My names Kyle Bykiv. I'm a songwriter, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and mix and mastering engineer. I have over a decade of experience under my belt and have worked with a number of well known artists in todays mainstream industry.
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Interview with Kyle Bykiv
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recently did 3 acoustic recordings with the female pop artist Lights. I've loved her work for years and having the opportunity to work with her was amazing. Her performance was perfect, which made it a blast to work on and her voice is heavely, which allowed me to spend good quality time on the mixes without getting sick of hearing it. My role as audio engineer was to record, mix and master three acoustic songs, including "Up We Go", "Running with the Boy's" and "Muscle Memory."
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on a batch of instrumental tracks to pitch to a hip hop artist for an upcoming mixtape and about to start working on a country record with an upcoming female artist while writing and producing demos for my bands new record.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog all the way. If I could afford an old Neve/SSL desk and a tape machine I would be doing it that way. The warm sound of analog is untouchable.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: If you're not happy with the final product, Ill work on it until you are at no extra cost.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The ability to be 100% creative and make peoples ears overflow with excitement.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Too many people think that the gear and the computer does the work for you. In some cases this may be true, but as a producer and mix engineer, if you don't know how to manipulate the gear to do what you want it to on a artistic and mathematical level, you will end up with terrible quality.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Professional work is expensive but its worth it in the long run. I've known too many artists who've opted for the cheaper route to save some money and end up being disappointed by a mediocre product that becomes a waste of money in the end.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Gibson Les Paul, Apogee Duet, Macbook Pro, Neve 1073 and a Shure SM57.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I picked up the guitar when I was 6 (18 years ago) and started playing in bands around grade 6. I signed my first independent record deal at age 15 and played lots in high school. During this time I got familiar with recording and doing basement demos with the band on Cubase 5. I was fascinated with the ability to capture audio and manipulate it. Now I'm still playing in a band with a major deal with Warner Music. When I'm not traveling and touring I'm in my studio working around the clock.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'd say I'm pretty hybrid. I've worked with many people in studios from Toronto to LA and have learned so many little tips and tricks that I've made my own.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with Ryan Tedder and One Republic because they are just incredible musicians and Ryan is a unreal songwriter/producer.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: During a mix session, I send all of my groups and AUX tracks down to a Trim bus that is the main feed into my master bus. This allows me to have an extra fader of control over how much gain feeds into the master bus and allows for me to work the Trim fader and the threshold on the SSL bus comp to get the perfect amount of gain reduction without overloading the bus compressor and the master fader.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, hip/hop, EDM, country and rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Producing and mixing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a musician, I can bring fresh ideas and various big radio sounding tricks to a mix.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depending on what I'm working on, if its a mix I'll find any phase issues/mistakes off the top and resolve those and then make a list of the things that need help and a list of things that I want to showcase. Songwriting and producing, I always start with a good hook and then build around that.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Kenwood mains, KRK near fields. Digi 002 rack with ART pre amps and DBX compressors. Various dynamic and condenser mics. Waves Mercury bundle running in Protools 8, Logic Pro 9 and Logic Pro X on a modified macbook pro.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Writing, producing, composing, arranging, recording, overdubs, mixing and mastering.