Record Producer & Mix Engineer for your album. If you can give me good work, I can deliver you a great record. Winner Best Music Score WildSound 2011 for "Unrepentant" (film composer)
Doing it ALL on your record makes no sense at all. It may have said you can on the DAW box. While technically true, you are a specialist in your craft, you don't want or need to be a specialist in other people's crafts. Painters don't pretend to be plumbers. David Bowie used Producers (and was one for LouReed).
I can be involved in your project from early on to ensure that you are always building great songs that will make an even better record. We share mp3 and discuss what needs to be done to build a great record. That can be anything from Arrangements to taking Singing Tuition or hiring in a Trombonist. I won't know till I'm hearing your stuff.
It is never about hitting someone else's formulas. Drake's fans aren't your fans - you can't siphon them off. Same with Iron Maiden or George Strait. You need to make your unique record so your unique fans can find you. This means finding what makes you unique as an artist and building from that. You can't buy fans but you can make them by delivering something that shows your unique passion in the real world (Bandcamp & your Website).
Rates: $500 per song or $5,000 per album incl Mix & Master (digital formats).
We start by talking to understand each other and go from there. I will always be honest with you. Genre is not an issue for me.
Have a great Story? I'm interested and can work with you.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Benedict Roff-Marsh
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I tend to feel that way about everything I work on. If I am not engaged then I try not to start it in the first place. I am really proud of a few thing I keep in my Portfolio despite the flaws. I took failing mixes and drew out the real performances. One was a fellow who drowned everything in layers of overdrive & compression plugins but once I got the file over I stripped everything away and just as my intuition told me, there was a stunning song in there. Sadly he was too in-constant to deliver the record he should have. The other was a couple of covers done in a charity space with differently-abled people. The guy was deaf and had cerebral palsy. I just had to use the full weight of autotune but if you really listen, his performance of the song is amazingly tender. I am also very proud of the book I put together. It is a whole overview of what an Independent musician needs to know to put themselves in a place where success is possible (fame is never guaranteed). That and all the other articles & video tutorials I do are a labor of love as I learn more about what great music is and how it is made.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: An album of mine which is a sequel with a more definite storyline. So that makes it a full-blown Concept record. I am also making a video for the whole thing. Learning to do simple animation in a movie editor is like sequencing in a DAW only not. I won't be giving up Music any time soon but it is an experience and pushing into a new area that I have always wanted is worth it.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: not that I know of yet
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Who cares. That is for children who don't know better and want to avoid knowing what really makes great records. Rod Stewart's "A Night on the Town" is an analog record and it is great. Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" was completely digital recording (with a DX-7 and Synclavier) and it is great. Judas Priest's "Firepower" sounds great but is a poor record.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: If you give me a good performance (passion) then I can deliver you a great record. Conversely every bit you shave off, the worse the record becomes. It is a compounding thing. Good becomes great. Average becomes meh.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Music. Oh and projects. I love projects. Starting them, understanding how they work, how they can be made better. And seeing them done with my name on them and being proud we got there.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: How much does it cost? A: Wrong Q. What are you prepared to pay? That is in cash & blood, sweat & tears. Q: What gear do you use? A: Wrong Q. It doesn't matter if you drive a Mazda or a Honda. You are driving. Q: Why can't I just leave it like that (or why don't you fix it in post)? A: I wish we didn't have to do it again but if you can't get passion on tape and you still want a great record we'll have to go again. If you asked me for a great record then I assume you still want a great record, even if you aren't having a great day. That is what you hired me to do. And I will keep doing it until we get there or one of us dies. I will be relentless because that is what you hired me to do.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That a Record Producer is a kid sitting around with a stolen copy of Ableton & some Plugins making terrible performances into compelling records. That making records is a solo occupation. That great records are easy to make.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the Story? Why are you doing this? What are you prepared to do to get there?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be ready. Be willing. Have courage. And then get in and do that thing. The thing you are really there to do which means that the results may not be what you came in expecting at all. Kenny Rogers didn't plan on being a Country Singer but he was one of the best singers of several generations. Details don't matter. Passion & Truth do.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: This island better have electricity. A powerful computer running Propellerheads Reason. Nice Speakers. A chair. I'm done.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 30+ years. We didn't have college courses when I left school. There was a private course but all the studio guys said don't do it. I later knew why ;-) Back then you started as a Tea Boy and worked to Tape Op, and finally got to Engineer a midnight session. I was lucky in blagging my way into a one-man studio where the guy made AM Radio jingles. I didn't feel lucky at the time (what with it not being Rock Bands) but I do now because of those adverts having to be tight in every way. Also, it set me on the path of being a Synthesist (and then Composer) as everyone who came in was afraid of the synths so I decided it would be clever to be good at them.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Direct. I won't tell you "you are a superstar" when you can't sing. That is sugar coating the truth. Truth is one of the world's most valuable commodities so scarce. If you can put real truth on a record then you are winning right there because most wannabes are too scared to tell the truth.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Alan Parsons, Giorgio Moroder or Iva Davies of Icehouse. All very classy Producers & Musicians with great track records.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't overcook it. If you can do it with one Plugin then why use thirty-eight? All that does is hide your performance. If your performance is really that bad then do it again.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Music with Passion that the performer is prepared to put on tape. Genre isn't my concern. Passion is. Country, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop... I don't care. That is for the marketing dept. to obsess over. It isn't what artists do.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The (Aspie's) ability to see the big picture but to work on small details. Knowing all the time that all the little details are only there to sell the song.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The ability to help the artist bring their passion out through every aspect of the song. Not a great singer? Don't worry, sing it to rip my guts out and we're winning. I will make an artist be honest. It may be hard at the time but that honest performance is what will make a great record. The world doesn't need any more faux singers.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Find the story in the material then work out how to make it shine through. I don't like to do anything before the story of the song makes sense. Otherwise, anything thrown at the track makes no sense and is therefore probably doing damage.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I like to keep it simple. I have had banks of synths but nowadays that is just so inefficient. Sure they can sound great but so can software if you know what you are doing. A Moog Modular playing crappy notes will never sound as special as a freeware VST with a great performance.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Alan Parsons, Mutt Lange, Gary Numan, Vangelis, Iron Maiden, George Benson... It could be a long list. The thing that impresses me most is Professionalism. Bringing something unique that only that artist, mix engineer or producer can. People who try to siphon off the success of others turn me off big-time.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Work out where their strengths are and how to build that into a record that shows off their special thing. Sometimes that may not be where people think it is. Finding the real Special in the act and getting that on-tape is the beginning of a career to be proud of.