With over 13 years experience, my goal for a mix is to bring out the emotion and feel of the song, putting the song and client's needs first. I am a graduate of The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences and interned with Eminem's brother after completing the curriculum. I'm also ProTools certified, as well as certified in Sennheiser mics.
I drive emotion into the mix, combining the art and science of sound itself. I also do vocal comping, vocal tuning, and timing of each individual track so that it has a human feel (quantizing). As a 20+ year piano player, I can convert your current MIDI files into emotion driven keyboard or piano audio files, as well as bring your current piano audio files to life by recording it live.
My journey as an engineer started when I was 14, recording my original songs on a 4 track hard disk recorder. "Mixing" was primitive back then, as I would record all sounds live from my keyboard and bounce them to two stereo tracks, and layer more sounds with the remaining two tracks. Lol.
I specialize in kicks that sound like thunder, snares that snap and mixes your audience will feel, not just hear.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Alijah Morton
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: When I was interning with Em's brother, Em gave him old studio equipment that was used on production for a few of his albums. There was a 49 key Korg Triton and an external MPC 5000. It took about 15 minutes to load all of the sounds. I went through them and heard sounds and samples from classic Hip Hop albums he released, as well as the gunshot from "Don't Push Me." This was just a brainstorming session for beats for Nate, but hearing all of that and working on gear that one of my musical heros owned really hit home for me. Not to mention, I was the only person in the house that knew how to sync everything up. Lmao.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: An R&B album for my boy Tiere, finishing Solystic's album.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I don't know anyone personally on SoundBetter.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for drums. Anything less is blasphemous to me (yes, I'm one of those guys. Lol.) Anything else, digital. You can do things to add grit to signal in digital, but drums tracked on digital sounds like sandpaper against the eardrum to me.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: The kicks will grab people's attention and your song will be felt, not just heard.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Seeing people have an emotional release and attachment because something I had my hands on touched their hearts.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: QUESTION: Do you know how to make vocals more clear? ANSWER: Why, yes. Yes, I do.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we just record sounds and there is no art or science to music production. Seems like the whole world is trying to do music just as a fad when you're young, but there is a true passion and calling behind timeless music that "toe dabblers" will never understand. And that's both in front of the mic or just in front of the board.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your goal for the song? What emotion do you want the listener to connect to? Why do you want THIS song mixed? Are there any notes you've taken or ideas you want to suggest?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Go with someone you trust and someone who gives off a passion for the art form (obviously, aside from someone who knows what they're doing). There are engineers out there that really don't care as much about your song and will put anything on it to make a few bucks, and there are some that will put their heart and soul into it, picking everything apart with a fine tooth comb.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Shure SM7b, Yamaha Motif, Macbook, Maschine Mikro, Sennheiser HD6's.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing the piano and making beats since 1996. I've been mixing and mastering since 2002.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Versatile and artistic, yet gritty.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Eminem. I know for sure I can bring life to his production and direction of his career. Working with his brother for a while, I felt like I was a hair away from that chance.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Yes. 300 is the muddy frequency. If your mix is too muddy and doesn't pop, start by dropping 3 dB at 300 Hz.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hip Hop, Pop, R&B and Soul.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Bringing emotion to the song. Making the song felt and not just heard.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The ability to listen to a song and hear what needs to be done to get the message across in a more impactful way, either in the mix or what can vocally/melodically be done differently.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: With mixing, I take a few listens to the song and make mental notes, see what comes out and me and what I feel need to be done first. From there, I ALWAYS start with the kicks (a habit that turned into a religion, Lol) and work my way up the frequency range.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently own a Maschine Mirko, an 88 key Keystation and Sennheiser HD6 headphones. Debating on getting the MPC X as this setup has the ability to produces some pretty interesting sounds. I do my mixing in Cubase and use Waves plugins.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Michael Jackson, Prince, Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Eminem.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Full on beat making and mixing, moreso in the Hip Hop field.