Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I co-wrote Boston Strong after the marathon bombings. The money from record sales was donated to the One Fund to help victims. I'm a victim of a terrorist attack because I got sick after responding to Ground Zero in Manhattan. The song was widely played and also featured live at a NY Mets game. I hope the song brings peace and serenity to everyone effected. I played the piano, Bass, String Arrangement, and co-authoried the song with an emphasis on the bridge. It was an honor to help our friends in Boston after they responded to NYC on that terrible day.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I'm writing a jungle for Bernie Sanders Campaign for President of the United States.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Analog or digital and why?
As spoken about before, I use a digital system, by achieved an analog sound by using UA plugins and buying patches that are recorded in analog and converted to digital. This makes for a "fake" analog sound - that nobody will know about (except you!)
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise you that your final product will sound amazing!!
What do you like most about your job?
I love evoking emotion by designing and producing the proper track for the lyrics and scene.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
I am commonly asked what if I don't like what you perform? I explain that you chose me because you like my work- and to have trust that I will be able to complete the assignment after a few passes. As time progresses, this question becomes less relevant since I can often tell what the music supervisor wants right off the bat through an explanation.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I take my work very seriously. When I'm on deadline, I'm stoic (because I have to concentrate). The truth is that I'm really laughing:)
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I look at each client and try to gather their requirements while getting a sense of their experience level. I try to get EXACT instructions on what the client wants so we are in complete understanding. I try and write everything down that is requested so there are no misunderstandings when the project is delivered. This is all done in the effort to produce the highest quality work - to the specifications.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Making music is always a collaborative experience. You will get out of it what you put into it. After listening to your perspective provider's demos and complete tracks, interview the person and get a sense if they are flexible. It will be a combination of these things that make the difference. Also, don't be afraid to pay a little more for quality. Cutting corners in this area, might get you a half-baked job. My projects stand out because I bring the mix of both talent and expensive and THE BEST instrument patches, so it sounds like you're in a live session when in fact it's all MIDI.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop, apollo, NORD Stage 2, Amplification, martini
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I am a sick 9-11 first responder and I changed careers from running my own website development firm to studying and performing music. I've been at this for about 4 years (as a recording artist) and have been playing piano for about 40. (started at 4). I'm easy to work with, and bring a very young persons attitude "I can do it" no matter what.
How would you describe your style?
I can play deliberate and sophisticated. I can hear things that if modified will make a huge difference in your production.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Barry Manillow. I used to listen to his records and would play back his songs when I was 5. It would be a personal hoot, but I really don't play like him in any way. I'd love to sit across from Reginald Dwight or Billy Joel - the two piano men of our time.
Can you share one music production tip?
I find that always using a metronome helps me keep all of my notes properly on the grid - and that is a major help when adding different drum beats as well as other instruments. This simple task of playing to meter can hold a project together, even if you think you're not finding the right path.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I don't have a usual type. Lately, I've been taking covers and re-doing them entirely different. Often work on soundtrack type of orchestration which I absolutely love. I'm a great piano player, and this is an area that you should be taking advantage of - and I have a roster of singers that I can be paired up with.
What's your strongest skill?
I'm told by my collaborators and college professors that I have great piano chops- that came from a piano player for the Boston Pops. I can listen to a song, and play it back instantly - so I don't spend a lot of time messing around- within 30 seconds, I can find my place and start laying down ideas. Clients really appreciate that - especially when doing a session via Skype.
What do you bring to a song?
My visions of music are highly unique and un replaceable by the average and often learned musician and recording artist. I am able to objectively look at lyrics and put appropriate notes that reflect the meaning of your song.
What's your typical work process?
Depends on the project. If you just need me to play a part to your song, a lead sheet is fine, or you can just give me the file and I can accompany it by ear. I can write music on the fly based on the MP3 you provide. If I'm writing an original song, I will lay down the first verse and chorus in either a piano reduction or just a few instruments. This is just to test the waters to see if we're on the right track. Thereafter, I can bring the other instruments into the mix. Songwriting is an iterative process. What I mean by that is, I will do a little work, and you will have a listen, and offer feedback. Then I'll take that feedback into consideration and move further along. Typically there's about 3 back and forth's in order to get a song down. Then we go into the revision process. After revisions are signed off on, the song is mastered for broadcast for optimized for the medium in which it'll be distributed.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I built my studio using Universal Audio as my component hardware. I am able to achieve a truly analog sound through my apollo system so it sounds like you recorded on a reel-to-reel. Thematically, analog sounds are better IMO, so The Spitfire Audio patches (have about 10k worth of them) record using a reel-to-reel so, the entire sound comes across as analog, yet my studio is digital. The newest Hardware is a Mojave Mic that sports a tube - giving vocals a warm sound. DAW: Logic, Keys/Controller: NORD Stage 2
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I am truly inspired by John Williams, Danny Elfman, Billy Joel, Elton John, Sting, Bryan Adams, too many to list. A ton!
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
There is no particular "regular" kind of work. Common projects are singers looking for demo reels, song writers looking to have their songs arranged, performed and recorded, instrumentalists, movie soundtrack, live performance.