David Karsten Daniels

Co-Writer / Producer / Mixer

David Karsten Daniels on SoundBetter

“[1 of ] The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums Of 2010” NPR

Hello, My name is David and I'm a utility knife. I can bring UNIQUE MAGIC to your track. I've recorded for FAT CAT RECORDS, I've mixed for FRIGHTENED RABBIT and provided sting, horn and choral arrangements for PENNY & SPARROW. My music has been used by SHOWTIME, THIS AMERICAN LIFE and several feature films. I am a valuable addition to your team however you need me, as a co-writer, a mixer, a bass player, backup singer, or harpist just to name a few...

“….a kind of junior Jim O’Rourke, a musical polymath whose records have the potential to spiral off in any or every direction” The Wire

“[1 of ] The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums Of 2010” NPR

“...suddenly something startling was happening, and the audience noticed it.“ New York Times

“Exuberant, messy and glorious” NPR

"...lush production and recordings full of brilliant nuance.” Tiny Mix Tapes

“With discreet orchestration worthy of Van Dyke Parks and poignant, quavering vocalizing, D.K. Daniels’ fourth release, Sharp Teeth, is a collection of musical dramas rife with ambiguity, wry understatement, and majesty.” Mark Keresman, SF Weekly

“A beguiling example of the kind of risk taking that is sadly missing in most modern music” The Music Fix

“Yes!“ Robin Pecknold (of Fleet Foxes)

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

Credits

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Interview with David Karsten Daniels

  1. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  2. A: "What is your biggest strength as an artist?" "What is the biggest hurdle you want to overcome?"

  3. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  4. A: Check out

  5. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  6. A: iPhone + SHURE MV88 to always be ready to capture ideas. acoustic guitar, mellotron

  7. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  8. A: Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Brian Eno, Wilco, David Bazan

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: I will help you make something unique!

  11. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  12. A: The biggest misconception is that I only do work for myself.

  13. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  14. A: Quiet, melancholic, imaginative psychedelic folk or rock. Soundtracks.

  15. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  16. A: Magic. A unique approach. A comprehensive left and right brained approach.

  17. Q: What's your typical work process?

  18. A: Send me tracks via Dropbox or similar, I pull them up in Ableton Live, edit what I see fit, add what I see fit and send you a rough mix. We discuss, you decide what you want to keep or if we need one more revision and I can send you back the mix or stems or individual tracks

  19. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  20. A: I like to travel light, I have more gear than I need but I tend to mostly mix "in the box" in Ableton and record everything with either a Audio-Technica AT4050 (very detailed) or a Beta SM 57A (great for airy vocals, especially female).

  21. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  22. A: I wrote the music and recorded the soundtrack for the feature film HARVEST directed by S. Cagney Gentry. It was really exciting to work on something so tied to PLACE, in this case Appalachia.

  23. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  24. A: I'm trying to finish my 11th solo album!

  25. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  26. A: Digital. So easy to collaborate.

  27. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  28. A: The freedom to try ANYTHING.

  29. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  30. A: Can you bring that SHARP TEETH sound? (An arrangement heavy album I made in 2007.)

  31. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  32. A: I have been making recordings since I was in 9th grade (1994). I have a Bachelors in Music Composition(2001). I started a record label in my 20s and was then signed to FAT CAT recordsin 2007 (Bjork, Sigur Ros, Animal Collective, Frightened Rabbit). I've recorded ALOT of music and toured the US, Canada and Europe. I can approach a project from a very left or right brained way depending on what is needed.

  33. Q: How would you describe your style?

  34. A: Often Psychedelic, slow melancholic folk music but sometimes mid tempo rock or pop.

  35. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  36. A: Bjork. She never repeats herself and approaches everything from a unique perspective.

  37. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  38. A: Impose a limit for a song and stick with it to the end. For example, what would this vocal take like if we only allowed you to use falsetto and sing so quietly the notes barely came out. Or how the arrangment change if we removed one "very important" instrumental element like the bass or the kick drum.

  39. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  40. A: Arranging and overdubbing whatever is needed to bring bona fide MAGIC to a track.

  41. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  42. A: Overdubbing: Harp, Bass, Slide Guitar, Keys, Backing vocals and choirs Arranging: String arrangements, Horn arrangements Mixing & Remixing Co-Writing: (Music more often than words)

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David Karsten Daniels (feat. Chris Walker)

I was the Co-writer, Singer, Mixer in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Neil Young
  • M. Ward
  • Will Oldham
Gear Highlights
  • MOTU 8pre
  • AT4040
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