What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That anyone can do it. As more people get pro tools, and logic with waves plugins and other toys, people think that they can achieve the same result as someone who has given years into this profession. At the end of the day its that last 10% of quality thats the hardest to get. And only years in front of speakers, and lots of learning can you really start to chip away at that last bit of quality.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
- Whats your deadline
- What was your inspiration for the project (Artist//Life Circumstance)
- Do you have a clear vision of this project, or would you like me to steer the ship to what I believe you want.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
When you feel that something isn't right in the mix, don't be afraid to be specific. Its easier to fix specific instructions than vague requests. At the end of the day, you're the boss and what I like is meaningless.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Straight out of high school I went to a recording school for 12 months and 3 weeks out of school I started my first Full Length 12 song album and I haven't stopped since.
How would you describe your style?
Vocal and drum driven. I just love the way that strong rhythm and clear vocals makes me feel.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I really would love to work with Keith Urban type artist. I love the musicianship of the country genre, but at the same time I would love to see what would happen if my pop influences mixed with country musicianship.
Can you share one music production tip?
The easiest way to know if your track will be auto tune friendly with pitch correction is when you're tracking have an Auto Tune channel that you can put you're newly tracked vocals into so you check if the performance was clean enough pitch wise to be tuned transparently later. Especially if the singer is lacking .. lets call it practice..... it makes it a lot easier to clean up vocal takes later than struggling with that one word that sounds horribly tuned.
What type of music do you usually work on?
The type of music that I usually work on is either pop tunes, or Indie Folk songs.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill would be that I am able to move fast without compromising quality and I don't get hung up fiddling with menial things trying to find inspiration.
What do you bring to a song?
I've been playing music from a very young age, and have never said no to project because I wasn't comfortable with the genre. So I would say that I am very well rounded with different types of music. And ultimately that comes from loving music. What I bring to a song is the ability to hear the song and find out what makes it special and how to bring out the qualities that will make you want to hit repeat. I've worked very hard at becoming quick at creating a vision for a song, and being able to hear what the client wants.
What's your typical work process?
When I get a song in to be mixed, or have a client present me their scratch track the first sing I do is listen, write down the arrangement, and make decisions right away on what needs to be made the focus of the song, or where sections need to be shortened or cut to focus the listener on whats important in the song. Since every song is different and each song has its strengths and weaknesses the process changes a little each time.
Tell us about your studio setup.
The way I set up my studio was to realize I didn't have a million dollar budget, but at the same time trying to accomplish that million dollar sound. So What I did is spent a good amount of money on my conversion, monitoring, and my mono signal flow. I use an apogee symphony in tandem with a UA Apollo. For my monitoring I have a Dangerous Audio ST, with a pair of Focal Twin 6be's and a pair of Event Opals, and an Avantone Mix Cube. For outboard gear I use a Retro STA level in combination with a API 550b to shape vocals and fine tune them with plugins. I Also use my Shadow Hills Dual Vandergraph on either my drum aux to really push them harder, or on my mix bus to add colour.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
When I need a bit of inspiration or need to get my ears in the right place I usually listen to Manny Marroquin mixes. He works on wide variety of music and each time its a home run. I also really respect and admire Jaycen Joshua's mixes, specifically his low end. The man is untouchable when it comes to Hip Hop//Pop mixes.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The most common work I do for clients is producing or mixing. Generally if I produce something I like to mix just because as I'm recording and putting tracks together I'm also mixing on the fly and steer the ship musically and sonically towards what I believe the end goal that the artist wants.