Owlwood Studios

Mixing | Mastering | Guitarist

Owlwood Studios on SoundBetter

Southeast based mixing / mastering engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. With 25 years experience in mixing and mastering - including Major Labels, Indie-labels, BBC, PBS - I will take upmost care to make your project sound unique and inspiring.

I'm a mixer, mastering-engineer, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter. I've worked for more than 25 years as a touring and studio musician (guitar, keyboards, vocals, and percussion). I am super-dedicated to creating the best sounds possible, and am certified in Logic Pro X, Avid Pro Tools.

All of my work is 100% guaranteed.

I work in a hybrid studio - with plenty of outboard gear including vintage echo units (Echorec, Space Echo), reverbs (Lexicons, AKG), compressors (Neve, Chandler), and EQ's. I have two tape machines: Studer A80 and Revox PR99 mkII (with transformer upgrades). On the digital end, I use Pro Tools 12, Logic Pro X, Dangerous Converters, Universal Audio Apollo 8, and plenty of plugins. Analog summing through a Studer 962 side-car console.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding custom orders for small or large projects. I do plenty of work for small bands that are just getting started, so don't hesitate to ask about prices for your custom project.

Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Mourning Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Grass Cactus
  • Grass Cactus
  • Grass Cactus
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Niel Brooks
  • Jaywalkers
  • Jaywalkers
  • Jaywalkers
  • Jaywalkers

Interview with Owlwood Studios

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

  2. A: I am especially proud of a mastering project I did recently for the artist, Darby Wilcox. We did a full master for vinyl and separate masters for streaming/digital. They were somewhat of a "rescue" job as the original mix engineer mixed the project as if it were a metal album and refused to send the artist any original tracks/stems for remix. The project came out really well in the end, but I put a lot of hours into it.

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

  4. A: I'm finishing up two projects for singer-songwriters and just started one avant-garde jazz recording with a synth/drum duo.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: There are a few instrumentalists that I do recommend (but will have to answer in specifics later)

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I use both, but I prefer analog because of the its inherent warmth and the ability to push mixes into tape for that glue and cohesion it imparts.

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

  10. A: I promise that I will do my absolute best to make sure every aspect of the recording/mix/master is of the best quality and fidelity.

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

  12. A: I love being a part of the finished product of music: being able to be a part of the moulding and shaping of songs/albums is a major happiness-maker.

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

  14. A: "How quickly can you get this done" ... and the answer usually depends on how well the tracks were recorded, how much attention was paid to phase etc. during tracking.

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

  16. A: Biggest misconception is that we can just push a button here and there and "magic" happens. Or that we can use templates for projects -- I have always found that every project is different, and following any sort of template is a bad idea.

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

  18. A: I always ask for musical references (what they are listening to; songs that they are inspired by; sounds that they'd like their music to follow, if they have any)... and always time-frame and budget.

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

  20. A: My advice would be to ask as many questions as you can. Try to get to know the provider and what their vision is for your specific project.

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

  22. A: If money was no object, they would be: Fairchild 670; an early EMT140 plate reverb; a Neve 1073; Binson Echorec; Fender Telecaster.

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

  24. A: I started as a studio musician (guitar, organ, mandolin) and have had about 25 years of studio experience on all sides of the mixing console.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: My style would be "just on the other side of 'normal'"... I prefer when things are just about to fly apart, but never quite do so. It adds a bit of excitement.

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

  28. A: Norah Jones - I think I could add some ethereal production to her songs, something with a bit more outsider-character and vibe.

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

  30. A: Always check the phase on multi-mic'd instruments... and definitely EQ any/all parallel processes.

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

  32. A: Typically, I work on Americana - rock, blues, singer-songwriter.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: My strongest skill is putting both digital effects and analog equipment together to make an organic final product.

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

  36. A: I have a strong sense of both arrangement and how a mix/master should focus the listener towards those elements - without the listener being aware of heavy-handed mix "tricks".

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

  38. A: I typically listen to an entire recording several times before starting, and I make notes for things I hear that I think should have a light shone on them. I always make notes of where I feel movement in a song is going towards and try to structure the mix/master around those moments.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have a hybrid studio: Studer A80 and Revox PR99 (High Speed) tape machines, Pro Tools 2019, Universal Audio Apollo, and Dangerous Converters/D-Box. I have a large collection of analog effects (Echorec, SpaceEcho, etc)

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

  42. A: Jon Brion and Daniel Lanois are my biggest inspirations. Their musical landscapes and productions are something I always aspire to work towards.

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

  44. A: The most common type of work I do is mixing, which encompasses a lot of editing, time adjusting, etc.

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Mourning Dove - "Vertigo"

I was the Recording, mix engineer, mastering. in this production

Terms Of Service

Typical turn around time is 3-5 days, and we allow up to 2 revisions. Additional revisions may incur extra costs.

GenresSounds Like
  • Fiona Apple
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Wilco
Gear Highlights
  • Studer A80
  • Neve 33609N
  • Dangerous Converters
  • Studer 962 Console (Summing)
More Photos
More Samples
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