What's the most important part of a mix? One could argue just about anything, but that question is answered by the customer. How many times have you thought something sounded great, until you showed someone else? Everybody is different and want to hear different things. My job is figuring out which thing that is and delivering.
As a guitarist first, my strength is getting those fat, punchy guitars to sound good around a rockin' beat with rhythmic drums and a perfectly booming bass (not too boomy. Be careful.) Then being able to craft the vocals into the guitar heavy track is a challenge, but can definitely be done. A rockin' and rollin' song with punchy guitars and rhythmic beat topped with strong vocals is what I like to go for.
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Interview with Panama Kinal
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Provide reference tracks so we're not spinning in circles for the right sound
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Electric guitar
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Bus everything. Listen to the song a few times to get an idea for the direction I should go. EQ to clean everything up. Re-check levels. Compress where needed (usually drum bus, bass guitar, and vocals.) Re-check levels. Saturate where necessary (usually drums and bass guitar.) Re-check levels. Calculate reverb timing. Make 4 reverb channels and send necessary buses to reverbs (usually drums, and panned guitars.) Make delay tracks and send vocal bus. Send lead guitar to reverb and delay and see what sounds best and pan that effect. Re-check levels. Clean up master bus to be sent to mastering.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chris Lord Alge, Mutt Lange
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Wrote and produced my own album. Took 3 years to learn the process. Now I can write, record, and mix great songs in a matter of hours.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My next album
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because I've never had the pleasure of working with pure analog, although vinyl records are awesome.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll mix the song as if it were my own. Run all my tests, and consider the requirements I ask that they want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The potential for creativity and the flexibility of the work hours and office location (if you have a home studio)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That the quality is all in the mix engineer. The truth is, the most important part is the raw recording. Getting a really great recording is the most vital part of the process.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: If there is a song or songs they'd like to sound similar to
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Jackson Soloist, Peavey Vypyr, solar panel to power the gear (we'll worry about food later), my acoustic guitar, harmonica
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Played guitar seriously for 10 years, writing music for 5 years, recording and mixing obsessively for 4 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: On the borders of punk rock, heavy metal, and glam rock
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Chris Lord Alge because I'd learn how his drums are so explosive in his songs.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Give yourself a reasonable timeline. You will never have the perfect mix. Finish what you started and move on. You'll get better with time.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I play guitar, bass, drums, sing and write songs so I have a good understanding on how a track could and should sound.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use Studio One 4. I have 2 KRK Rokit 5 speakers elevated about 6 inches off the desk. I use Bowers and Wilkins PX headphones also. The room is about 20 feet by 20 feet. I have a Carlsboro electric drum kit. I use a Jackson Soloist and play out of a Peavey Vypyr. For recording electric guitar, I use an SM57 and an MXL V63M condenser mic. For the 57, I put it right up to the amp cabinet (slightly moving it and adjusting the angle to get the right sound) and the MXL is the room mic. I use the MXL for vocals as well.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing songs