Infectious Guitar, Lush Vocals, Arranging, Producing, Mix & Mastering
I have been a session player for live and studio work for many years providing electric & acoustic guitar sounds. My background is broad stylistically and although capable of playing intricate solos at blistering speeds, I subscribe to writing the correct part for a track vs. something flashy; but if it requires flashy, I'm all in. I have countless hours behind the console as an engineer for tracking, mixing and mastering since mid-80's in all formats, old school tape through current DAW's and I have the specs to mix for CD, Radio and Spotify requirements. My vocal abilities include lead and background work, however my biggest strength is "the lost art of vocal arranging" which is my signature sound. I have been successful at songwriting for TV, Film and gaming for sync placement opportunities. I currently have music that has been accepted by Discovery and USA networks and I continue to write for clearing houses and media libraries. My example song "When The Rains Fall" has been delivered to numerous radio stations in over 25 countries; including in-store opportunities for McDonald's, Taco Bell & Hilton Hotels. For this song as well as my extra song samples, I wrote / arranged / performed all of the music, vocals, tracked mix and final master. The DeadWater Songs are examples of work for hire where I did guitars, bass, vocals, mix & master.
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5 ReviewsEndorse Alan LoPresti
Alan is a great guy, his turnaround time is fast and he will go the extra mile in order to get the sound you want.
Definately recommend working with him!
I recently had the pleasure of working with Alan on a project that required creative, technical guitar work, as well as digital audio and video recording expertise. This project included dozens of expert-level musicians and I can say, without a doubt, that his performance truly stood out. His musical and technological abilities are astounding. He is a wealth of knowledge and creativity. If I had to pick a specific strength, Alan has an uncanny ability to take direction and return with jaw-dropping results. I had a difficult time selecting from the cache of perfect ideas for my project.
Working with Alan is quite an experience both musically and technically and he is a master of his many talents.
Whether I am on the phone discussing music with him or sitting in the studio, it's always a learning experience with Alan.
He has great insight to the mechanics of music as well as the technical aspect of instruments, amplifiers, electronics, microphones and software.
I would highly recommend Alan for any aspect of your music whether you need a guitar player, a bass player, a vocalist you or an engineer to mix and or master your music Alan is the guy to call.
This dude is world class! Singing, guitar, songwriting, production, etc... He does it all. His endless pursuit of great music (and his ability to achieve that goal) is contagious. Every time I work with him, my product as a remote drummer is improved. You just can't lose with this guy!
Alan is a stellar musician who stops at no end to make any piece of music excellent. His skills far exceed just playing. In addition to his playing, his production skills are second to none. I am always honored to work with Alan, as he ups my game by virtue of his enthusiasm and undeniable skills. I highly recommend!
Interview with Alan LoPresti
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: STOP recording parts loud! The most important aspect to digital recording is tracking parts in the sweet spot. The analog days are long gone and 0vu equals -18dbfs!!!! Most people record in the digital world too loud which causes a mix issues such as loosing dynamics. Before you can seriously mix a song, it has to be tracked properly; my recommendation is track parts with the target average volume around -18 dbfs, and allowing peaks up to -12 dbfs.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is very broad, but if I had to lock in on a specific genera, it would be progressive rock.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Eyes to the sky and keep an open mind; do not "cement" anything until the final mix is sent; definitely think outside of the box.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Steven Wilson. His music is broad and leaves many open areas to be creative vocally and musically. But, also. Joe Satriani; would love the opportunity to shred with him on a track.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Progressive rock has been the main area in the vein of Porcupine Tree for guitar followed by background vocals. I have the ability to create wide vocal textures and that seems to be something that interests many artists lately.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening. I am patient and I listen to what the client wants and deliver accordingly. My second is communication. I believe in "be available and in constant communication". My cell is always with me and I take the time to make sure everyone I work with has my contact info and can call / txt anytime and if I'm not available, I will promptly get back.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: DeadWater music! The songs were written in the Porcupine Tree style where I was able to write very inspiring vocal leads, backgrounds as well as showcase many different guitar styles for both rhythm and lead parts. Once the songwriter Andrew Blatz (owner) heard my test mixes showing my parts, I then was asked if I would be interested to be the mix and mastering engineer which this project alone has garnered more work because of it! www.deadwatermusic.com.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am writing for sync placement through my online accounts as well as with a Nashville based company called "song placement pros". Additionally, I am writing for my own music for Spotify, itunes etc. and Radio with good success. I have recently had music delivered to Discovery and USA networks for sync placement as well as 2 songs for worldwide radio which has included many in-store radio for establishment such as Taco Bell, McDonalds and Hilton Hotels. I am also working as a session vocalist, guitarist, mix / master for the DeadWater catalog of music. Finally, working with Mark Corradetti on 3 different collaborative projects.