Hello! Welcome to my Sound Better profile. My name is Mark Caldwell and I have been a bass player, singer, engineer and producer for over 15 years. I got my start in South Florida, but now I live in Music City: Nashville, Tennessee. I can't wait to get to know you and work on some great music together!
I started playing bass guitar at the age of 14 and got into local gigging at 16. I haven't stopped since! Currently I am the touring bassist and background vocalist for Sony Nashville artist Tyler Farr (A Guy Walks into a Bar, Redneck Crazy, Whiskey in my Water)
Prior to moving to Nashville, I was the head engineer and producer at Bieler Bros. Studio in Pompano Beach, FL where I manned a 60 channel Neve console, a premium mic selection and a full range of outboard gear working on the music of some of the most incredible talent in South Florida.
I offer a range of services: I can track bass guitar for your song, I can produce tracks with or without a top line, I can mix, remix or add additional instrumentation, and I can provide custom, full service records tapping into the unparalleled pool of talent here in Nashville.
Please check out my website for more info and samples: www.mtc-productions.com
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Mark Caldwell
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: It's a cop out, but both. I think that after a while of doing this, the decision of when to use what becomes more clear cut. Digital is great because of the instant recall ability and the flexibility of MIDI, etc. However, there are still some things that digital can't do that analog can. It's a matter of taste, access and practicality in my opinion.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will be relentless and work on your music as though it were my music. After all, both of our names go on it!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That the money and gear is all that separates pros from amateurs.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be as forthcoming and detailed as possible. The more understanding I have of your situation and wants, the better the final product will be. Also: being organized helps a great deal. It lowers the cost and hastens the turnaround time!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What was your vision for the track/album? What are you hoping to achieve? Do you have any references you'd like me to listen to? Technical questions: BPM, sample rate/bit depth, file type, etc.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A hip hop track for a friend and client of mine in Suriname, as well as some Country Rock here in Nashville.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Helping someone realize their vision and dream. Being creative. Being my own boss.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Shure SM57 (could also use it as a hammer), Pro Tools DAW, Apogee Duet, Shure SRH840 cans, Martin acoustic
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Modern, clear, engaging
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The song is everything. Don't get caught up in microphone this, compressor x, preamp that, etc. Focus on great songwriting and an inspired performance.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is being relentless. I don't stop until I'm happy and the client is happy.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My full, undivided attention and years of experience from working on a range of music in a large format studio.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Rock, Country, Singer/Songwriter, Hip Hop
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: For mixing/production/mastering: I'm currently on Pro Tools 11, with a Mac Mini Quad Core i7 and an Apogee Quartet as my interface/monitor station. I'm using Neumann KH120s with a bypass-able 10" Presonus Temblor subwoofer, AKG K702s and Shure SRH 840s for monitoring. I have API, Apogee and BLA pres, Shure SM7b/KSM137/KSM44 microphones, Mojave MA-201 and access to practically endless gear here in Nashville. I use Waves Mercury bundle, iZotope Ozone 6, IK Multimedia Amplitube 3 and CS Shop plugins and many many more. My room is acoustically treated and ready to roll. For bass guitar work: Roscoe SKB3005 swamp ash/maple top with Nordstrand pickups, Fender P-Bass V, Music Man Sterling, and a Spector Legend with EMGs soap bars. I have Aguilar, Fender and Gallien-Krueger amplification with GK, Avatar and Fender cabs that I can mic up. For pedals I have Tech 21 SansAmp DI, Electro Harmonix Bass Synth, Boss Bass Chorus, EBS Multi-comp and more. I have extensive bass amp modeling plugins as well. I can mic up a cab, go direct in with a Countryman 85 DI or provide both into excellent Apogee converters.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Song production, bass guitar, mixing and mastering
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First and foremost I talk with the client. I want to know what their vision is and how we can achieve it together. Then I set about cleaning up and organizing any files to get the session ready. From there I get an overall mix balance, and then fine tune the frequencies, transitions, levels and overall flow to create an engaging mix. For bass, I listen to the song a few times to get the feel and then work with it until I have something ready to lay down. Then I track a few takes and comp if necessary.