"My job is to bring life to your music" Not accepting new requests until November. Thank you for your kindness,
With several decades of producing, engineering and mixing Max Carola engineer extraordinaire can give your music the sound and power needed to jump to the next level. Max's ability to find the right tone is the real secret weapon an Artist or a Producer can find to bring the magic of the music to the crowd.
"As a Producer I work to give the Artist the best support in developing his/her unique style and I am ready to work hard for that!"
"As a Mixing Engineer my main concern is to create the strongest possible master, a deep sonic experience, still preserving all the peculiarities of the production. A real hard challenge sometimes. But the result is always rewarding!"
Equally at ease in the digital and analog world Max's ability to impart to your production that elusive "pro" sound and give to your music the power to reach the highest level in that everyday competition.
Feel free to contact Max and find a way to collaborate on your project.
Some links to songs mixed or produced by Max:
James Senese (IT)
Max Carola's Spotify list (Producer - Engineer - Mixer)
Send me a note through the contact button above.
- Robert Palmer
- Peter Maffay
- Pascal Obispo
- Karim Kacel
- Enzo Avitabile
- Franco Battiato
- Zooming on the zoo
- Tonton David
- Souled out
- Mariah Carey
- Monica Pinto
- Orchestra Joubes
- James Senese
- Napoli centrale
- Agnese Valle
- Mariano Schiavolini
- Takako Okamura
- Tomohiasu Hotei
- Chick Corea
- Antony Hequet
- Giacinto Piracci
- Pietro Condorelli
- Eugenio Bennato
- Nuova compagnia di canto popolare
- Vasco Rossi
- Secret Garden
- Tomoyasu Hotei
- Okamura Takako
- Daniela Carelli
- Billie Ray Martin
- Gert Stainbaecher
- Lorena McKennit
- Loco Ironico
- Pascal Obispò
- pino daniele
- Nino Buonocore
- AEROSMITH Boston
- Power Station
- Alejandro Lerner
- Elio e Le Storie Tese
- Gary Moore
- Fito Paez
- Holliwood Bowl Orchestra
- Yoko Kanno
- Lorena McKennitt
- The Kelly Family
- Marc Lavoine
- Marco Borsato
- Philippe Maujard
- Renzo Arbore e l'orchestra italiana
- Stefan Jarue
- Carmen Paris
- Orchestro Joubes
- Yayo Gonzales
Reviews (13)Endorse Max Carola
Pleasure working with max again. As usual he did much more than just deliver, he ensured that the track reached it's full potential. Can't wait to work with him again. Professional and fast.
Yet again great work, fast, quick, and showed a deep understanding and appreciation for my music would recommend max to anyone.
So great to work with max yet again. Professional and delivers everything I needed if not more. Thank max hope to work with you in the future. Highly recommend and talented.
Max is extremely hardworking and won't stop until you are happy with the task completed. He also has extrodinary knowledge of not only mixing but mastering, vocal tuning and many more. As an artist I would highly recommend him as he understand where your coming from an what your song/songs are all about. Keep it up you did an awesome job man!
Very patient, articulate, and professional. Great quality work - Thanks Max from FWP
Working with Max was a wonderful experience. He's very professional and flexible. I'd recommend him to anyone.
Working with Max was an absolute delight. And, while we didn't get to do much, he was a consummate professional for the entirety of the time spent.
Grazie Max! Ottimo lavoro. Molto professionale, competente e veloce. Suono fantastico e servizio eccellente. Lo consiglio vivamente.
Max is my producer, arranger and music partner since 1985 and a great musical director for my entire music production. I trust him in every aspect of my musical career
I worked with Max on many occasions both in the studio and live. He is extremely knowledgeable and competent. We worked in Capri in a world class studio, we worked in florence with second rate equipment. Max will adapt and make you feel comfortable no matter what the setting and the gear. He will make it work...
I have worked with Max for more than 10 years, going from electronic to world music, passing through audio postproduction and sound design and I wouldn't find easily a sound engineer who's easily able to be in charge of all these different kinds of jobs. "If it works, don't fix it" has been our mantra for years and I'm really grateful for all I got
Max has a very great talent, his technical knowledge allow him to best use any type of device, analog or digital. He knows how to handle every kind of music bringing a refined taste, he puts his signature in every mix and last but not list he is a very good person, very helpful and gentle, this makes him a very good professional.
Max provided an exceptional sound for my project. I was truly excited to find out his versatile talent in mixing. You can probably give him any genre of music and receive a warm, crispy and inspiring mix. In addition, I found no problem to work with Max online. I wish I could come to his studio in Naples, but honestly, there was no need for that.