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Mark Corradetti. Mark and I have worked on one of my tracks as well as we are currently working on a few collaborative projects. Mark is the quintessential and consummate musician, session player and human being.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. To record the equivalent in the analog world requires 10X the money exponentially in gear and space. Yes, analog is undeniable; for example, 24 track 2" tape at 30 ips has a very distinctive sound that is rarely captured in the digital world. but who has the calibration tapes, oscilloscope, tone generator, volt meter to properly maintain a 24 track 2" machine? How has the knowledge to properly align the tape and set the bias? the digital world allows for people who know nothing about the science of recording to take advantage of the "plug and play" environment yielding 99.9% of the same quality. Is it analog? no, but the person can create ART and not have to worry about being an engineer using Digital. Is digital failsafe? no, there are do's and don'ts but recording Digital is a much better "lesser of evil" plus exponentially more affordable as well as collaborative with other small project studios. Finally, software for digital has improved to the point even if you are NOT an engineer and you use EQ, comp or mastering "templates" you are 90% on your way. Analog offers nothing in that respect.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will listen and communicate through out the process keeping the song "customer centric". I enjoy the creative process, but default to what the client wants. Within reason, I will recut, remix until the client is happy.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Freedom to create something from nothing. Blank canvas is very therapeutic and at the end of the day, the ability to construct songs from either nothing or initial writing concepts is a wonderful feeling.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you think you can do this? YES. How quickly can you cut my vocal or guitar track? It all depends on how you like the part. If you like the part I am writing, then in a few days. How long will it take you to mix my track? About 3 days for the first concept mix, then 7 to 10 more days with revisions based on your (client) perspective. How many mix's will you provide? Within reason, as many as it takes. Can you write Rap? No.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That fairy dust magically fly's from my fingertips. I practice 2 to 3 hours a day to maintain my abilities as well as learn new things about music whether it's a riff, scale or progression etc. I study as hard as I write for people so that I can be better at what I do. Unfortunately, everyone I know just thinks I wake up and never have to practice. The other biggest misconception is that hit songs can only be recorded in multimillion dollar studios. A hit song can be written on a single acoustic guitar using 1 microphone on a laptop in a coffee shop. period.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your music goals and where do you want music to take you?
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic guitar, SM7B microphone, Discrete 8 preamp w/ converter, Mac computer, headphones; this way I could still write songs.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been playing guitar for 41 year and working sessions in either my studio or other project studios for 34 years. I would like to make this my primary means to making my living. I am currently a director of research for a chemical company. Yes, I am a geek too...but a creative geek!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: CREATIVITY! No matter if it's a simple to complex guitar parts, background to lead vocals, I give multiple concepts so that the client can choose direction. My other skills are from the technical side including the proper use of EQ, compression, FX, mixing techniques and final mastering relative to the various delivery formats and specs.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Create the session file based on the client's needs whether I am sending stems or mixing the final song. I typically cut a few scratch ideas and send to the client for discussion, and when we align concepts, cut final part(s). In most cases, I am able to get quick alignment and have final tracks ready in 3 to 5 working days. Mixing / mastering typically takes more time because the mix "develops" and I prefer the client to take a mix and "test" it on multiple formats before making final decisions. It is quite common to send multiple mixes before reaching the end process. As far as mastering, this is all predicated upon final delivery relative to "spotify or digital download" vs. CD vs. Radio. I support multiple masters for the client based on delivery and relative industry standards (Film, TV, Radio etc. ).
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Very clean capture using industry standard microphones (Shure SM7B, Royer Ribbon R-121, Soundeluxe U97 and EV RE-20) into either an API 512C/527/550A, Focusrite ISA2 preamp or Antelope Audio Discrete 8 mic pre & converter. For recording guitars, I have custom built Tom Anderson, Fender Tele, Kiesel Baritone Vader, Babicz Spider and Rickenbacker 4003 either direct into a Fractal Audio FX II or various tube amps using either a single EV12L or 4X12 loaded with V30's (circa early 1990's). I use a 12 core Mac computer with the host program as Digital Performer 9.51 with ~2K invested in Waves, IK multimedia, Izotope plugins for mixing / mastering. Finally, having flat response monitors (Mackie HR-824 Mk 1) help to ensure mixing is radio ready.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chris Lord Alge for mixing, Ian Shepard & Bob Katz for mastering, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) for songwriting & creative aspects, Eric Johnson for harmonic chord writing, Joe Satriani for writing the infectious guitar hooks.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most common is writing guitar and vocal parts to songs as well as final mix & master work.