Michael Cumming

Recording, Mixing, Sounddesign

Michael Cumming on SoundBetter

Recording, Mixing and Sound Design. From your classical ensemble or pop punk record to your film or documentary. Originally from London now based in Philadelphia. Had the pleasure of working with Odean Pope, The SunRa Arkestra, Marcia Griffiths, Harper Simon, Ghostlight, Lotus and The Crossing.

Ready and excited to help you get the most out of your project, whether recording mixing or sound design is needed I have the skills, gear and space to assist. Having worked with a wide variety of different artists with a deep love of many types of music I can't wait to hear your project. Drop me a line on here or come and hang out at my studio in person and we can chat about what you're looking for.

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

Interview with Michael Cumming

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

  2. A: Different eq's on each side of a stereo track, even subtle differences in the frequencies that you highlight between sides can really add huge amounts of width.

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

  4. A: That's a tough one, honestly is probably just keep working with the people I have been. We get to have fun and make great records, what more could you want.

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

  6. A: I originally started drumming but was always extremely interested in the recording arts. Having used to pick apart songs that my older brother would listen to and try and work out how the artist and producer had made certain sounds, I was always fascinated in sonics and quickly found myself helping in recording studios, having been in that world for 10 years so far there's certainly no looking back for me! Other than to figure out how to get that certain sound of course.

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

  8. A: Dw Fearn mic preamp, m49 mic, tubetech cl1a, Distressor and of course the atc 50's

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

  10. A: Usually about the timeframe and goals you have for your project, weather that be sonically or whatever.

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

  12. A: That the computer fixes all the mistakes!

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

  14. A: Hanging out with my friends

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

  16. A: To get the best for your project, helping you achieve your sonic goal, whilst also applying my fresh take onto it.

  17. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  18. A: Both, why not.

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

  20. A: Really anything but I guess if I hd to narrow it down it's going to be acoustic music, classical, jazz, big band and pop electonica.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: Large with air, real instruments/sounds with an important emphasis on space.

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

  24. A: Chat with the provider and see if you vibe, the vibe should ALWAYS come first 10 times out of 10, every time.

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

  26. A: Production, generally taking the form on recording through to mixing, helping a client bring their vision to life.

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

  28. A: Definitely inspired by producers like Rob Schnapf, Jon Brion and other such people that make sonically bold production choices.

  29. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  30. A: I work remotely as well As being the head engineer at Rittenhouse SoundWorks in Philadlephia. We have a large 4500sq foot live room with 16ft ceilings as well as an even larger 4500 sq foot live room with 30 foot ceilings. Both spaces are perfect for huge ensembles and are properly acoustically treated. They are joined to a large control room hosting a RND 5088 and a selection of DW Fearn, never and api gear, along with a world class microphone collection.

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

  32. A: I like to work fairly quickly, firstly focusing on pre production to formulate a plan to bring your project to life, carefull selection of microphone and placement allows me to start the mixing process while we're just beginning tracking. I specialise in using only real instruments or samples/ found sounds that I have captured my self (say no to the drop down menu) allowing for a truly unique sound for every record.

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

  34. A: A fresh outlook and new asthetic ideas.

  35. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  36. A: Production, from the moment we first start talking about your project I like to start planning a sonic landscape to set it in

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

  38. A: Something cool!

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

  40. A: Recording a project with the SunRa Arkestra really was such a special moment, after listening to many of their records, to have the opportunity to actually be a part of a project with them was mind blowing. All such lovely people and such an incredibly life changing moment/ vibe within the room.

GenresSounds Like
  • Sun Ra Arkestra
  • The Crossing
  • Fiona Apple
Gear Highlights
  • RND 5088
  • 4x D.W Fearn vt1
  • Tube tech cl1b
  • distressors
  • Emt plate
  • Nuendo
  • ADL cl1000
  • 1073
  • Pro Tools HD
  • akg bx20
More Photos