Interview with Max Carola
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I started all analog and I know it deep. And I like digital since has made possible to deliver great production at a fraction of the cost. And now most of the quirks about digital sounding are gone. In my work, changing from one song to one other several times a day, the digital ability to bring back on the desk exactly the same sound I had left is invaluable and a must to keep the price tag in a possible measure where the records are not so profitable as before. So I like budget conscious clients and I work hard to let them perceive the value of my collaboration. And there are some things that in analog are just impossible... But I still like a lot when I record on the SSL to a half inch stereo master tape, if you can afford it. I always hope to meet clients that have the proper budget to allow that.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise them my best effort to make their music successful, powerful and immediate. And that both the industry and the people will enjoy to listen to it, non stop. I have evidence that my work stand the test of time.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I am a music lover and I like to know new people that share that same passion. Sometimes it's hard to work for long hours and sometimes you have to struggle to reach to a point you start to really feel a song. But when you accomplish the task and the song shine I feel wonderful. It's a mystic experience
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Is the lead guitar loud enough? :-P And my answer is almost always, yes! Another question is often: Do you like the song? And I can only answer to the question after my mix is ready. And when I have a mix done, you bet I like the song since I spent an inordinate amount of time just to reach that point!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I've been so lucky to work with clients that trust my judgement and like my work so I'm not really sure how to answer to that question. But for me is clear that there is a lot of confusion about the production and the mixing, especially now that there are less "A&R" people involved in the process. My real work is to "balance" and for me that means guiding the listener into a musical journey that enlighten and inspire, that make the listener change his life, her point of view about the world. That's the power of music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Powerful, clean and professional. I tend to create mixes that are rich, balanced, wide and "tall". I work hard to balance all the tracks aiming to a crisp and warm sound. The mix is of paramount importance to a song and I put into the game my taste, my knowledge and my experience to help the song to find it's way into the emotional world of the listener. I work hard to make the intention of the song get trough. It's a tough job though. You have to find the balance and create a sound that is comfortable and aggressive at the same time and that can cut trough the floor noise of an ever increasing offer.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Wow, one of the many... Ok: I like to work on the feel of a drums track fixing little time problems but never bringing the things too deep to completely erase the "groove" of the drummer. All is made manually, spending as much time is possible so that if feels natural and exciting. Sometimes it takes hours but is worth it. All the song then sounds a lot more emotional and exciting. I use mostly elastic time for that, but I never use it to the point you can hear it work. Same with the vocal editing and tuning. I like melodyne since it makes easy to do small fixes, just the ones needed to let the music flow. I don't like to be distracted by bad intonation problems in a great sung phrase.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most of my work is aimed at the R&B, Soul and Pop market, but I also work very much in the world music scene and I like to work in jazz projects as often happens. Lately I am having great fun with the HipHop and Trap scene, that seems to appreciate my sound. I like all kind of music and I try to experiment in any genre. Maybe metal is the one that I work less even if it happens, now an then, and I know the sound of it!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My musicality and sense of balance. And a deep knowledge of the music that seems very useful sometimes when producing young bands. Also my technical expertise that gives me the ability to create powerful, detailed masters that are far ahead in the strong competing world of today's music, but with full respect of the original intention of the Artist and the Producer. Sometimes I have to work hard to preserve the original intention and still deliver a professional sounding mix.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Thanks to my long years of experience I tend to bring to the song an organic sound, very intense and defined where ideas shine in their strength. Also it appears that I have this sense of "balance" that makes even the most intricate arrangement easy to listen to. And if in need I can play to the song adding the missing details to make it a hit!. All in a deep respect of the original idea and production. I am ready to work on additional production (credited) and bring whatever elements are needed to enhance the production and help to bring it to the next level.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Being a Free Lance I tend to work in many different studios. I like to work with SSL 4000G+ large format mixer and analog outboard but is getting more and more difficult to have a big enough budget to allow that so I set up my mixing and recording room, a "non studio environment" place with daylight that I managed to get acoustically and technically meaningful so to be able to give the best price to my clients, thanks to the internet and the technology available. It's based on a powerful Pro Tools HD system and a Dangerous Music analog summing mixer, plus a lot of analog and digital gear. My main monitors are EMES mastering grade speakers, plus yamaha NS10s (great for balance), Auratones 5C's (vintage, still very important check), and real world little speakers. I like to record with class A mic preamps and I have a wide choice of Neve's, Focusrite's Amek's and JoeMeek's to make my collection of mics happy. And for the producers and my own arranging and producing I have a huge collection of Analog, digital keyboards (including Kork, Yamaha, Oberheim, Sequential Circuits) and plugin instruments plus a more than 150000 sample library with many originally sampled sounds. Plus my collection of guitars and basses (and amps). All you need for a great sound.