What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, trying to get as much mixing experience as I can to become a better mixing engineer.
Analog or digital and why?
They both have their pro's and cons, but we're living in a time where things are much easier to execute digitally, and as such, it is much more common to work in a digital format now.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will try my absolute best to get your music sounding as good as I can while adhering to your specific requests and vision. If you're ultimately not happy with the work I do or it's unsatisfactory in any way, I will revise the work I have done (if so requested by you) and do my best to remedy the problem(s). If this is not an option, we can agree upon a mutually fair ending to us working together.
What do you like most about your job?
This isn't a job. I get to listen to lots of great artist's that deserve more recognition for their talents.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
People I know don't really understand it and the amount of time and effort I put into it. Most people think that I just turn things up and make everything louder.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What genre is it? How many basic tracks are there? Is it audio, software instruments/samples, or a mix of both? What's the structure of the song? What kind of sound are you looking for? Can you send me any examples of the particular sound you want? In what amount of time do you want me to have this finished? Is there an actual deadline?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Never limit your options. If in doubt, ask them if they would kindly listen to the source that needs editing/mixing/mastering/cleaning up/whatever and see if they think it's possible for them to do something about it.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A robust microphone, a guitar, headphones, a Macbook and an audio interface.
Maybe some water would help too.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
My career aspirations have always been music-orientated, ever since I was a child.
I've been mixing for a few years now, and I'm mostly self-taught. I am, however, attending college and studying Music Technology, which is enabling me to gain more experience and knowledge in this field.
How would you describe your style?
I don't like to think I have one.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with any artist that has passion and talent. This will always make for fun experiences and productive sessions.
Can you share one music production tip?
The only thing I can't stress enough is the importance of subtractive EQ. To get the most out of performances, you need to take certain things out, which sounds completely backwards. If tracks are to have clarity, the unnecessary audio information needs to be cut out. This ensures maximum clarity and makes it easier to mix.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I tend to work in the Rock genre (and some of its off-shoots), but will consider any project that is well-recorded and is a good performance.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill? Probably the ability to take criticism as a positive learning curve.
My communication is also very good.
What do you bring to a song?
It depends. If I hear the song a certain way in my head, I will try and replicate that sound as closely as possible to what I'm hearing in my head. Sometimes, I'll just go with the pace of the songs, and make decisions based on where the song is taking me in terms of sound, energy, and mood.
What's your typical work process?
Typical work process is to make sure all tracks are aligned correctly and ensure that tempo settings for the project are correct. Then, if needed, I use gain control to stop the master bus from going into the red and distorting/clipping. Once I've done that, I generally try and level the mix while I'm listening to it for the first time, making sure I can hear all the elements of the project.
The second listen is for EQ - General clean-up of any unwanted audio information/frequencies, then colourful/sculpting EQ to enhance certain elements or allow them to be heard, simultaneously making space for the other tracks to breathe.
Once I have a well-levelled, basic mix, I start to pan, compress (when needed), add reverb, delays, excitement, etc.
I generally only mix for 4 hours maximum per day, as if exceeded, can lead to some bad decision making during the mixing process.
I'll return to it the next day and see what's left to do.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I just have a standard home studio set up (studio monitors, audio interface, studio headphones, recording/mixing software - Logic Pro X), but also have access to a dedicated recording studio at my college with a well-tuned control room. If I'm mixing a track at home, I always give it a test run in the control room of the studio to see how it sounds and if it needs any improvement or embellishment.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
There are too many musicians to name, really. Buddy Holly, John Frusciante, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pixies, RHCP, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles are just a few.
As for music production, Chris Lord Alge and Steve Albini are pretty amazing mixing engineers. Butch Vig is also great.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I generally feel more comfortable in the Rock/Punk genre, but will give almost anything my full effort if it's a well-recorded, good performance.