Between 2014 and 2018, Freddy obtained an Associate of Arts degree in Music Theory and a Bachelor of Science degree in Audio Engineering. Currently, Freddy finds himself deep within the Chicago music scene, recruiting promising artists who could use an experienced producer and audio engineer’s keen attention to detail.
Mixing will always be my favorite part of the process. It's technical, creative, and an intimate aspect of the production that brings the idea you're passionate about into fruition. However, every project has to start somewhere. That's why I also offer my experience as a producer to help bring your musical ideas to the level we both know it can reach. The song and performances are more important than anything a mix or mastering engineer can do.
As a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer, I have the ability to look at projects from different angles and offer my talents to any project. Being able to substitute a musical idea on one instrument into a vocal part, for instance, may be what separates a flop from a hit. Having options available, yet a willingness to commit to ideas is what will illicit creativity and efficiency during one of my productions.
Additionally, having my own outfitted recording studio, I have the ability to offer a space for writing, tracking, overdubs, and mixing.
Currently, I offer mastering for a budget that requires me to do so, however, with any production I would recommend having a separate engineer between the mixing stage and the mastering stage.
My present rates for recording, producing, writing, and mixing are $30/hour. However, with larger scale projects the budget will always be its own discussion.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Freddy Tyler Paul
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I predominately work in the realm of music, however, I worked on a film project for a college student trying to finish his thesis project recently. I helped with the sound design, foley, and final mix. It gave me an in-depth look into a world very much foreign to me, however, it kept me continually interested with each new challenge presented by the on-screen turmoil. It directly impacted how I approached my productions and how I could include different levels of sound design into the compositions. I wouldn't consider myself film oriented but I would recommend every engineer to at least lend their hand to a film project or two!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently focused on finishing writing and recording an album to tour off of with my band, Ember Oceans. Additionally, since the recent construction of my studio, I'm spending a vast amount of time networking in the Chicago area meeting various artists and musicians.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I'm very much an engineer that blurs the grounds between the two. Having high-quality, fat, lush sounds coming into my recording software is a direct result of my various analog preamps, compressors, and EQ's on the front-end. However, working with Pro Tools I predominantly use UAD plugins during mixing, which are digital emulations of analog gear. The plugins sound so similar to the real units, and the fact that I can save my favorite presets for easy recall and tweak-ability, is the deciding factor that determines if I have a great mix in 3 hours or 6.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: With artists and musicians, they're rarely very technical. I get asked a lot of questions such as 'How do you know how to use that EQ?' or something similar. For me, production and engineering is just a matter of learning different instruments. Just as a guitarist may pick up a Stratocaster from a Les Paul. I may pick an 1176 instead of LA-2A. It's a matter of listening. As a musician develops his or her ear they realize they might hate the sound of that particular bass guitar. It's the same idea with engineers. We have our own tastes and our own equipment that we learn inside and out. It's just a matter of practice and understanding what that particular instrument is doing to that particular sound and deciding whether it's complimentary towards the project or not.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Many artists think mixing engineers are strictly technical and mathematical about their approach. However, as a client, you're not paying my for my ability to set a compressor. Any engineer can do that. You're paying me for my taste. My thoughts towards mixing are musical, more than anything . What effect would compliment this vocal? What processing can I instill upon the bass in order to illicit the emotion I'm receiving from the vocal? My taste and past musical experiences are what's influencing your project, not my outboard gear. Those are merely tools to help get my ideas across.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to talk about their influences and musical interests. It could be a poet or an actor, not necessarily a musician. How do you want these songs to make you feel? Angry? In love? 'What was your inspiration behind this project?' will always be a question of focus during our initial discussions.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be prepared to offer in-depth feedback. In order to transition any project into it's final form, it will always need at least some form of revision. A simple 'raise the vocal level' compared to something more abstract like 'we want more aggression on the vocals during the chorus.' leads to very different results.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been writing, recording, and touring off of my own music for 5+ years. I've learned an incredible amount about the intricacies of each stage of a production and not offering that experience to others would be a disservice. Today, I'm still an active musician, but with a degree in Music Theory as well as Audio Engineering. Record production will always be a true passion of mine.