Josh Kaler

Producer * Mixer * Pedal Steel

starstarstarstarstar
25 Reviews (13 Verified)
Josh Kaler on SoundBetter

Hi! I'm a music guy in Nashville, TN. I've been lucky enough to record with artists such as Butch Walker, Marc Scibilia, Sierra Hull, Matthew Perryman Jones, Jump Little Children, Frances Cone, William Fitzsimmons, and Paris Monster. Some of this racket has been featured on Grey's Anatomy, Shameless, Lethal Weapon, & One Tree Hill.

Whether it's working on a production, mix, or pedal steel guitar part, my approach is always the same : never get in the way of a great song. I achieve this by carefully choosing a palette of instrumentation and crafting melodies that are 100% intentional. Otherwise it has no business being in the song.

I have recently found a passion for string arranging. I traveled to Brno, Czech Republic last year where I arranged for a 43-piece orchestra to play on the majority of an album of my own. Without a doubt this was the most memorable and meaningful experience of my career thus far.

When I'm not goofing off in the studio I can be found as a touring multi-instrumentalist. I've been honored to roam the world with Aaron Lee Tasjan, Dar Williams, and my "dork-rock" band Slow Runner.

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Josh Kaler
  • Sierra Hull
  • Sierra Hull
  • Sierra Hull
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Jump, Little Children
  • Lilly Hiatt
  • Brian Fallon
  • Matthew Perryman Jones
  • Matthew Perryman Jones
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Heather Nova
  • Ronnie Fauss
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • Matt White
  • The Working Title
  • The Working Title
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Kelly Buchanan
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Tom Crowley
  • Tom Crowley
  • Tom Crowley
  • Josh Kaler
  • Josh Kaler
  • Josh Kaler
  • Josh Kaler
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Frances Cone
  • Frances Cone
  • Frances Cone
  • Frances Cone
  • Frances Cone
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Marc Scibilia
  • Marc Scibilia
  • Marc Scibilia
  • Marc Scibilia
  • Taylor Leonhardt
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Slow Runner
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Jesse Terry
  • Conor Donohue
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tattletale Saints
  • Tyler Boone

25 Reviews - 4 Repeat Clients

Endorse Josh Kaler
  1. Review by Dave s.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Josh is superior at what he does. Very professional to work with and knows exactly what he is doing. I highly recommend!

  2. Review by Jon F.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Always great working with Josh! The man knows how to make a melody fit perfectly with your song. Highly suggest his work.

  3. Review by Cortnie G.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Josh did an amazing job on my song! His string arrangement and production were excellent and made the song absolutely beautiful. He was so great to work with, and really cared about providing me with a great finished product. I highly recommend him!

  4. Review by Chad M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    This is my second time working with Josh. I love working with Josh because he's an incredibly skilled musician with a producer's ear . I know he'll play a carefully crafted composition with immaculate tone all while serving the overall vibe of the song.

  5. Review by Gabriel Ruiz
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Fantastic experience working with Josh, he has an exceptional ear and quickly gets the sounds and vibe you are going for, quick turnaround and pleasant to work with, highly recommended.

  6. Review by Alvaro
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Working with Josh was an amazing experience. He is a great musician who understood exactly what the song needed. I will gladly work with him again in the future.

  7. Review by Chad M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Josh played pedal steel on one of my songs and I'm already planning to hire him again for more. He plays every instrument proficiently and approaches the song with a producer's ear, making sure to serve the vocal and the song as a whole. He gave great suggestions while listening to my vision and provided the perfect pedal steel part. Great guy, great playing, great tone, and fast turn around.

  8. Review by Carrie
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    This guy. So meticulous, hard working, patient and generous with his talent. Really reliable and easy to work with. Even with a time difference of 7 hours, everything was super professional. You can't go wrong with Josh.

  9. Review by Jon F.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Once again, this guy KILLS it. By far the best in the game I’ve heard so far. His creativity is right on line with anything you give to him. Highly suggest.

  10. Review by Michaela T.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Josh provided some great drum tracks for my production. He is professional and a nice person too. Great working with you Josh :)

  11. Review by Boruch Z.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    As per usual Josh came, he saw, and he conquered!!! Josh does an absolutely stellar job and is totally committed to the project at hand. I would highly recommend!

  12. Review by Jon F.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    So glad I was introduced to Josh! Extremely professional and high quality instrumentalist. Josh played pedal steel for a country song I made and I am 100% happy with the process we went through and how willing he was to work with me and my ideas, everything came out better than imagined! I strongly suggest to hire josh for your work.

