Analog or digital and why?
Analog for the simple feel of the whole thing. Some things just can't be done with digital (yet).
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
Besides offering a free revision (which is hardly ever needed), I'll listen to you. I'll make suggestions based upon my experience - but I ultimately work for you. My job is to make sure YOU, the client, are blown away by your experience.
What do you like most about your job?
I truly love music. Being an artist myself, I find joy in taking a simple idea written on an instrument and turning the whole thing into a production heard by thousands or millions.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can I make it loud?
Of course I can! But does that allow your song to tell the story? Is the production going to pop out at your ears for the right or wrong reasons?
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I get asked a lot if I can fix something totally out of my control. There is a crazy amount of things I can do to make your mix line up with prior expectations, but sometimes it's better to just go back and re-track the mistake.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I always ask two questions before beginning any work: Do you have a previous song mixed I can listen to, and are you going for that same sound?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure you are comfortable with who you're working with. Just like any service, I need to know what your vision is for the project. Communication is everything.
Secondly, make sure the audio engineer is willing to spend time on your project and not treat it like another payday.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Microphone, Mic Cable, Guitar, 8 Track Recorder, and an endless supply of electricity!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been an audio engineer for 12 years now. It's what I do for a living. My goal is to work with more major artists, while delivering the same quality mixes to artists/bands that don't have the $80,000 studio budget. A lot of great songs can benefit from a professional mix. They deserve the same as the big label releases.
How would you describe your style?
Quick mixing decisions, based upon years of wisdom.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Zac Brown Band. These guys are always finding new ways to bend the genre they're in. They're not about perfecting the music sonically speaking, but making sure the emotion and performance are delivered perfect.
Can you share one music production tip?
Perfect the performance first, then make the record. Don't depend on the mix to fix it.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I've had a lot of experience in Contemporary Country and Rock, but I enjoy working on killer Pop and Christian tracks as well.
What's your strongest skill?
Patience. It's a necessity when making sure your customer is happy. It's not always easy to understand where someone is coming from. Maybe they know exactly what they want to hear in their head, but it's not translating into words. I can decipher that pretty well.
What do you bring to a song?
When to let the song breathe dynamically, and when to help it along. Again, it's all about delivering the message of the song through music.
What's your typical work process?
I like to know where the client is coming from. What are their musical influences? Where does their vision for the mix sit? If I know this ahead of time, it gives me the ability to deliver the perfect mix - the first time.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I work in Cubase 7, using a Neve Console, along with many styles of analog and digital compressors. Some of my favorites are the Neve EQ, TubeTech Compressors, and Slate Digital plugins.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I enjoy both simple productions from the 1970's Singer/Songwriter era and today's music that involves doubling up on every track to make the song sound fuller. Dave Pensado is a huge influence, because he follows his insticts and doesn't overthink the mixing process. I like to let my actions be guided by the emotion I receive from the song.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The most common work I perform is for clients who are taking that next step and wanting a solid product to offer their fans. They've dabbled in the recording world for a couple years, but are now ready to release music that competes with the major labels on radio - mixes that pop through the stereo speakers.