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'm very much a pop, rock, and alternative fan so I would say I operate within those boundaries. However, today genre-boundaries are incredibly blurry so a vast majority of projects today may very well fall within those limits even if they don't label themselves as such.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill will always be my ability to present options to an artist. An artist with options usually results in accidents and thus unique results. Having a variety of synthesizers and outboard gear allows me to achieve a wide-array of sonic palettes. Most importantly, the artist is more likely to have more fun when he can hop from instrument to instrument and see where his musical thoughts lead him towards.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: When operating as a mixing engineer I offer the additional insight of being an active, performing musician. Knowing when a part is unnecessary or takes away from the vocal is a talent I've had to acquire over years of songwriting. Or even more important, having the musical know-how to alter a part by 10% in order to make it 10 times better is just as important.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical process varies dramatically from what I'm being asked to do and what kind of project I'm working on. If I'm producing a song for an artist with an amazing voice, the entire song is going to be written and produced to spotlight that talent. Likewise, if the singer is weaker in some form, we may need to have catchier guitar or synth parts or a more solid rhythm section in order to drive the song and keep the listener interested. When it comes to mixing, I more often than not work across the board getting general unprocessed levels and panning set. Then I will focus in on what I think is the most important section and get the rhythm pumping and jumping. Then I typically move to the vocal to see how the melody is operating alongside the rhythm. Once I have some basic processing I typically ride the feel of the song attenuating other parts as needed through various levels of compression, EQ, etc. As far as timeline goes, I usually finish a mix in a day and do minor revisions the next before sending it back to the client for suggestions/revisions. When it comes to producing and writing songs with an artist, that can be harder to gauge. However, we usually leave the first session with one solid song in the works and a couple other budding ideas recorded for future exploration.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Since I've acquired my Barefoot MicroMain 45 studio monitors my productions and mixes changed overnight. Those monitors accompanied with my Universal Audio Apollo 16 interface routinely leave me speechless whenever I hear a new talent. I also surround myself with a number of analog outboard gear and synthesizers. Digital synths just don't sound the same! I also have an adjacent live room for an entire band to play in. Drums, guitars, bass, and keyboards all fit comfortably in my setup.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Currently my favorite producer and engineer is Paul Epworth. After hearing his work with Adele, James Bay, and Florence and the Machine, to name a few, I began dissecting his productions and songwriting incessantly. All of his productions are so lush and intimate.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Currently, mixing previously recorded stems and tracks sent to me by an artist tends to be my most inquired service. This usually entails various levels of editing as well. However, more recently I have been working with artists from the ground up writing, recording, and producing their songs in my newly constructed studio.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm a little new here so I look forward to networking and meeting likeminded musicians and clients.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise to clients will always be that I'm here to talk to and communicate with over the course of any project. There should always be an open dialogue in a creative situation because every small decision will inevitably change the final results. If you're not proud of those results than neither am I.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Whenever I first hear an artist that really blows me away and I know that I'll have the luxury of working with them. It's an incredibly rewarding feeling that gets me excited to walk through the doors of my studio and work through ideas to see them come to life.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I own all of my desert Island pieces of gear so I'll list them! My Barefoot MM45 Monitors, Minimoog Model D, Pearlman TM-1 tube condenser microphone, Universal Audio 6176, and a trusty SM57.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I've always loved the sound of records with obvious amounts of tape saturation and compression. Maybe that's because all of my favorite records were saturated to hell! I guess I'm always chasing that vintage sound with various levels of saturation and analog processing all the while keeping the project modern with a number of new-age production techniques.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Kevin Parker of Tame Impala will always be high on that list. The man can do it all! He's always been an inspiration of mine as producer and writer.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Learn to commit to sounds and ideas or you'll never get anything done. All of the best records you've ever heard sounded amazing before it even hit a mixing engineer. That's the level you want to reach.