Greg “Trakkz” Wigfall, is the producer and CEO of indie label Tri-Fekta Ent. In 2012, Trakkz’s came back to the DMV area, and enrolled into The Art Institute of Washington. Here he took up audio production, to help fine tune his skills in music. While back in DC, he joined with fellow classmates and created the group/street team called SCHEME.
Music Production: I have a versatile style, and can make any type of production from Hip-Hop to R&B. I also sample and make beats from scratch.
Audio Engineer: Record, edit, mix, and master sound through the artist's choice of microphones, by setting levels and sound manipulation techniques. IO know how to operate all DAW's, and specialized in Logic Pro and ProTools.
Sound Design: Responsible for obtaining all sound effects, both recorded or live for a specific production. I am also responsible for setting up the sound playback equipment as well as properly trained in operating the sound board.
Vocal Comping: Create the perfect vocal performance from multiple takes is one of the most common editing tasks that DAW users undertake.
Programmed Drums: Create rhythms using a drums machine by imitating drum kits, and other percussion instruments. Specialize in all genre's, with main genre's being Hip-Hop, R&B, and Pop.
Live Sound: Responsible for managing audio equipment, such as a mixing board, during indoor or outdoor events and live performances at such locations as sports arenas, churches, theaters or lecture halls. Mainly responsible for sound checks, equipment placement, volume and quality of sound.
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Interview with Greg "Trakkz" Wigfall
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mainly work with hip-hop and R&B artist. One of my main artist, named Blue Martinez, is an east coast rapper, with a Rick Ross/Jay-Z type of sound, so we aim to get a luxury and classic sound on each mix that we do. I also have a lot of wot in R&B, and work a lot with artist that have a Chris Brown and Tory Lanez type of sound.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My main inspiration came from east coast hip-hop. My father, MBG, is an artist from the platinum hip-hop group Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three (Recorded platinum song "The Request Line" and "The Roof is on Fire), and he is the main reason I have this fire in my heart for music. When it comes to production, Kanye West and Swizz Beatz played a huge part in my sound, and is one of the main reasons I sample heavy in a lot of production. When it comes to the overall sound, the classic hits, like Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the sound I always try to achieve. There's a reason why a lot of songs have a ageless sound, and that is one thing I try to imitate in all my mixes, no matter the genre.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: As of now I have a home set-up, that is completely sound proof, and detached from my home. Depending on the project, I also have a studio that I rent block of time constantly that I also work out of.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My work process varies depending on the project and work I am doing at the time. I am a perfectionist, so I like to go through a mix a few times, and create multiple versions on the mix to ensure I get the best sounding mix and master as possible. I also like to use reference tracks, and imitate certain parts of a mix to create the perfect, and original mix as possible. When it comes to production, I let my soul speak for itself, as well as use a reference if the artist is looking for something specific. I alway try and make all my music as original as possible, no mater if I am using a reference track or not.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring life and originality to a song. All songs have it's own personality, just like people, and should never be mixed just like other songs may be. When mixing or producing, I like to like at the positive sounds and feels that the song has already, and enhance that to create the most clean and live sounding mix possible. Patience and small moves is key to gaining and creating the perfect sound that you and the artist is looking for.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is drum programming, and the mixing of drums as a whole. With my influences being Swizz Beatz and Kanye West, I always would be drawn to the drums quality and rhythms they achieved, and always try and battle the drums of a song that is similar to whatever song or project I am working on at the time.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: The main type of music I work on his hip-hop and R&B production and mixing. I grew up listening to mainly hip-hop and R&B, and studied the sounds that I love and didn't care for so much, that it's easy for me to emulate, and get it out for the client and world to hear.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: My biggest tip in regards to production is build from the ground up. Nothing is built all at once, and you can achieve anything once you build a strong foundation. Once you have a solid foundation, it becomes easy to add the pieces you need to elevate the sound of your production and overall sound.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: One artist that I would love to work with is Kendrick Lamar, because I feel like we have the same type of work ethic. My life evolves around music, and I put my all into every project I work on, and I believe I can learn a lot about the industry, and music as a whole, by being in a session with him, and watching him work.