What are you working on at the moment?
Demo mixes for 3 local bands, my new band's debut album, my son's band's debut album, preparation for work with 10 other top local bands over the next 3 months.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To give of my best in every way possible.
What do you like most about your job?
Helping customers make their music sound as good as it can possibly be.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Which commercial songs have a similar sound / vibe to what you are after?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Always, always speak to them in person, at the very least on the phone.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
1. Classical guitar.
2. Solar powered fridge.
4. Comfy bed
5. Solar powered iPod with all of my favourite music
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Drummer / guitarist for 35 years. Live sound engineer for 25 years. Recording engineer for 15 years. Composer / arranger for 10 years.
How would you describe your style?
My style is not important ... my ability to help my customers bring out their own style is far more important.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Pat Metheny. He's my idol.
Can you share one music production tip?
Every single decision should increase the songs ability to hold the listener's interest.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Mostly rock, pop, acoustic, folk, Americana ... anything with real instruments.
What's your strongest skill?
My ears. When you can hear which instrument is late or early you can edit it to improve the groove. When you can hear which element isn't quite in tune you can correct it. When you can hear that the singer is pushing a fraction too hard you can adjust their monitor mix. When you can hear that the guitars are fighting the vocals you can massage the EQ so they sit together perfectly. The tech is unbelievable but the ears are where everything starts and where everything finishes.
What do you bring to a song?
The musicality of someone who plays a wide variety of instruments, the ear of a seasoned sound engineer and the imagination of someone who truly loves their work.
What's your typical work process?
I record and mix every single day of the week. During the week it's often my students or my own bands / friends. At weekends is local bands and special commissions. I do occasionally take holidays but I love what I do.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a powerful PC based DAW and a 32 x 32 digital desk. The desk is perfect for fast mixes during tracking and overdubbing where we want minimum focus on the tech and maximum focus on capturing the magic. I mix in the box and have invested heavily over the years in the best plugins money can buy ... and in taking the time to figure out how to get the best results possible.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Honestly, you can learn *something* from just about everyone you meet. The people who inspire me the most are the ones who cut the crap and get on with giving their best every single time they do anything.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Recording real musicians and bands. Lots of drummers, guitarists, local bands and acoustic instruments of all types ... from ukulele to bagpipies to melodeon to mandolin ... and lots of backing vocals (or course).