What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Everything from Rick Ruben, Max Martin, Chuck Ainlay, Chris Lord-Alge, to Jacquire King. It varies for me from genre to genre.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I wrote, produced, mixed and mastered material for the movie "I Love You, Man." I was so excited to hear my song being played over a very funny scene. It was also a particularly great day the first time I heard a band I recorded on the radio. Ah, memories.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have a few projects that I am currently working on. One is a local rock band recording their debut album. I'm mixing projects from all over the world. One from Spain, Sweden, Nashville, and a solo act out of L.A.
I try to stay as busy as possible.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
There are so many pro's it makes it hard to narrow things down in this question. Everyone does things differently, and quite well.
Analog or digital and why?
Both. I love the recording world we live in where this isn't an issue anymore. They all integrate seamlessly now. However, I really encourage everyone to learn analog before digital. Digital can be used as a crutch rather than a tool. But if you know how they work in the analog realm, then you can grasp a more tasteful approach to how you use digital.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will do at least one thing that you didn't expect and you'll love it.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the fact that I am helping to make something permanent for someone. I feel very proud that so many people have asked me to record their history. It's a very fulfilling job when the clients leave with a smile and something expressed.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Whats the biggest and best artist you've ever worked with? I always joke and say "You!" Anyone that has read my bio knows I have a few heavy hitters in my past, but I like to look more toward the future. It's such a gamble in this industry, and that is one of the most exciting parts. You never know who (or what) you're going to get the pleasure of working with next.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Some tend to think that the recording industry is an "anything-goes, it's 100% fun, and you get to hang out with rock stars all day." Far from the truth. While I make my own hours, I genuinly love what I do, and I see the occasional artist rise to some success, it is still a job. I work hard and I am good at what I do, but every day is not a party. Every day is a victory.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Who are some of your favorite artists?
How far are you wanting to go with your music?
What are you doing that is different from others in your genre?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Always send reference tracks. I can have a mix sounding great, but if it's not what you were expecting it is because I had no reference to go off of. Also, make sure you leave room in the mix. Sometimes the levels are recorded too hot, keep the space there, it's very helpful for me to get the best mix possible.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Instrument wise: my Fender Telecaster, my Vox Ac30, my old Ludwig kit, my Fender Jazz, and my Ampeg rig.
Studio wise: my computer, my LA-610, my API 312's, my Neumann u87 and my Yamaha ns10m's.
Let's just hope the power is on at this desert island.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been at this for 15 years now professionally. I've recording longer than that, with internships and free gigs, but only count the past 15 years when I started making a living from my craft.
How would you describe your style?
An in-your-face warm place. I like to have a giant sound, without having everything loud all at once. Space with presence.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
While he is not one of my favorite artists, Beck would be great because he is always evolving. He can go from folk, to rap, to rock, to electronic, and it never seems out of place. Very few artists can do this successfully and with the longevity that he has. It would be nice to learn from him how to navigate that kind of career.
Can you share one music production tip?
Reverb is your friend, not a fix.
What type of music do you usually work on?
All types of rock, country, pop, indie, and alternative music.
What's your strongest skill?
Drums. They are the backbone of a song and deserve the best possible treatment in order for everything else then sit correctly in a mix. Once I am proud of a drum mix, I can then focus in on the other instruments and vocals to where they need to be.
What do you bring to a song?
I always strive to have a song where every instrument has its own space. Not disconnected from each other like some engineers will do, but a kind of 3D view of every instrument.
What's your typical work process?
Open a file inside the computer and listen for what I like. Then I get to work on the things that don't quite sit well. Once I have my levels where I like, I start to operate on the eq. After the eq is set, I can get to all of my dynamic processes. When all is finalized, I sum the mix to tape.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I love the marriage between analog and digital. I have many processes that I do inside the box, but love my rack gear and tape machines as well. They both get a heavy amount of use in my daily workload.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
About 75% of my business is mixing. When I am not mixing, I am usually working with bands or solo artists developing their sound into a presentable package. I also enjoy playing certain instrumentation and producing an artist that comes to me with nothing but an idea. It's very rewarding and satisfying to have artists leave here proud of the work I have helped them accomplish.