  13. Review by Boruch Z.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    If you are looking for a highly skilled and experienced sound engineer with not only a passion but also a quick understanding of what you genuinely want, Josh is the guy. Josh went above, and beyond accomplishing, I needed out of little ideas, which I shared. I found him to both reliable and creative in his approach. I needed some revisions, and he worked on the rework on my project as per my requests until I got the final product I was looking for! He's an absolute beast - simply perfection!!!

  14. Review by Morgan L.
    starstarstarstarstar

    Wonderful experience working with Josh! Worked with him on a mix- he has an exceptional ear, immediately understood the vibe I was going for, and had a fast turnaround time. Would definitely recommend.

  15. Review by Maxim
    starstarstarstarstar

    Great communication skills. Full of desire to work and going extra mile! Thank you

  16. Review by Mary Bragg
    starstarstarstarstar

    Josh is an absolutely fantastic musician and producer. A multi-instrumentalist with a knack for always knowing exactly what to play, I trust him and his instincts so very much. He loves songs, respects the songwriter, and always brings his raddest musical self to the job at hand. Highly recommended.

  17. Review by Mary Bragg
    starstarstarstarstar

    Josh is an absolutely fantastic musician and producer. A multi-instrumentalist with a knack for always knowing exactly what to play, I trust him and his instincts so very much. He loves songs, respects the songwriter, and always brings his raddest musical self to the job at hand. Highly recommended.

  18. Review by Josh Benus
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Josh is a consummate professional, whose musical talents/ear/creative insights know no bounds. He invests himself fully into every nuanced aspect of production. In addition to being a phenomenal producer, Josh happens to be a next level songwriter, virtuoso on most instruments he picks up, and a great hang to boot. I have the utmost confidence that he will enhance any project he decides to set his sights on, and I highly recommend hiring him for your next endeavor.

  19. Review by Christina Cone
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Josh Kaler is my favorite producer to be in the studio with. He’s so talented, plays every instrument and is lightening speed at protools, etc but he also gives you all the space to see your own vision through. He’s encouraging and present and patient. Our band hired him for an EP in 2014 and then recorded an album with him over the next few years, released in 2019. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  20. Review by Pierce Alexander
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I have worked with Josh a bunch of times over the past 7-8 years and have always had nothing but great experiences working with him. I did my EP and a few singles with him and his mixing/musicianship always brings things to the next level. I recorded my most recent single with him and he mixed it remotely and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Also has a great sense of humor which always helps everything!

  21. Review by Matthew Perryman Jones
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I first worked with Josh on a couple songs for an EP (Cold Answer) and eventually asked him to do a whole record (The Waking Hours). Josh’s creative and musical sensibilities are always fresh and on point taking songs into new and unexpected places. He’s also able to play every instrument...really well. His musicianship is on an unregistered level of good. And, maybe most importantly, he’s a hell of a lot of fun to hang with. His commitment to excellence is clear—he’s not going to let anything suck and works his ass off to get it all to the finish line. He’s one of the best out there.

  22. Review by Dante Marchi
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Josh has the unparalleled ability to climb inside each song and each mix with high octane clarity for what is needed and what is wanted by the artist. He makes the process fun on all levels while making the final results sonically and melodically epic as well. I've worked with many talented producers, musicians and mixers but i would put Josh Kaler at the very top of the list!!

  23. Review by Carrie Welling
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with Josh in the studio. Everything he does is true magic. Not only is he an incredible producer/engineer, he’s also a very talented multi-instrumentalist. I felt at ease working and creating with him and he always kept a smile on my face! I couldn’t recommend Josh more!

  24. Review by Andy Doherty
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I’ve worked on a lot of projects with Josh and he is a deep well of talent and creativity. He’s played drums, guitar, lap and pedal steel, bass, keys, ukulele and more on our recordings. His bedside manner can’t be matched, always willing to work through any problem you have musical or personal (as things always come up when pouring your heart into a song) and he keep the spirits UP! Also, it doesn’t mention here that he is very very funny and a top-choice hang in or out of the studio.

  25. Review by Jordan Perlson
    starstarstarstarstar

    Josh is one of the best engineers, producers and musicians I know. His steel playing is beautiful and he brings a ton to every project he's a part of. Hire him!

Interview with Josh Kaler

  1. Q: How would you describe your style?

  2. A: Chameleon-esque? Haha. I was in an indie rock band for 15 years. I've produced and mixed everything from pop to Americana to my current project Hula Hi-Fi which is what I like to call "Hawaiian Noir". I just like to work on great music with great artists. Open to anything!

