Hi, I'm Oliver a producer/musician focused on artists and the art in music. Working out of my London studio I produce records that centre around live musicians, modern techniques, old school gear and positive vibes. Credits include echobelly, James & Paul McCartney and a number 3 album in Germany with Phillip Boa & the Voodooclub (Warner/Cargo).
In an industry where commercial success is often valued above creativity my focus is on interesting ideas and musical integrity. Great ideas are the best ingredients for great music, it's all too easy to get lost in the technical aspects of record making and lose sight of the goal. From the first creative spark to a radio ready record we can work together to make your single, EP or album something to be proud of.
For 22 years I was a professional touring/session bass player, mostly for songwriters and indie bands, and I started producing around 10 years ago. Having been part of the record making process with artists I played for as a hired musician I was able to learn by watching legendary producers including Paul McCartney, Youth, David Kahne (Grammy Award Winner), Ian Grimble & Liam Watson (Grammy Award Winner). I use the highlights from these experiences in my own approach, to stay focused on the outcome and always put the music first.
I offer all my services online too. Mixing, bass playing, producing, programming, instrumentals, songwriting - please just ask.
My London studio is a great space full of positive vibes. I have the latest industry standard software combined with all the character and benefits that classic old school gear brings to the party.
Looking forward to hearing about your music.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
2 ReviewsEndorse Oliver McKiernan
Great producer. Listens to your opinions, captures your sound and then improves it. Very professional and a fast worker. Doesn’t make a bad coffee either.
A great producer who helped us record and mix our band's latest EP. It sounds fab and we had lots of fun making it and trying new ideas out at his studio. Couldn't be happier!
Interview with Oliver McKiernan
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Give me as much background info as you can. Demos, rough recordings of songs, a list of reference tracks, any old bands/recordings you've been involved with... if you play any instruments. Tell me what the songs are about and any thoughts you have about how you want them to sound. If you're local then come over for a coffee and a chat first. The more I can 'get you' as an artist and a person the better I can help make your record be amazing.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Alternative, arty, indie, soulful... edgy, dark and fun.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with a new, exciting and unknown artist who's got killer songs and an open mind.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: It's all about the song. Always start by making sure this is absolutely as good as it can possibly be. The rest of the job will naturally fall into place once it's right.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My background is with songwriters and bands. Although I do often program parts for tracks it is mostly recordings with real instruments and musicians that I love the most. That said I do often program parts when it's the right thing to do so I keep an open mind and love my plugins!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Fine tuning a song and getting together the perfect arrangement with excellent performances. After that the rest will naturally fall into place.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It's a bit different with everyone and the process should be guided by conversations and the experiences of the artist in question. Get in touch and I'll always give a considered reply that is tailored to you and where you're coming from artistically.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a 400 sq ft live and control room set up. Big enough for 4 or 5 people to work comfortably. I have nice guitar amps, piano, organ, drums, vintage mixing desk and cutting edge software. The space it's self is designed to be homely and quirky.. like the music I love to work on.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Working with echobelly was great. It was the first time I got to combine my bass playing with skills I'd developed as a producer. They're a brilliant band with multiple chart hits and a really strong balance of artistic integrity and commercial appeal.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Setting up a social enterprise record label to put great recordings into the hands of those less able to afford top level studios and music production.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes, dozens and dozen of the musicians I have met over the last 20 or so years are on here. Choosing the right one for the right project is part of my job as a producer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I use both. The advantage of using a program like Protools in undeniable.. it's amazing for editing, mixing and recording. Analog gear will bring character, depth and vibe to a record that digital simply can't.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: The work I do for you will likely end up with my name on it too. It's just not productive or helpful for either of us if I'm anything less than 100% committed to doing the work to the absolute best of my ability. I really want the music to be ace and I'll go the extra mile to make sure of it.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That every single day is different and I go home feeling lucky.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you use autotune? Sometimes and only judiciously.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That making records can be done quickly. Working to deadlines is critically important but without an appropriate amount of time it's often just not possible to do the necessary amount of work to make a record sound amazing.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make a list of a few different producers who's work you like and talk to them all. They'll likely all be good at their job so just find someone you click with.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic guitar, piano, dictaphone, sandwich, wine.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Been a professional musician for 22 years. It's all I've ever done. The first bit of my career was as a touring bass player.. got my break playing for James McCartney and working with Paul McCartney. Toured the world and played on Letterman, recorded at Abbey Road twice and worked with a dozen of the best producers in the business. I played bass in Britpop band echobelly for 5 years (they've had 8 top 10 singles and 2 top 10 albums) and ended up mixing some of their most recent album. I've been producing for 10 years, have numerous plays on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, Virgin Radio, Absolute Radio and recently scored a BBC 6 Music Song of the Week with Jess Reid's 'Heavy Heart.' I work almost every day at my studio producing, mixing and writing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 22 years experience of making records at the highest level. I've been both a musician in the room and the producer on 'the other side' for countless records. I'm here to be objective and do the best thing for the music. I have a very strong background with songwriters and bands and love the whole record making process... a lot!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: This changes a lot and I'm often most excited by the thing I'm working on at any given moment. I genuinely love a lot of different stuff. I think it's important to take influence from the world outside of music too - why not take inspiration for a guitar part from a great painter? Or try and borrow something from a designer to inject into a mix?
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Full track production, songwriting & mixing. I also often contribute bass, guitar, programming, keys or drums to the arrangement when appropriate too.