Former lead singer for Cirque du Soliel, in multiple shows and roles, award winning singer songwriter with multiple releases and cuts.
I am a professional vocalist, performer, producer, composer and songwriter with multiple albums and cues under my belt. I am an extremely flexible and versatile singer who can perform across multiple musical genres. I have had the privilege of working as a lead singer for Cirque du Soleil in diverse roles, over several years, most notably in the productions of Delirium and Dralion. In addition I’ve written and recorded many songs which have won standard broadcasting awards and received national radio play.
I own and operate my own in-house recording studio, and have access to top end gear to ensure you get the best possible sounding result. In the past I’ve worked in studio with Joey Moi, Chad Kroeger, Brian Howes, (to name a few) and can bring that knowledge to your project.
I am available for: Vocal session work, lyrics and top-line writing, songwriting, instrumental productions, YouTube recordings, film scoring, or custom music for any cue, in almost any style.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Chad Oliver
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Lead vocals, harmonies...basic instrumental beds for film/video
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Right now I'm really into modern indie folk - the way they are making such soft subtle music sound so big using modern production is really interesting to my ear.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run Logic pro X on a 2013 mac i7 3.4 Ghz 2TB SSD, 32GB ram. I have an Avalon 737 and a UA 6176 that I go back and forth with depending on the project. Two sets of reference monitors- Nx 10's and a pair of Adam A7x. In the mixdown I use a dangerous 2 bus LT to give it that "analog" feel..and it works great! I also have a small isolation booth to record all vocals and intimate acoustic sounds.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It depends on what I'm working on. If I'm working on someones track I make sure that I spend a good chunk of time listening to what they have, and to what they want me to bring to it. I always try to be one of the parts that helps the "whole" come together. After that I dig and and try a bunch of passes and see what I think sounds best.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I'm pretty fortunate that I have a bunch of "tools" at my disposal. I have a really big range, a good sense of melody and even more important is that I've been lucky enough to have experience across so many different genre's. I think that that helps me bring a fresh set of ears to any project. I also think that as a writer myself I want to serve the song as best as I can. It might sound strange, but I think I know when "not" to sing. :-)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: To not get locked into one way of doing things. I'll always be ready to try something different. The best result is what I'm looking for, so I'll always sacrifice ego for that.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I just finished a collection of Celtic/rock songs, as well as just finished producing an alt rock band. I scored a short indie film before that, and am presently doing a couple of jingles for a radio promotion. So I guess I'm all over the map.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: There's alot of those...there is one tip that I stumbled upon years ago that has been a lifesaver for me in the demo stage. This tip would be for logic users. When you are starting a project, make sure you customize the control bar and enable "capture recording" What that does is allows you to grab the last take even if you did not press record. I can't tell you how many times I got a great take and did not press record. This ended that. Its also great when you are just riffing around, and stumble upon a great idea...instead of trying to reverse engineer what you did...its already right there.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Thomas Newman -because he seems to be a creative genius. He almost always seem to marry the right music with the image.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Curious.... but laid back curious
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a pro musician since I was 19. I started out playing guitar and singing in pubs, then moved into the world of rock. The band I was in did pretty well, won some radio contests, caught the ear of some labels and we toured and toured, got on the radio, made videos, etc, etc. When that ended I moved into a more AAA direction and wrote a record that caught the ear of the Cirque du Soliel Casting department. They liked my voice and asked me to audition. I did, got the part and toured with them as a lead singer for several years. One of the things they really liked about me was that i had the ability to kind of "mimic" what ever they needed me to do, which for that company, was alot. :-) I left the company when I decided I needed to get off the road. I've since set up my studio and continued the journey, writing for film, producing other artists, and of course contributing vocals to various projects.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My J45, maybe my 185 (both gibsons) I'd like to take my computer...but do they have electricity on the island? I love my spitfire libraries, I have alot of them - inspiration the moment they get loaded. My dobro always sounds good when no one is around too...
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be direct, and have as clear of a vision that you can have. Also be honest about what you are trying to get done, what are the goals? I love working with other people, but I really love working with people who are focused and know what they are trying to accomplish.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Almost the same things as above. What are you trying to do? who are you trying to reach? Now those questions would be coming from the production side of things. As a vocalist I would just make sure that I'm giving them the results they are looking for, do they want emotion, perfection, grit, personality, etc, etc..then I try to do my best to navigate those asks with my performance.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That its not work
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Would I be willing to work it on spec? Answer depends on who it is coming from. Can you make me sound like (insert artist name here) I always be honest, and try to break down why those artists sound the way they do. Often I'l say lets move in that direction, but we'll make you sound the best we can get you to sound
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That I get to work on all kinds of projects...the variety is what I find fun
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That we'll try our best get you the product you hear in your head, and hopefully it will be better.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I always work in digital...I'm old enough to remember cutting our first record to tape. While its great to work in tape because you do have to "commit" to a take - thus getting a performance that will have some cool nuances. You can still do that in digital if you are adamant about leaving imperfections in. But in digital you have the option. Plus the digital realm is allowing for some really cool things to be created that you just can't do in analog. I love having options. I do have an analog summing device that I spit stems to in the mixdown stage, I find it does add that analog warmth that san sometimes get lost with all those available tracks in the digital world.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet...I'm brand new. One of my existing clients just turned me onto this.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm scoring a small indie short. As well I'm working an alt folk record - pre production stage right now.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'd have to say the first record I did in the AAA format. I worked with a couple of guys from a popular indie band at the time called Rhymes with Orange and was the principal writer and co-producer For all of us it was right out of our comfort zone as we were all in the alt rock world of the early 2000's. But it turned out great, got me the job with Cirque du Soliel, and basically proved to me that I could do alot more things than just rock, and set me onto another career path.