Jeff Ellis is a Grammy Award winning recording engineer and Grammy nominated Mix engineer and was Frank Ocean's Engineer for nearly 5 years. His most notable works include both Frank Ocean’s “channel ORANGE” and “Blonde”
In 2009, Jeff garnered an internship at EastWest Studios, formerly United/Western Recorders, where artists such as Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys once recorded. Jeff worked with countless top artists during his tenure at Eastwest and rose through the ranks to become one of their main engineers.
In 2011, Jeff left Eastwest Studios to engineer Frank Ocean's channel ORANGE. The Album was a critical success, earning Jeff a 2013 Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album, as well as a nomination for Album of the Year and Record of the Year. The breakout single on channel ORANGE, “Thinkin Bout You”, would become Jeff’s first Platinum selling Mix.
After the success of channel ORANGE, Jeff continued to work as Frank Ocean’s engineer for nearly 4 more years throughout much of the creation of his new album “Blonde”
In addition to his work with Frank Ocean, Jeff has worked with other top artists including Nick Jonas, Vic Mensa, Kate Nash, Skylar Grey, Pernille Rosendahl, SWMRS
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Reviews (8)Endorse Jeff Ellis
Jeff rules guys! Go for it.
The song went incredible good. Jeff has done an amazing job once again!! We are really grateful ; )
We are a pop duo based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and contacted Jeff to mix 5 songs. We´ve already finished the first one and it´s sounding great. He delivered a mix that suits perfect with our needs. Professional and kind person. Bonus: he transmitted the mix via streaming, and was awesome to see the whole process.
I had THE best mix experience. You can feel his passion and dedication for what he does which means a lot. He cares about making the music sound great and did make mine sound awesome. He was able to hear and understand/feel my song and take it home. With style. If you need a song mixed, and want it mixed excellently, Jeff's ears are to be trusted.
What set Jeff apart most to me upon meeting him (aside from the Grammy for Album of the Year sitting on his desk), was his genuine desire to understand my vision before starting the mix. He was able to take my initial vision & combine it with his years of experience to create something truly special. I look forward to working with him again!
Vibe master Jeff Ellis was a pleasure to collaborate with. Extremely professional, dedicated to the craft and passionate about the projects he chooses. He mixed a track for me, and it definitely will be the first of many. Dope studio and gear too. All around... highly recommend.
Jeff is an amazing mixer who used every ounce of his effort to make our song excellent! I was very impressed by his dedication to the craft.
I had the pleasure of working with Jeff in February of 2015. He mixed a 4 song EP for me and it sounded fantastic. Will definitely use in the future.
Interview with Jeff Ellis
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that I can take a bad song and make it good with a mix. That's simply impossible. I can definitely take a good song that does not sound quite right and improve it dramatically. I do not consider editing, vocal comping, vocal tuning, etc... as part of the mixing process. I will not take on a mix that requires any of this.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your goals and what is your vision for the project. What aesthetic are you looking for in the mix? What is your target market / medium. How much creative input do you want from me? How aggressive do you want me to be with the mix? What's your time frame? Is any editing required? Do you have a rough mix? Do you have stems or a pro tools session? Do you have any reference mixes?
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Looking for cool new projects to mix!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I want to work with progressive artists that are pushing the envelop.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Forward thinking modern music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Interpreting a song emotionally and developing the right vibe. Developing a character in a mix that is unique and right for the project.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: "Channel ORANGE" by Frank Ocean. It was the first album I engineered that got really popular and had such a positive impact on music and society. The process was so rewarding and I learned so much about the craft!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is based in Los Angeles (Echo Park) in the Bedrock facility. I generally mix 100% in the box on PMC loudspeakers from my private mix room. If a client wants a more analog approach to their mix I will often book out a different studio based on needs / budget.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Malay and Om'Mas Keith are two producers I have worked with consistently for the last several years that inspire me greatly.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Ben O'Neill, He started the same day as me in the industry and he's a beast.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. In this day and age the budgets just really aren't there to support analog mixes for most clients and plugins have gotten so good that one can get fantastic results from 100% in the box mixes. That being said I came up learning on all analog gear and I taylor my mixing to sound very analog. And of corse if a client wants me to mix in the analog domain and has the budget I am totally down!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I mix every song to the best of my ability no matter who the client is. I've never gotten lazy on a mix in my entire life and I never will.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: All the cool people I get to meet and the artful / emotional nature of mixing.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What is your rate?! The answer is, it depends. Sometimes I get sent a mix and it is a disaster and requires a ton of work to get sounding its best. Sometimes a song only requires a little bit of a polish and can be done in a few hours. I always need to listen to a rough mix before coming up with a fair mix rate.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do your research on the aesthetic you desire and reach out!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Macbook Pro, PMC speakers, a giant subwoofer, UAD thunderbolt Octo, and a faderport.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: In 2009, after changing careers from finance to music, I got an internship at EastWest Studios, formerly United/Western Recorders, where artists such as Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys once recorded. I worked with countless top artists during my tenure at Eastwest and rose through the ranks to become one of their main engineers. I left Eastwest to work on Frank Ocean's "channel ORANGE" album and have been working with him ever since. I have recently opened my own mixing room in the Bedrock.LA facility in Echo park, CA. where I spend most my time mixing hot records.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Cosmic Chic.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Minimalism. The mute button is your most powerful plugin.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Having engineered two Frank Ocean albums with an incredible production team over the last 5 years I have developed my instincts for the artistic side of mixing / engineering that is so very important and often neglected.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I take a zen approach to mixing which involves Yoga and regular feedback from my dog Charlie.