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently working on several projects. I don't like to talk about projects until they are published and available to the public; I believe is more professional that way. What happens in the studio stays in the studio. But I can tell that in two of the projects I am involved in the production and in others I am only the mixing engineer. I one I also do the recording and is a long term project for a major release. But there is always some time for interesting music, in my life. I hope to see you there!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I am the one to be recommended, sorry :-) But if I find a pro that is worth my help I will write it here.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: My main interest is to know what is the aim of the song, if is an album track or a single for radio. This is a crucial question since a radio friendly song must be a lot more focused on the "quick" reaction of the listener so everything must be neet and immediate. And a lot more time is spent on little details that in album songs don't need to be that worked out. I like album songs; often are the ones that surprise the listener and find their own way to success. Since I offer several mix revisions in my work I try to make the client happy no matter what but I really like to mix quick so that I don't loose the freshness of the first listening. But I'm ready to work hard in case the mix needs it.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Please do your work prior to sending to me your songs. Be sure to clean all the tracks from noises, false starts etc. And please send me only relevant material. I will try to fit all you send me in the mix (at least I will try), before deciding to do some cleaning. But this might be time consuming and will shift the focus from mixing to producing and editing (not included in the fee ;-). I assure you that is a completely different work and there is a lot more in mixing that most people are aware of. I will be dedicated to the song and usually I don't stop trying until I like the song a lot and I feel touched by the music. Only then I will propose my mix to the client. So there is no minor song or work for me. And my goal is to have you as my client forever! And please send the Lyrics.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Ah, that's easy (sort of) 1x Shure SM7 1x 1073 Neve pre 1x Urei 1176 Black face 1x Fender Telecaster 1x Dangerous Music 2Bus
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Just too long. I started in 1975 as guitar player touring with famous local artists. But I was already into recording and a happy owner of a nice home studio based on the teac 3340 and a revox a77. In 1980 I started to engineer officially in a professional studio and in 1982 I did my first work as a mix engineer (35 years of mixing,,, cool !) Since then my career turned more into the engineering even if I found a way to sigh a major contract with Casablanca and bring forward my artistic side. In 1990 I was involved in one of the best recording studios in the world, the Capri Digital Studio, in the Capri Island. I was there for ten years working with the big names of the music industry, including Solomon Burke, Aerosmith, Inxs, Roxette, Power Station and many others and learning my way to the top quality in music, production and sound. Since 1999 I work as free lance traveling all around Europe (and more, sometimes) offering my skills to the artists and producers that ask for it. And I still find time to record my own music, mostly for movie, tv and theatrical works. But you can find a lot more on the web...
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The project I like to share with you is my experience in Sound Design of the film "Enzo Avitabile Music Life" directed by oscar's director Jonathan Demme. It was all recorded live with incredible musicians from all over the world including Trilok Gurtu, Eliades Ochoa (Buena Vista Social Club), Jivan Gasparian (The sound of Gladiator!) and so many others that is too long to write down. I had to record, and mix the film soundtrack and the cd under pressure to present the film in Venice and I loved every moment of it. I hope you can find a way to see the movie.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: This is a tough question. I've been so lucky to work with so many artist I love that it looks like I've been blessed. But I like a lot to work with young and inspiring artists and share with them my knowledge. Anyway I don't want to elude the question so: Bjiork (since I believe she found a really new music paramount). I would like to work more and more in the R&B scene.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Usually my work starts when I receive the tracks from my client (via a file transfer system) and a brief about the song to mix. I like to hear the "rough mix" and read the lyrics. Then I do a quick mix to hear what's on tape and to find some hidden pearls in the recording. When I know my direction I can put the mix together to a point that I like to call "1st pass" in memory of the old days. This is my "first impression mix" that I send to the client for a comment, prior to go in details with infinite moves and little tweeks to get the song to the right place. Usually, my clients give the green light and I finish the mix creating some alternative mixes if needed. If the client ank for a mastered track I also do a mastering session or send the mix to the mastering chosen by client or I do the mastering internally (included in the fee). The whole process may take from several hours to some days, depending of the budget and the destination of the song.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have a wide range of professionals that inspire me. Starting from Quincy Jones, and Rick Rubin (that may seem far but not in my world). I have to thank my mentor Humberto Gatica for the incredible knowledge that he was able to pass me in such a brief time. And Phil Tan, Bernie Grundman, Alan Parsons. And the late Bernard Edwards (RIP) for the immense lessons on producing I had the luck to learn working with him. And the many other producers and engineers I worked with. Everyone of them has been a great inspiration.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Depending on projects, I record, mix and master albums for my clients. I have a really good sounding recording space that I offer to my clients and a light but powerful on location recording rig in case we decide to use an unconventional recording space. I collaborate on writing and arranging contributing with ideas and keeping the session flow. Most of my work is really mixing, pushing the songs of my clients to a very powerful, intense but polished sound that seems to appeal the industry and the public.