Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I have to say I was really pleased to work with James K on "Remember Youth". It has a special character, the tape sound makes it really special I think. It just has a vibe to it ... I'm really happy I was a part of this adventure ! The song "reverse" from Lara Romualdi's first EP is also something a really proud of. I love working with her.
Analog or digital and why?
Both because each one has it's own pros and cons. On the one hand analog has such a special, beautifully imperfect character to it ... yes, it's because it's imperfect that it sounds so unique ! Analog just can't be matched by plugins. Nowadays we're getting very close, but honestly there's just something missing when you're working entirely in the box ... and on the other hand, digital has such a precise and (although a bit cold) honest sound. The best of both worlds is a hybrid system for me.
What do you like most about your job?
The contact with artists and the smile on their face when they hear the final mix. It's an incredible journey every single day !
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How old are you ? - I'm 20 years old.
Isn't it a bit young for doing this job the right way ? - Try me out, you'll see it's not ;).
How are you going to help me ? - By focusing on your objectives, bringing my expertise and help you answer your questions. It's all about you and what you want to achieve
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working with a movie producer (good friend of mine) on the composition of a small soundtrack for an indie movie. I'm also working on a new album for the band Homaze (my band !)
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Yoad Nevo, who also happens to be one of my favourite mixing engineers and producers. He's got a very opened mindset that affects his sound and he's overall a great and very talented engineer.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To focus on what you want to achieve and to always give a 150% dedication to your project whatever it might be.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Sometimes people think I'm a magician or something. Of course, my job is to help make the music sound the best as it can possibly sound. The thing is, I can't fix everything. For example, if someone gives me a very unbalanced, unpleasent mix, I can't fix it during mastering. It might sound slightly better but it probably won't match the client's expectations.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What is your main objective for this project ? How do you want it to sound ?What do you need specifically ? (songwriting assistance, lyrics ideas, a complete song idea, mixing, mastering, if you need mixing or mastering what is it you need me to send back to you ? Only an .Mp3 ? An Acapella, instrumental, radio edit and full version both in .WAV and .Mp3 ?) Are you happy with the result ? If not, can you tell me what's wrong so I can make revisions ? Do you need anything else ?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Search for someone who corresponds to your needs. If you feel like a specific provider can help you reach your goals, go for it, try them out, assess their services and give them feedback so they can get better. If the collaboration works well for you, then you know you can come back to work with this person again !
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My ears. And maybe some paper and a pen. I doubt I could use anything electronic on the long run on a desert island ;).
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been doing this for the past 5 years and I'm planning on doing it all my life. I started alone, with a bunch of stock plugins, my monitors and YouTube tutorials in 2010. Now I'm studying at Berklee Online to obtain a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in Music Production & Technology.
How would you describe your style?
Genuine and fun-based. If it wasn't fun, there wouldn't be any passion.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
It's hard for me to pick only one amongst all of the artists I dream of working with. But I'd say Sam Smith because his voice has to be a gift from the angels, his musicality is really powerful and emotionally taking and also because he seems to be a very nice person.
Can you share one music production tip?
Listen to your heroes and idols and try to copy them. You'll never be able to do exactly what they do and that's a fact, however you will integrate a part of their sound and vibe to yours. THAT is useful.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I've worked in genres like Pop-rock, Hard rock, Pop-punk, Hip-Hop, Jazz ... Recently I've worked on Lara Romualdi's "Reverse" single, which is more like a Pop Rock style production.
What's your strongest skill?
Listening. My ears are my best partner. I know I'm good at listening to music, analysing structures, chords, etc. (of course, my perfect pitch ability helps for that) but also at listening to people. I don't play deaf and take everything my clients say into account.
What do you bring to a song?
I make it sound how it is supposed to. If someone wants to sound a certain way, I take my best shot at making it happen. I also bring my personal vibe, which I guess is kind of a blend between mellow and histerycal ... and my sound. Everyone sounds a certain way either musically or sonically. I bring a touch of my personal taste to productions when the client seems to appreciate it. I put my emotions in the process to make everything stick together, because it's a fact... no emotions, no music.
What's your typical work process?
I listen to the material, I talk with the client, I listen to them, I try to understand where they want to get sonically, emotionally, lyrically with the song and lead the way afterwards. Depending on the client's desire, I focus on certain parts more than others if they feel a specific element doesn't work out the way it is.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I'm currently using an Apollo-Dangerous Dbox combination for analog summing and monitoring. I insert my outboard gear through both machines (ouput of the Apollo into outboard, output of outboard to Dbox input via XLR to DB25, goes back to Apollo input 1-2). I have a Manley Vari-Mu compressor that I use mostly for mastering and an SSL X-series compressor for buss compressing. My Universal Audio 4-710d preamp is hooked directly to the Apollo via ADAT connection for recording. I mostly record vocals, guitars, sometimes bass. The bass I also record using my RBI bass from SansAmp
I also have other machines such as the Rupert Neve Master Buss Processor and the Fosucrite Red 3 on the road, should arrive next month if everything goes well. I use KRK monitors, although I'm planning on various upgrading possibilities for the next few months or so.
I'm planning on changing the setup but it shouldn't bother my workflow.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Whoa, that's a tricky one ! Number one mixing engineer for me would probably be Chris Lord Alge, although I really try to learn from everyone. For example, I also like Dave Pensado's approach to mixing. I like the way Manny Maroquin worked on John Mayer's "Continuum" album too, really there are many of professionals I'm trying to learn from. I like the french touch that Fab Dupont brings to whole productions as well.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most of the work I've done so far is really writing with artists, add vocals on certain projects, mix and master or producing whole tracks. I usually record guitars, synths, bass and drums in addition to vocals. Depends on what the client is looking for.