Inventive Record Producer based in England near Manchester and available for work across the UK and Worldwide. Has worked with Chart Topping artists and Labels. Record Production is my passion, and I take personal pride in every project I take on.
I'm Andrew Raphael, a Record Producer and Mix Engineer with over 15 years experience in Music Recording and Composition. I have recently worked on recordings for Everything Everything, Blossoms, Slow Readers Club, Palace, The Charlatans, Charlotte Church and Nadine Shah. I like to think outside the box, and my extensive knowledge of musical genres and recordings allows me to compliment and enhance an Artist's vision. Whether it is a complete production, string arrangement, post-production editing or a full mix-down, I am fully qualified and equipped to make your project the very best it can be.
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Interview with Andrew Raphael
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am still very proud of the song 'Re: Anne' by Charlie Raphael-Campbell, which is still my primary audio example. I had a clear idea in my mind of how the song should be arranged and the end result entirely exceeded my expectations and delighted the client.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on a song for Emily Mercer, a talented singer-songwriter based in Manchester. We are looking at giving her a slightly more aggressive and impassioned sound with this new track in order to broaden the scope of her work. It's been going very well.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Russell Cottier is another talented Record Producer and an all round great chap.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I really don't mind - the idea and the performance are the most important things. They're the things that people remember.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Though we can go in many different directions throughout the course of a production, I always promise that they will still sound like them at the end of it all, and that their personality will shine through.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I just love that you can take a song, whether it be written on a piano or guitar, or a sketch in a DAW, and make it into something truly exceptional that we can all enjoy, and perhaps bring enjoyment to others on release.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Hmmm, not sure whether I get commonly asked questions that much. Musicians can all be completely different and have varying concerns and needs. This is why a discovery meeting is essential, as it helps me understand where the client is coming from, both musically and personally.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think people think I just set things up and press record. There's so much more to the job and I'm heavily invested in every piece of work that I do. Producing music with someone is true collaboration and the recorded work should be something we are all proud of.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I would ask what it is about them that makes them stand out from the crowd - this can be very important when it comes to the approach we take. I would also ask what they wanted to achieve with the project - this set our goals straight away and tells me what kind of a task this is.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would make sure that the songs/music that you want to record is the very best it can be. Finishing a recorded work should still feel special, even in the world of streaming and social media.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'm not particularly a gear head, but if I had to choose, maybe my laptop, an interface, a decent mic (U47?) a 1073 pre amp and a decent pair of Monitors (Neumann or Unity Audio). That's all you need really, though I don't know what good they'd do on a desert island, does it have power or adequate air conditioning?!!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been Producing for about 15 years, however I did take a detour through composing music for film for a few years. This definitely helped my arranging skills and time management.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would say my style involves the music being punchy, melodic and with strong contrast of textures and dynamics.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with HAIM, mainly because I think that they are an exceptional live band, and I feel that their recordings don't reflect this fact too well. I would love to strip back their sound and really highlight their skills as musicians.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If something isn't working in the mix, it is usually an arrangement issue.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I like to work in the broad area of rock and pop music, though I like elements of folk, jazz and electronica. I'm not a believer in the advent of the sub genre as I feel this has led to music being strangled of its creativity in recent decades. I think that fusing broad styles helps artists stand out from the crowd and create new trends.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I like to think about the big picture, whether it is a song or a whole album, and then analyse each element in detail. I think this just allows the client to just be themselves and they can leave all the technical and tedious tasks to me.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to make sure that I can make a client's song the best it can possibly be and also stand out from the crowd. Whether this necessitates a change in structure, melody etc. is determined on an individual basis. Every project is an exploration, which makes it all the more fun.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Firstly I would have a discovery meeting with the client to find out about what they want to achieve with the project. Then I would attend rehearsals where we would audition and potentially rearrange and rewrite songs to fit our shared goals. Along side this I would set up a shared Spotify playlist where we can post tracks that influence the sound of the project - it's quite a fun exercise and helps to break the ice and see where we are musically. I would then record live or basic demos to take with us into the studio. We would either work in a commercial studio, at my home, or at a location of the client's choice. I enjoy location recording as I find it very inspiring in addition to capturing unique and unusual sounds. I work in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the project, whether people record together live or on an individual basis. I would then edit and compile the best takes from the sessions and prepare for mix down.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Currently I have a fairly simple setup, centred around my iMac and Apollo 16 interface running Unity Rock mkII monitors. However I have recently acquired an MTA 980 32 channel console and hope to install it in a new studio space in the near future.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There are too many to mention, though I admire the production work of Hugh Padgham, Greg Penny, Kevin Shirley and more recently Rich Costey and John Congleton.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I tend to partake in full production work for my clients, though I also do mixing, editing and string & brass arrangements.