Wherever you are in the process, I will help finish your track / album and make sure it is your best music to date. I don't believe in cookie-cutter or "one-size-fits-all" approaches; I'll take the time to get to know you, your background, and your project so I can understand your musical vision and bring it to fruition.
I am fortunate to collaborate and create music with amazing artists and bands from many genres and perspectives. It has been - and will always be - my greatest passion and, I believe, my driving purpose. That is what Red Panda Recording is all about and why I approach each project as a partnership. Whether working with clients one-on-one or remotely, my goal is always to achieve the best representation of their unique musical vision.
In the year ahead, I look forward to challenging myself to grow - both creatively and in business - for my clients and for myself. I recently launched a YouTube page to as my effort to give back to the audio community which has given so much to me over the years. Through educational videos, interviews, and other content I look to create an interactive space for other passionate practitioners like myself.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Ryan Mackstaller
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I recently started producing YouTube content to bring interviews and workflow tips to the larger online community that I have learned so much from.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure the person truly cares about your project. There's a difference between being a "customer" and being a "client."
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fender Telecaster Vox AC15 Shure SM57 UAD plugins Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started guitar and at 8 and playing in bands professionally when I was 19 - I feel in love with the recording studio and always was the guy curious about what was going on and asking the engineer questions in between takes. This was also at the time computer DAWs were beginning to take over so I had a home recording rig where I could try to learn on my own. In 2009 I formally started Red Panda Recording which grew out of recording bands that I was in, to bands my friends where in. Over the last 10 years I've worked with so many very talented and unique artists that has pushed me to grow both technically and creatively.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: It depends on the project, the artist/band, and the scope of my involvement. I can be very hands on and get deep in the weeds, but also just be the calm and reaffirming voice in the room if that's all the artist needs.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I like working with an artist that has a clear vision and point of view - there are so many roadblocks, both internally and otherwise, to being our true original selves that when I meet someone who fully has that confidence and conviction, I'm sold before I even here a note.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Have a plan. Chase the moment and go down that rabbit-hole but always keep a wider lens so you can see the forest from the trees. At the end of the day, the roll of the producer is to make sure finished work is being produced.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Typically independent musicians and bands in the rock / Americana / indie / whatever genre. I usually work directly with the songwriter-artist but have also worked in larger collaborative projects. I also work on projects that are strictly instrumental and cross genres from jazz to improvised music to film scoring.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am respectful and honest - meaning I understand the song is your baby and you've poured countless hours in its creation and refinement. My job is to hold a mirror to it to ensure that what is reflecting back is what you intended in the first place. I've worked on some songs where I've said "this is absolutely great - I wouldn't change a thing" and others where we completely revamped the key, structure, feel, instrumentation, lyrics, etc. It all depends on the artist, their vision, and the best means to get us there.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The first and most important step is to get to know the artist I am working with. Even if it is someone I have worked with before, we change constantly as individuals and artists so it is crucial to talk/text/e-mail/Skype about the project. Asking questions so I can best know their vision and inspiration. From there, I pride myself in being very organized in terms of timeline, workflow, and staying on budget. The process is not complete until the client signs off and is 100% satisfied with the work.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Red Panda Recording is my production and mixing studio, the nerve center for any project I work on. For production and tracking, it is designed to get ideas to "tape" as fast as possible so the moment of inspiration can be captured. For mixing work, I've migrated to being primarily in-the-box although I employ an analog inspired signal chain and workflow. I want to be able to deliver consistent and recallable mixes to my clients and deliver a revision quickly.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm equally inspired by individuals that have a distinctive sound as those that can disappear into an artist's work and influence it in more subtle ways. I view Rick Rubin as a great guide post as someone who navigates many eras and genres. What connects it all is that he loves music first and just wants it to be as good as possible.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Song production, mixing, guitar tracking/overdubbing, vocal recording. Even though these are each specific areas of focus, I always play a role as a partner in the creative process to best serve the artist's work and vision.