Nice to meet you! I have 13 Top10-Songs and 1 Amazon Top10-Album in my vita and love to work with friendly peers. Let's see, if I am the right one to help you with your music!
There are three sides of me:
As a guitar player I am knee deep in American roots music. Blues, Country and more. My heroes and Influences are artists like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Brian Setzer and Chet Atkins. I think, that describes a little, what you have to expect from me, when you hire me to play guitar for you.
As a piano player I play Rock´n Roll Piano. I also love to play Hammond organ. Rocking, bluesy, very "roots".
As a keyboarder and producer, I grew up with 1980´s synthesizer Pop. My major influences are Jan Hammer, Harold Faltermeyer, Pet Shop Boys, Steve Winwood and Mike Batt. Doesn't mean I sound exactly like them, but it is Part of my DNA.
It is hard to put yourself in words. Please take a listen to my Soundcloud account to have a better impression. Thank you!
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Fred Guggenberger
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will work on your song like it would be mine. The same energy, will and action, to make it great.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: When will the damned money arrive? Just kidding! :-) I would love to know your vision of the song, to see, if I can help you.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start with some basic-tracks, and when I got the vocals on it, I throw it all away and start again, haha. Just kidding, but a great singer can really inspire you. You listen to the vocals, read the lyrics and that two things tell you, where everything has to go. I try to hear the finished song in my head in an early stage, and from there I work my way forward. I guess, it makes things much easier, when you have a plan. Doesn't mean, I always stay with that plan. Sometimes there is this wonderful idea, and then you turn everything upside down to make it happen.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am pushing some buttons on a computer and within 30 minutes the job is done.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be as clear as you can, when it comes to describe what you want. Even the greatest producer, mixer or musician could be the wrong one for your vision. People made records that everybody loved, but they hated them. "Its not what I wanted". We all want to make you happy, so give us the chance to see, if we are the right one or not!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fender Stratocaster, iMac, E-MU Emulator IV, my mixer and my ears. Wait a moment! Do they have electricity there? ;-)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Harold Faltermeyer working with Mark Knopfler in an old studio in Memphis.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop with 1980´s influences, Orchestral music and some Americana.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The will to support the song and the artist. Songs tell stories, they express emotions. As a producer and mixer, I want to discover that things and support them. It´s like composing music for a movie: The singer is the actor, the lyrics are the script. Together they tell a story and my production work is the soundtrack. I am not doing "bing-bam-boom" on every song, because I am good in it. The truth is, I don't know, what I will do, until I hear the song. That's when my imagination starts to work and then I start to work.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I started to work in studios in the 1990´s. In those days we were working with analog consoles, outboard gear and a lot of hardware synthesizers and samplers. Cubase was only doing MIDI Recording (on an Atari Computer) and Hard Disc Recorders costed more than a house. So my roots are in a world of hardware and a lot of analog gear (not only). Today, my studio is a wild mix of modern technology and old-timers from the 1980´s. I love both worlds: Analog and Digital. Still I am an old-school guy, which shines through in my way of working. Doesn't mean my work sounds "dated". But I am more interested in the song and what he needs than "creating the sound of this week". Creating and helping you create music that still sounds great in 20 years.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The moment, when everything is done, and I listen to the song again and again.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: We do telephone calls, and because I live in Germany and mostly work with artists from the USA, there is always the question about timezones. Guess nobody wants to make your phone ring at three in the morning, right? I must confess, I did it once. Shame on me.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started to work as an assistant in the early 1990´s. Getting the mixer ready, loading sounds into the sampler ... and asking a hell of questions, haha. Later I did my own recordings, made mistakes and learned from it. I always wanted to make this for a living. The first try send me through hell and back, but later I made it. Its now eleven years or so, that I do this for a living. Can't imagine to go back ...
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Joe Cocker! Its so sad, that he left us. But I feel blessed to have the chance to work with wonderful and highly talented people.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't get lost in EQs and Compressors and decibels and frequency and ... and .... Think about, how you can reach the listeners on an emotional level. That's why we love music!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creating emotions with music, drinking coffee and working in the studio until the sun comes up. Don't know, if these are reasons to be jealous, but that's me.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I would call it a mix of some old-timers and modern equipment. Logic Pro X here, Vintage Sampler there. Virtual Equalizer here, tube microphone there etc.. A wise man once said: "Its not about the gear, its about the ear", and he was right. No matter of that, I love my babies.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Producers: Dave Stewart, Harold Faltermeyer Mixers: Chris Lord Alge, Warren Huart, Dave Pensado and many more. Guitar players: Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Producing and mixing songs, playing guitar on their songs.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: "(I gotta) Move on" with Celestial Blue Music. We worked really long and hard on this song, and her wonderful vocals kept pushing me forward. Kind of "She is so great, I have to give my very best to not fall behind". I don't know, how many versions of the song we did, but there was always this feeling of "You can do that better". I am glad, that we gave us that time, because the finished production was really worth every second we worked longer on it.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am producing songs for a female singer from the states and write music for a sync agency in London.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I am pretty new here, so I did not have the time to check out my peers here. But I am sure, there is a lot of talent to be found here. Amazing!