can help mould your live drum tones, constructively select digital samples, or steadily mix your productions with 150+ track counts - while seamlessly switching gears. With a vast background, Carl can offer extensive knowledge and insight that can help take his collaborators to new sonic heights. He has been a staple mind to my team, and you should definitely want him for yours.
Iv’e had the pleasure of working with Carl on a number of projects and he is by far one of the best in the business. Although his mixes may be what he is best known for, but he can easily handle song production, writing, hiring the right session musicians, and wrap it all up with by mixing and mastering your project,
Carl Bahner is that dude!
Carl is the best!! His ability to elevate everything he works on to the next level is mindblowing; even when i don't think it's possible to love something more, his mixing always takes it to new heights. While some mixing engineers just look to finish the job, Carl is truly a part of the team and genuinely cares about making everything the best it can be. No ego, just passion and dedication... Carl is unstoppable!
Carl is without a doubt one of the best additions to my team, we've worked on a lot of projects together and it always comes out sounding better than I expect. I've worked with some engineers who just get the job done, but Carl cares about the projects, puts everything into it and it really shows. He'll also offer creative critique on what might enhance the mix & production (always with the proviso that I can ignore him if I disagree lol) which I find refreshing and incredibly insightful. The whole process is easy going and the clients are always happy. Highly recommend, Carl is your guy!
Interview with // Carl Bahner //
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been making music full-time since 2009, professionally since 2005. I started my career as a session/touring drummer where I got to perform around the US, Canada, and UK opening for artists like WALK THE MOON, CHARLI XCX, THE WOMBATS, YEARS & YEARS, ANDREW McMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS, JOYWAVE, and more. My old band (CHEERLEADER) even had some music in TV shows (Ozark) and Video Games (Guitar Hero: LIVE). I tried my best to learn from every one of those experiences and apply what I've learned into every project that I work on. It's fun. Like REAL fun.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Sonic style? Big vocals, big drums, dynamic and dramatic mixes that kick your teeth in (but keep you coming back for more). Fashion style? ASOS clearance section (just calling it how I see it).
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I was asked by my friends Dan & Tord from The Wombats to do some remixing for their new side project Sunship Balloon. I coordinated with three artists I work with, and we tag-teamed two new remixes. I co-produced and mixed both songs, and I'm incredibly proud of how they turned out - not just the sonics, but also the experience. They're on Spotify if you'd like to take a listen: https://spoti.fi/35Ymb2V
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Sarcastic answer: filling out my profile questionnaire. Existential answer: gradually growing and developing each day in an attempt to become a better human. Realistic answer: there's a 63.7% chance that I'm drinking coffee as you read this.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Tomás Shannon is a stellar session drummer that I've used on a bunch of projects and have always been crazy happy with the results. Lucas Gienow has been my go-to vocal editor for the past few years and he is a freak of nature when it comes to getting tight but natural vocal edits.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Kinda like asking "Food or drink and why?" Depends on the moment, the mood, the need, and the desire.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I won't stop until you are head-over-heels in love with your song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Meeting other creatives and working together to turn their visions into realities. Specifically, I've been VERY fortunate to have worked with artists in 13 countries so far (as of the writing of this answer) and I looooooove learning more about different musical cultures. Love it love it love it.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: The most common questions often require the most individualized answers. Every project has different needs, so common questions about budget, timeline, etc usually require some follow-up questions to determine what the project REALLY needs.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that mixing all about balancing and EQ and compression and reverb and yada yada. Sure, mixing INVOLVES those things, but what a mix is really all about ensuring that every sound is supporting your story, not getting in the way or distracting from the story.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you love about the song so far? Which part do you think needs the most work? What are your sonic goals for the project? What are your career aspirations? Followup: How do you want this project to help push you toward those goals? What are the biggest obstacles you've had with collaborating remotely, and how can I help to ensure a smooth workflow?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Try to make sure that the provider you choose is genuinely invested in helping you to get the best results possible - and not just genuinely invested in getting your money.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I fully acknowledge how pretentious this may sound, but I don't think any individual piece(s) of gear defines my sound (or my happiness)... so I don't think I have any particular gear that I'd bring. But if HAD to answer, probably some jug-band jugs and washboards - I may as well be a little practical whilst trapped on a remote island.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: 99% of what I do is pop or pop-leaning styles: Indie pop, dark pop, alt-pop, pop-leaning hip-hop, etc. If your goal is for people to SMASH THAT REPEAT BUTTON, chances are we'll probably be a good fit!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with someone like The Weeknd, Troye Sivan or The 1975 - not just to work with THEM, per se, but it would be such an insane learning opportunity work with the TEAMS that they have. The best of the best of the best. Even to just be a fly on the wall would be amazing.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: This is more of a production philosophy tip, but KNOW WHEN YOU'RE NOT THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB. Or, more specifically, know when you're not the right person FOR A PARTICULAR ASPECT of the job. A good example is that personally, I CAN do vocal editing if I need to... but if I can find someone that is better than me, faster than me, cheaper than me (and let's be real, probably enjoys doing it more than me), why would I NOT recommend them for that role? Speaking of, if you need a vocal editor my good friend Lucas Gienow is on SoundBetter and is FANTASTIC (just sayin').
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Sonically - I'm really great at wrangling huge track counts and wall-of-sound productions, so big bombastic arrangements don't scare me. Personally - I'm really great at figuring out what can/should be done to make your song outrageously memorable, and putting together a killer team specifically for that song to achieve the goals.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Decades of professional musical experience, a teamwork-focused approach, an open mind, and the determination to make your song as bad@$$ as humanly possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I want to make sure we stay true to the vision (even if that vision develops over time) so I try to get inside your head and understand what you're looking for, even before we start making any sonic decisions. As the project moves along, I like to send work-in-progress "checkpoint" versions just to make sure that I'm going in the right direction. If so, I'll keep moving in that sonic direction and if not, we'll chat about what we think needs to be tweaked.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mix in a humble-but-well-treated studio in my home (thanks, COVID) and my monitoring rig was custom built by Tom Conran at Atom Sonic Concepts. I have a lot of the same plugins that other engineers have - but my ears and my taste are what set me apart from other engineers. I use a handful of local/regional studios when I need access to a larger room for tracking sessions.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Cheesy (but very true) answer: everyone that I've had the opportunity to work with. But also some fantastic engineers like Rob Kinelski, Serban Ghenea, Michael Brauer, Jaycen Joshua, Andrew Maury, Matt Huber, Jeff Ellis and a zillion others.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm a problem-solver that mixes with a producer's ear. The vast majority of artists who hire me to mix their songs also want me to help them with those pesky final production obstacles that they need help smoothing out. Sometimes that means replacing drum sounds, sometimes that means helping to find that missing "thing" that will help the bridge be more emotional, and other times that means just telling them "You crushed it! Stop second-guessing yourself!"