I have decades of experience in production, starting in analog (before there was digital). I trained under Disney Chief Engineer Don Dorsey. Owned a 24 track studio in Orange/Santa Ana, CA, and have worked with all levels of artists. My focus is always on the song, and what it needs to shine!
I offer everything from songwriter demos (guitar vocals to full band), engineering/Production (singles, EPs, full CDs or whatever floats your boat), Vocal Comping, Vocal Tuning, Mixing your tracks, & Mastering.
I trained under the amazing Don Dorsey (scored and performed the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade) and is the Disney Theme Parks chief engineer. I interned at IAM Studio and Rockshire Records in Orange County, and was blessed to work on the Stevie Wonder "Journey Trough the Secret Life of Plants" record (which was the first digital film soundtrack ever) and also worked with Kenny Loggins.
Since then, I have owned my own 24 Track analog studio and worked with a host of artists at all levels.
I currently am co-owner (with my wife) of The Sound Catchers and AREN Creative. We have a production studio in Nashville, TN and offer a full range of services including demo production, full production and engineering of most styles of music, Artist Services including development, and lots more.
My wife and I are also touring musicians, and so have a view of the industry from both sides of the sword so to speak.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
5 ReviewsEndorse Peter "Ren" Renfree
I contracted Ren to produce a demo for a Christmas song I wrote. All I had for him was a rough recording of me singing it a cappella--and lots of words about how I wanted it to sound. I'll have to say he doesn't have the world's best voice, but his commitment to the project was tremendous. What I liked best about working with Ren is that he was determined to produce the song I wanted, not to make it into his own version of the song (as most other people I have worked with have been prone to do).
I recently completed a CD project with Ren producing and I couldn't be happier! He is skilled, intuitive, patient, and most importantly he listens! He puts the artist first, and never lets his ego get in the way. I always felt like this was my project, or at least ours, and believe me this is rare in Nashville. Ren went way above and beyond what I expected, and his fees were quite reasonable. I am happy to be back in the studio working with him again in his beautiful new state of the art studio. I can't recommend Ren Renfree high enough!!
Ren is the real deal. I had an album project that I'd recorded elsewhere and needed some high-quality mixes and masters of, and I could tell right away that Ren knew his stuff and was going to do an excellent job. His professionalism, his program mastery, his willingness to go inside each song to draw out it's unique character, in open dialogue with me every step of the way... all surpassed my expectations. The price was also very competitive, making it possible to get a great final product without "breaking the bank ." I highly recommend working with Ren, and will be doing so again myself!
Ren produced my first solo project, and it was a wonderful experience. He brought out the best in my performances in the studio, attracted the best players for my budget and for what the songs needed, and listened to and incorporated my input as well as brought his wealth of experience to the final product. The record has received great reviews and played on the radio all around the world, so the quality of his work is one that any artist can count on. Ren will meet you where you are as an artist and help you rise to the next level.
Ren's approach to recording his projects begins with actually the end in sight; what the overall sound and direction the artist is trying to achieve. He incorporates and listens intently to the artist's thoughts and vision for his/her project, whatever the size or scope, and strives to incorporate those elements into his creative production. Start to finish, Ren respects and values the artist's desires and needs to make for a pleasurable, satisfying recording experience with thoughtful direction. He expertly helps artists connect their art to other ears and hearts.
Interview with Peter "Ren" Renfree
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Single and Album Production, Demo Production
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by people who are innovators whether they're artists or engineers/producers.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run Cubase as my primary, and Logic Pro X, ProTools, and Reaper as secondary DAWs. I have an outboard I/o with 18 inputs and a healthy plugins collection. I also have a nice mic locker that let's me get any sound I'm looking for.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It varies by client and project. But the basics are that I like to hear a good number of work tapes from an artist, then narrow down to the appropriate number of songs for the project focusing on creating a story for the project. Then we go to basic tracks and scratch vocals. Then sweetening overdubs... Then final vocals, mix and master.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Hearing a soundscape for a song from a basic work-tape.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, Folk Rock, Folk, Americana, Country, Country Rock, Pop Country, Blues Rock
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't overuse plugins.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Any artist wit a clear and unique vision
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Musical! Lol... The only styles I stay away from are urban styles...Not because I dislike them, but they're just not my wheelhouse.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I studied production in college in 1978, became an artist, got a record seal, lost a record deal, bought a studio, sold a studio, went into Corporate America, Raised a Family, got back into music, became an artist again, started producing.... And here I am today!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Guitar, solar generator, my imac loaded with all my programs, I/o and a mic
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't just settle on the lowest price. Have a dialogue with your producer and make sure they buy into your art, not just want to produce you for the money. This is a relationship, make sure you're compatible.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your goals? What have you accomplished so far? What do you think your next right step is? Why do you want to record your music?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That a producer is a "Star Maker". While sometimes this is true, a producer is really a facilitator and means to getting a sound for your project.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Who have you worked with? This is a good question. I've worked with everyone from A-listers to beginners. How much do you charge? I charge a fair amount based on my level of experience & quality of work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Creating amazing music!!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: The only Promise I make is that I'll do my best to make a production that my client(s) will be proud of.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Because you still have the option of working like you're on analog gear, only with the undeniable functionality and editability of digital.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm finishing an EP for an up-and-coming Americana Artist as well as working on a record project for a Celtic Harpist.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm especially proud of the project I'm currently Mixing for Americana Artist Daniel Neihoff. I'm Producing and engineering this EP project and have worked very closely with the artist to help craft his sound.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The ability to hear what the song needs to make it shine, and then create what I hear.