I was born and raised in the UK but have lived in the US for the last 16 years.
I started as a Teaboy at Matrix Studios in London. I progressed through the ranks and became a staff engineer. I worked for Sony, at Whitfield Street Studios before moving to the US to become chief engineer at Allaire Studios in Shokan NY.
In 2006 I decided to go freelance.
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- Ray LaMontagne
- Rachael Yamagata
- Bette LaVette
- My Morning Jacket
- Sean Lennon
- Mercury Rev
- The Flaming Lips
- Madeleine Peyroux
- Duke McVinnie
- Willy Mason
- Kemp & Eden
- Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
- Rhett Miller
- Lizz Wright
- Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
- Martha Wainwright
- Glenn Jones
- Mandy Moore
- Cassandra Wilson
- Norah Jones
- Nicolai Dunger
- Etiene Daho
- Me'shell N'degeocello
- Bishop Allen
- Colin Ruel
- Nina Violet
- Nervous Cabaret
- Johnny Society
- Susana Baca
- Rebekka Bakken
- Alyssa Graham
- Fat White Family
- Joseph Arthur
- Life In A Blender
- Jemima James
- Lady Gaga
- Black Lips
- Insecure Men
- Lilly Allen
- Willow Smith
- Holly Miranda
- Lana Del Ray
- Leslie Mendelson
- Living Colour
- The Nude Party
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Interview with Matthew Cullen
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just finished tracking new Black Lips album ( currently being mixed by Chris Coady ) and finished mixing Holly Miranda's next record.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Ultimately............ I'm not sure how much it matters..... I like to track with a great console and great gear but, at the end of the day, it's about the music.......... If the medium is your only message then you needed to spend more time on the music...... a good song that is poorly recorded is way more listenable than a terrible song recorded well........ I think people miss the point a lot of the time and see Analogue recording as some kind of badge of "authenticity" ......... There were plenty of terrible records made in the all analogue days!! Really though..... I don't really care.... I can make a great sounding recording with whatever medium you have at your disposal.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I would like you to be happy with the end result.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It's usually not like a " job"
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How did I meet......?? Ask me !!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: It's all computers......
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you hope to achieve with this project ?? What's your time frame for completion ?? Budget ?? Can you promote it ??
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Why me ??
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out as a teaboy at Matrix Studios in London in the early 90's........worked my way through the ranks up to engineering sessions and then moved to Sony / Whitfield Street........Moved to the US in 2001 and was chief engineer at Allaire Studios in NY... Freelance since 2006.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm pretty easy going but I'll have a strong opinion if you want / need one....... I like to have fun when I work.....I guess my style is......I dunno...... Rich in the mids and low end and not too bright.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If the track has a vocal....it's usually about serving the vocal...
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've worked with a lot of indie bands and solo artists..... and quite a lot of Jazz....
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm really organised and calm. I can work under all sorts of situations....long hours, weird schedules, strong personalities.....
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I want it to be the best that it can....and if that means muting the orchestra that you spent a fortune on then......we'll mute it !!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depends what the project is..... Recording.....?? I ask questions in advance to get a feel for the vibe of the project. I'll set things / people up in whatever way is most conducive to getting the best performances....we can work whatever schedule suits to get the work done.... I like to mix on my own with input at key moments.......People often send me stuff to mix and , through a process of sending versions, email and telephone we get the job done.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My room is a hybrid digital and analogue situation. It's really only used for mixing / writing.......There's plenty of analogue effects, and a TLA tube console to mess around with.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm primarily a recording and mixing engineer....and all that that entails.....