Mixing engineer, recordist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and many other roles in between. Have worked as engineer and assistant engineer with Grammy winners Susan Gibson and members of the Texas Tornados. I dive into every project head on with the attention to detail and passion every artist deserves.
Remote mixing services available for any genre of music. Mobile recording services available. I can come to you in the Austin area, or have access to several professional studios in the Austin area. I have a lifetime of music experience, as well as hospitality management that informs how I treat and interact with my clients. YOUR vision is what is important. As a music fan first and foremost, I am all in when working on a project. I can offer any number of creative aspects to your project. If all you have is a song and need a backing arrangement, I can facilitate and work with you on realizing your vision. I play guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and have access to studio session players should your project need them.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Craig Delony
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I was the engineer for a session at Church House Studios for a political campaign documentary. The director brought in a well respected musician to write cue music for the movie. We had a crazy setup that allowed him to jump from instrument to instrument as he was composing the music in the studio. I had to be especially on point to make sure the artist didn't have to wait on me to get going on anything he was feeling in the moment. Having the director of the movie over my shoulder the whole time kept me on task and hyper focused. He wanted to hear how various parts worked over various footage and moved quickly. He was very happy with the outcome. I'm very honored to have been a part such a meaningful project.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! When tracking, nothing beats working on a large-format console and having faders at your fingers. Recording into analog preamps is, I believe, the most justice you can do to what will inevitably end up in the digital realm. Working digitally enables us to work at breakneck speed and can keep the creativity and momentum alive. It can also prolong decisions and commitment. There's also the fact that we can send digital files via the internet and work remotely with someone who may not have access or budget for a major studio project. When at all possible, use the best analog gear at your disposal through the best digital conversion.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your intention with this project? What are you listening to the most at the moment? Do you have a firm stance on how you want this project to sound, or are you wanting to see how it unfolds during the process?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't NOT suggest something because you think it's a crazy idea. Anything can be a good idea as long as it's communicated properly and has intention.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: White Denim comes to mind. They are incredible songwriters and players using more traditional methods of recording, and yet as retro and vintage as some of their music sounds, it is also fresh and exciting.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I have worked with a lot of heavy music in the past and still enjoy it immensly. I have begun a transition into more traditional Americana, Folk, and Country music while working at Congress House. Working at Church House, I've recorded incredible young musicians that are big in the Austin old school, soul revival scene. I've been fortunate to work in many different genres and am open to anything.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To not deliver a "final mix" until they are completely satisfied and happy.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: How it feels when someone else is happy with my work. Seeing someone crying tears of happiness when he/she comes into the control room for listen back after tracking a song was the best feeling. Knowing that you helped facilitate someone else's vision and connecting with that person on one of the deepest levels is most gratifying and soul affirming.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have served in the Navy for 6 years, been a restaurant GM for 10 years, and now an audio engineer full-time for 2 years. I have been recording and mixing for the last 17 years. I finally got fed up not doing what I love everyday and committed myself to music when I moved to Austin a couple years ago. I have been fortunate enough to have found 2 very incredible engineers/producers in Austin, Andre Moran and David Boyle, whom I consider mentors and friends. They have taught me so much about engineering and more importantly the way a session runs and how to manage it while keeping the vibe creative.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: 3 Professional Studios: Congress House (Austin, Tx), Church House (Austin, Tx), and Estuary Recording (Austin, Tx) can be used for tracking and/or mixing depending on client's budget/schedule. Pro Tools user as primary DAW. Familiar and can work in Cubase, Logic, and Ableton. Home/Mobile Setup: Universal Audio conversion with ability for up to 18 channels of inputs for mobile recording using UA preamps as well as 8 channels of Focusrite preamps via ADAT. Home mixing setup using Yamaha HS-8 speakers, UA Apollo 8p, and Twin with Octo Satellite for increased DSP. Using UA, Waves, Fab Filter, Valhalla plugins for mixing (as well as others). Melodyne is used for vocal tuning. Slate Trigger is used for drum replacement. Native Instruments and Arturia soft synths. Microphones that are used on regular basis with mobile rig: Shure KSM141's, Aston Spirit, Shure SM7B, Sennheiser 421's, Cascade Fatheads, as well as others from Audio Technica, Shure, and Octava. Mobile rig includes 8 channel headphone amp to send different mixes to musicians while tracking. All Mogami xlr cabling used during tracking. 