I am a producer/engineer/mixer based in LA. I have a mix room in my house where I mix most projects. Always looking for new and exciting artists. I have worked in every genre of music from Jazz to Grind core. Great music is not genre specific.
you can see a selected Discography at www.daveschiffmanmusic.com
Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.
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Interview with Dave Schiffman
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The Strumbellas - "Hope". I produced, mixed and engineered the whole record. We made the it self- financed for a very low budget. Glassnote records signed the band and took the record and released it, no changes at all. The song "Spirits" was number 1 in the US, Canada and all over the world. That record helped launch them into the next level. It was all about great songs and great performances. The band could quit their day jobs and now have a very sucessful career touring the world. I couldn't be happier for them.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm wrapping up a record I produced, mixed and engineered for a band called Wildlife.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Always great to record to tape and have the flexibility of editing, manipulation and multiple takes of digital.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always do, to the best of my ability, what is best for your record. I am straightforward and communicative. My word is my bond.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Each project I start is a new chapter. Meeting new people, learning new techniques and approaches. I like to say the best bands and artist are always evolving their style. I try to do the same.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What DAW do you use? Protools.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Theres a plugin to fix that right? Can we just play it once and you can fly it?
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your timeframe, your budget, number of songs to work on, what format (protools, Logic etc). What is the goal of the recording or mix? (record deal, already signed, etc). There's probably at least a couple more questions I would have, but it would depend on the scope of project and how I fit in.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Send demos or rough mixes. It's really important for me to get at least a sense of what you are about.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My speakers (PMC AML2) 2 Neve 1073s, an 1176, protools rig, and an EMT 140.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been making records for 25 yrs. I started as a runner in a studio in NYC at the end of the 80s. I relocated to Los Angeles in '92 and started as an assistant engineer at the world renowned Ocean Way Studios. At Ocean Way, I connected with the legendary producer Rick Rubin. I worked exclusively for Rick for the next 8 years on some amazing records getting a crash course in production and recording techniques. I worked with Rick on all different kinds of music. Everything for Johnny Cash to Nusrhat Feti Ali Kahn to System of a Down, Audioslave, The Mars Volta and The Red Hot Chili Peppers to new a few. From there I began to get offers to produce records on my own as well as engineer for other great producers including Gil Norton, Garth Richardson and Ariel Rechtshaid. With Ariel I won 2 Grammys- Vampire Weekend "Vampires in the City" -2013 best alternative record and Adele "25"- 2016 Record of the Year.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: a combination of old school techniques and new "on the edge" production. I remain open to new ideas and new approaches. I try to check my ego at the door and do whats best for the record.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I have been very fortunate to work with many great artists so far in my career. What I've learned from that is you never know where the next great artist will come from. I try to keep an open mind and hope that everyone I work with will achieve their own greatness. It comes down to the songs. The artist I want to work with could be bagging groceries right now or serving coffee. You just never know. Staying open to greatness is the key.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: always consider your tempo/key when working out a song. Bottom end on faster tracks will always sound different from slower tempos. Be aware of your tempo and build your tracks accordingly. Always consider your key options. Nothing is more boring then a record where everything is in the same key. Variety keeps things interesting.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My discography is very eclectic. These days I'm working on everything from punk rock to pop to alternative to Americana. I love to move around from style to style as it keeps things fresh for me and I'm always learning new things that can be applied to the other genres.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Getting a song together quickly and maintaining focus. Great performances happen when people are in the moment. I always try to be that conduit.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to think I bring the best out of the artist so they realize the song or record they're hearing in their head. I'm not interested in putting my "sound" on anyone. If I can help an artist achieve the sound and songs they want, then the record is a success.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing- I ask for sessions to be cleaned out and flattened. If there's an effect or sound that the artist feels is important to the song, it should be printed. Also its great to have a rough mix. The rough gives me an idea of what the artist might hear as crucial parts to the song and its also a good reference to make sure all needed tracks have been provided. For production, I believe that preproduction is essential. It's important to be able to strip back the songs and see what works and what could be better, figure out the right tempos and key and tweak arrangements so songs are feeling great before we even walk into a studio. This process saves time and money and also keeps the project focused. Once I have the basic track recorded, I like to get into vocals asap. Vocals really tell you what else needs to be added to track and its really helpful to have an inspired vocal to build around. Starting vocals early also takes the pressure off the singer as a lot of productions wait until the very end to do vocals adding stress and sacrificing on what is the primary focus of most songs. Depending on the strength and style of band, I like to track live for the energy and vibe. Once the track feels good I go back and have artist fix or replay whatever isn't sounding right. Once thats complete, I begin overdubs and building track. Every artist and record is different and I try to mold my working style to accommodate whats most comfortable for everyone involved. Great performances come when people and relaxed and feel safe to express themselves. I'm always striving to foster that environment.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My Studio is setup as a control room-recording space in one room. I have a small iso closet that can fit an amp.. But for vocals I like to be in the same room. It makes for quicker and better communication. I renovated my garage to be my studio. I do all my mixing there as all my gear is set up and I know how the room sounds so I can work quickly.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by producers and artists and who driven to be themselves and not chase whatever the current trend is at the moment. Great art comes from within and by showing your true self. David Bowie and Daniel Lanois are two of the best examples among many others.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Producing and mixing are probably the more common type of work but I usually engineer all the records I produce so I really wear all three hats. Sometime I just mix or even just engineer for a few select clients.