  3. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  4. A: Fresh ears and 2 decades experience of producing, touring, and goofing off

  5. Q: What's your typical work process?

  6. A: With Covid-19 in play this year everything has been remote of course. I always like to do a zoom chat or two before we get started on a project (especially if it's production). It's an emotional process working on someone's art so I take it very seriously and want to make sure we're a good fit before moving forward!

  7. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  8. A: Mary Bragg is a great friend of mine who also happens to be a wonderful singer, songwriter, and producer.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: It'll be fun and your expectations were hopefully exceeded. Always my goal : )

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: That it doesn't feel like "work"

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: "Would it be ok to turn this up (or down)"? Me : "Of course! You're the one who has to live with this forever"!

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That it requires really expensive gear to make great music

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: What inspires you? Who inspires you?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Trust the process. I take a lot of time and care into what I do and I make sure you are kept posted throughout the creative journey.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. A: Access to an array of drums, guitars, amps, and microphones old and new, GFI pedal steel, '38 Rickenbacker lap steel, dobro, baritone/soprano ukuleles, mellotron micro, grand piano, and a Moog grandmother. Apollo/Pro Tools setup UAD plugins For string arranging - Spitfire Audio string samples and Finale Notation

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. A: Jon Brion, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Spoon, Radiohead, Sharon Van Etten, Blake Mills

  25. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  26. A: It depends on the month but it's typically a combination of production, mixing, string arranging, and a healthy amount of pedal steel guitar work so far this year.

  27. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  28. A: Being able to play a variety of instruments while still listening to the song with a writer's ear.

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: If the vocal performance isn't great, the song can't be great.

  31. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  32. A: I have my own project called Hula Hi-Fi and recently finished the final mixes with Joe Pisapia (Guster, KD Lang). I mix the majority of the albums I'm a part of but I learned so much from working with someone who I hold in such high regard. It was also out of my comfort zone which is something EVERY producer needs to experience.

  33. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  34. A: It all started with my band Slow Runner in Charleston, SC. From 2003 - 2016 we released five albums and one EP. Meeting Michael Flynn (the principal songwriter/singer) was very crucial to my path in production. He just kept showing up with amazing songs and I had to attempt to elevate them somehow. It was an amazing time of learning and failing. : ) A friend of mine (Kelly Buchanan) heard our band and asked if I would consider helping her produce her next album. I believe that was around 2005. I've been hooked on making records for artists every since.

  35. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  36. A: Digital if I had to pick one. GREAT records are being made on just a laptop, a mic, and an interface. I like to track on consoles/quirky outboard gear when I can though.

  37. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  38. A: RE-20, Chandler TG-2, baritone ukulele, Rickenbacker lap steel, Fender Princeton

  39. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  40. A: Singer-songwriter, Indie, Rock, Hawaiian Noir

  41. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  42. A: I have tremendous respect for Sharon Van Etten. She's still relatively new and is releasing the most exciting music these days. "Are We There" is a masterpiece.

  43. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  44. A: "Late Riser" by Frances Cone comes to mind! I co-produced it with Danny Molad who is in one of my favorite bands Lucius. I'm proud of it because it has a very unique sound and it was very challenging to get there. Christina Cone (the lead singer/principal songwriter) is an amazing artist but I found that we creatively clashed on several things on our musical journey together. This isn't unheard of by any means but my gut instinct was challenged often and I wasn't used to that at the time. In the end, I learned how to adapt and truly embrace the process because the outcome sounded so unique and special. I'll be forever grateful for this collaboration.

loading
play_arrowpause
skip_previous
skip_next
Mixing Reel

I was the mixing engineer in this production


  1. play_arrow
    pause
    Mixing Reel
  2. play_arrow
    pause
    String Arrangement Reel
  3. play_arrow
    pause
    Pedal Steel Reel
  4. play_arrow
    pause
    Production Reel
Terms Of Service

Currently turn-around time is within 3 - 7 days. Revisions until you are 100% behind the work I do.

GenresSounds Like
  • Matthew Perryman Jones
  • Frances Cone
  • Jump
  • Little Children
  • Little Children
Gear Highlights
  • Access to Trident Console 80A
  • Chandler TG-2
  • BAE 1073
  • API 2500
  • API EQs
  • Massive Passive
  • Distressors
  • Neumann U67 reissue
  • Tons of guitars and drums
  • GFI Pedal Steel
  • Pro Tools
  • Tons of plugs
  • etc
More Photos
More Samples