16 mobile handmade baffles that can be brought in depending on acoustic environment.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That the gear used makes or breaks a project. It's definitely in how you use whatever gear is at your disposal.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A series of loop based content based off of old school R&B/Soul grooves.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: No, just discovered SoundBetter via TapeOp article.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Neumann U67, Neve 1272, Universal Audio Twin, MacBook, Acoustic Guitar, and number 6 is a good wind screen (cause it's gotta be windy out there!)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Reading people's intentions. The ability to connect with an artist and get to the heart of the song. All the while making them feel comfortable sharing their soul and getting the best performance they can give. I am always listening to every conversation and idea in the room and ready to help facilitate at the moment they need, no matter how crazy it may sound.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: As a recordist, it depends completely on project/budget/time constraints. Am able to move very quickly while tracking to get a session up and running. Prefer to have enough time to dial in sounds and really capture what the artist/s have envisioned for their project. Time permits. Some clients need a run and gun type situation where they only have enough money for a half day session and want 3 songs recorded. In these type of scenarios I default to what I know works for certain genre/band lineup setups. I do a lot of Live Mixing in Austin and try to bring some of that urgency to recording so the artist can get down to performance and not get bored or caught up in the technical aspect. As a mixer, I try and not get bogged down in the beginning of a mix and try and get to a good balance very quickly after the session is organized (prefer to organize session day before I mix it so I can come in to the mix fresh and in a more creative headspace). I am looking for emotional impact and intent early in a mix. As soon as I find and latch on to that, I run with it and try and not second guess my instincts. I try to spend less time "fixing" and more time "embellishing" the song. If I am dancing or singing the tune at any point, I know I am close and try and maintain that energy and not change directions. Forward momentum at all times. A typical mix (depending on length of song and track count) can be done in a day (8-10 hours) as long as there is not hours of housekeeping to do in the song. As I stated, if there is a monumental amount of organizing, vocal tuning, drum editing, etc. I prefer to come back to the mix fresh once those less creative tasks are out of the way. I become invested in anything I mix and will do as many revisions as the artist needs (within reason). The artist can expect a first mix anywhere from 1-3 days after file delivery depending on the size of the project. I also enjoy creating backing tracks for artists in need of accompaniment. I can work as co-producer or co-songwriter and collaborate with the songwriter to realize their song. I can record electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar as well as a wealth of soft synths at my disposal, and customized drum sequencing. If the artist is in need of a real drummer, I have contact with several of Austin's best session drummers and can record them at any of the studios I am associated with.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Who have you worked with? List off a few of the more recognizable names So, you've only been doing this how long? 17 years total, only 2 years full time. I have a lifetime of dissecting and attempting to replicate records and a compulsion for music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Heavy. Not in just a heavy metal style, but heavy emotional impact. I gravitate to music that is heavy on any number of levels. If it makes me burst with joy or sadness or intrigue, it's heavy. I try and embellish the heavy.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Listen to what the artist wants. Avoid trying to impart your sonic stamp on everything just because you can. It's all about the song and whatever you can do to make that a reality is your job.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Ears! The most important aspect I bring is an outside opinion if the artist is in need of it. The ability to hear the end result of a project before its completion and suggest instrumentation, musicians needed, or even the much ignored power of the mute button if something is getting in the way of the song. All of these things have to be done with finesse and an intense awareness of all the personalities in the room.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: David Boyle, Mark Hallman, Andre Moran, Kurt Ballou
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recordist at professional studios. Remote mixing using recorded sessions transferred into Pro Tools.