I'm a session drummer, producer, and engineer in the Metro Detroit area. I've been playing drums professionally for 15 years. I began producing, recording, and mixing artist about 3 years ago.
I have the ability to record and produce full bands, as well as record drum tracks and deliver the multitrack session (processed or unprocessed).
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Doug Austin
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of what I've done so far has been to play live and record with various artists. In my own studio, I've done full production on a couple of albums. I've recently made some nice upgrades so that way I can offer more services at my own place.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I've been listening to a lot of things all over the board, so anything from Pharrell to Brandi Carlile. From Robert Glasper to Robert Johnson. Bob Dylan to Jacob Dylan.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm currently running Logic Studio, and blending some nice analog tones with some nice digital equipment. I run vocals and acoustic guitars through a really nice tube preamp.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It really depends on the project. If I had to get generic, I start with the full band in the studio (mainly getting drums). I feel drums are best recorded with the full band present so they can vibe off each other. Next I'll bring in Bass to help finish the foundation. Then guitars, keys, and I'll then spend a few days on vocals (so the vocalist doesn't shred their vocal cords).
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a drummer, I try to be very flexible. I want to be very present, but not noticed. I want to make the song sound the best it can, be creative as possible, while not stepping on any toes. As a producer, I want to make sure all parts are heard, and the music matches the tone of the lyrics. If the song is solemn, the performances and the mix should reflect that.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: As a musician, I feel my strongest skill is my sense of time and space. A lot of drummers, I find, tend to try to imitate licks, but not think about how their lick fits into the context of the song, and will get out ahead of the song. The licks aren't important (other than to other drummers). As a producer, I feel like I keep the environment relaxed, and yet moving along.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've been doing a lot of folk/americana type stuff starting off in my studio, but I do have a few artists from the pop/punk world looking to come in. Also, one of my own original projects will be recording with me pretty soon.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Dont overanalyze anything. Remember, some of the decisions you make may not even be audible to the average consumer. Test all ideas in your iPod earphones and your car.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Lately, I've been digging on Brandi Carlile. I love her voice and she seems like she'd be fun to work with. Her band has a huge sound.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing drums professionally for about 15 years, and recording for about 3 or 4 years to this point. I'm looking to make recording and producing a full time gig.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My drums, current cymbal setup, my mic pre, mac, and a C-414
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Check your ego at the door. We're here to make great music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How long they've been together and what their goals are.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love when the clients hear the finished mix and sign off. There's an air of excitement when everything finishes, and the energy in the room is very palpable.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is to deliver an efficient, simple experience. I will make it as easy as possible to focus on just making music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Yes. Both sides have many advantages. Technically, you cannot be all analog or all digital if you're using a computer.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I've been learning a lot from Marc Mozart. I bought his book, "Your Mix Sucks," and have learned a lot from that and his Facebook group.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My band Broken Day Machine is currently in pre production on our 7th album (the first one we're doing entirely ourselves). We've done demos at my place and then gone to other studios in town to record for real.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The very first one I produced start to finish. It was with a friend of mine, Patrick O'Leary. It was done with an Apogee Duet and a couple of mics. I learned a lot about how hard an engineers job really is, and we still made a great record. One of my friends has been mentoring me a lot on recording, so I had him master it, and he was very impressed on how good it sounded. He even started referring people to me!