I'm a creative and experienced guitarist with many years of experience recording and playing live. I play Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, and Electric Bass. I've got great gear, good chops, and get great sounds. I'm also a Composer, Producer, and Mix Engineer. Listen to some of my work at www.merlotembargo.com
I'm a Guitarist/Producer/Engineer/Arranger based in Los Angeles. I've been making music as a guitarist for twenty plus years, and creating music as an Engineer/Producer for the last ten.
As an electric & acoustic guitarist, I'm available for creating/recording guitar tracks in the genres listed on this page and many others as well. I specialize in rock/pop/jazz/r&b/worship, but I'm good at "faking" many styles. I also play banjo, mandolin, electric bass, some simple keyboard parts, and various percussion instruments.
I do a fair bit of production work from my home studio in Downey, Ca, where I also record tracks for most "real" instruments, including acoustic drum kits, strings, guitars, vocals, etc. Although I'm always learning, I've recorded many instruments over the years, and have a good working knowledge of how to get to a great sounding recording.
I also do string and horn arrangements, either for sampled sections or to be recorded by actual musicians.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with PGR Studio
Q: Analog or digital and why?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That natural talent is enough.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the goal of your music? This influences every thing we might want to do. Are we writing for sync, or to emote, or is it a math rock vanity project. (All very valid reasons to make music, btw.)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Let's make sure we are a good fit. There are lots of producers and musicians out there, and we all have limited time. So let's make sure our visions align!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Am I doing production or just surviving?
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: To be completely honest, guitar playing and music production have been my side hustle for years. I've never made the jump to quit my day job yet, and honestly at this point I don't think I want to any longer. This way, my way, I get be choosy about which clients I work with, and do something that's mutually beneficial for both of us. That being said, I'm very good at what I do - it's called side *hustle*, not side drink by the pool. hah.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Good mix between old school reliability and newer techniques and workflows.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Honestly I would looooove to re-form the Police and do a song with them. hah.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to automate unconventional things. Even a song's tempo from section to section might want to change slightly. Live bands do this naturally, and sometimes certain sections of a song feel significantly better just a few bpm faster or slower.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie, Pop, Rock, Singer-Songwriter
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Musicality. We're not doing this for flashy tricks or bullshit that bores people. At the end of the day, music should connect with people emotionally and help them feel something. I try to maintain big-vision approach in everything I do, from minute little guitar parts to the overall arc of a song.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Primarily I'm a guitarist, and a pretty groovy one at that. So my productions tend to be guitar based. I'm also a strong arranger and producer. There's an art to getting a song to speak and be the best version of itself. I like to think I can help songs get there.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I do preproduction in Ableton Live, where I sketch out a song, add the important parts and scratch vocals. If it's a pop oriented thing I may tend to keep it in Live until the final mix stage, in which I prefer working in Pro Tools. If it's a more indie/rock kind of thing where we might record more real instruments and use fewer samples, I would tend to move to ProTools earlier in the production.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run a well-equipped home studio, that literally sounds bigger than it is. I can record any instrument on site including drum kits, up to 12 channels/mics.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I listen to a wide variety for inspiration. Old school guitar slingers like John Mayer, and newer tiktok stars like Tai Verdes both have something valuable to teach me.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Production, Guitar Tracks