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My overall style is similar to 2000's Jay-Z mixed with the sound of Meek Mill. To me, the 90's and 00's was a great time for music, especially hip-hop and R&B, but the production now is the best it's ever been. I strive to keep that classic sound and feel that I grew up listening, but blend and mix it with the heavy 808/bass and synth sound that is popular today. When it comes to mixing and mastering, I strive to keep a more classic and clean sound, instead of cranking the volume with multiple maximizer and compressor plug-ins.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been doing music for 13 years now. My father brought home audio equipment that he never touched, and one day I went into the room where it was sitting and fell in love with it. I started taking it serious in 2018 when I left for college, and started to produce for different artist, and charge people to record their own music to help with extra money at school. It wasn't until I graduated in 2014 when I knew that this is what I wanted my life to be. I ended up moving from DC to LA August of 2014, and from there just started hustling and grinding on my craft, and creating a sound for people that will reach the masses.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: One thing I like to let my customers is I am a perfectionist, so I treat every project like it's my own, and with care. I also like to keep my customer in the loop as much as possible so it feels like their actually there during the proes, even though we are connecting over the web.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I have a few questions I like to ask my clients. The first question is their overall goal. Every song is different, as well as every artist, so I like to get as much details as possible to get the sound the client is looking for. The next question I ask is their deadline for the song or overall project. On average I take around 10 hours to mix a song, so I like to make sure my clients understand that, just in case they need a rough draft. Lastly I like to go pver and break down the revisions for the mix, and that's one reason I like to get as much detail as possible on what they want. By doing revisions, it give the client to hear the progress of the mix, and fine tune it to get their overall sound of the song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The thing I love most about my job is the act of creating a reconstructing sounds into on complete sound. Just that fact is amazing to me because just like art, it creates something amazing once its complete. Even though the sound may not be what you want when you start out, the feeling you have once it's finally finished is something unexplainable.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My main promise to all clients is to create the sound that they have growing in their head. At the end of the day, it's about the client being happy, so I as the engineer and producer always make sure that I get the client and artists vision out and on wax.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: For me, I love to work and use digital sounds, but achieve an analog sound. I love the warm sound that analog equipment gives, but I also love how you have more control of the sound you create with digital equipment. You can try and experiment much more using digital equipment, and have the choice to mix both a digital and analog sound when you want.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: As of now, I do not know anyone who is a client of SoundBetter.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I am working on producing and mastering upcoming rapper, Blue Martinez's upcoming EP entitled "45". As of now we are completing the first single called "RNS3", which is prepped to release mid March 2019.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The project I am most proud of is when I play the role of recording engineer for a Floyd Mayweather documentary called "In Your Corner". For this project, I acted as recording engineer and helped record and edit the theme song to the documentary. This was an amazing feeling, because I realized the excellent music and sound you can achieve when you bring in so many amazing music artist and engineers that have different views and sounds.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: The first thing would be my laptop. If I don't have anything else, at least I'll be able to listen to music. The next thing would be my MPC. I alway bang on my MPC just to come up with different rhythms, or simply to pass the time. The next thing would be my keyboard. With those three things alone, I have my own mini studio to myself and the beach. The fourth thing I would bring is my AKG C414. I'll be able to get great sound only on my island of just the scenery alone. The last thing I would bring is
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: One question I get asked often is if I play an instrument. I am not trained in any instrument, but I taught myself how to play and read music for my production. For other sounds, I tend to sample, and use live musicians to get a sound I may be going for.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: One question I get often is if I do custom work as well as basic leasing, and the answer is yes. I always have beats completed and ready to go, but theres always something about creating a connection with the artist from the beginning that turns out to be more real and authentic in the end of it all.