Serhan Ozmen on SoundBetter
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Interview with Serhan Ozmen
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have some high end outboard gear like the SSL G series compressor, Avalon 747, Empiral Labs Distressor, Great River, A-Design etc. However I am always researching digital technology and I have a collection of more than 880 high end plugins I have purchased over the years. Digital quality is so high nowadays, and digital allows for speed which is essential in the experimentation process. I believe in combining both worlds and there have been many cases where digital outperformed analog simply because it had the right sound for the job.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: There have been some special moments. Creating the music score for the Official 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony Documentary was an amazing experience.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: (1) Production, along with mixing and mastering. The combination provides the sound clients expect and allows for more possibilities when trying adjustments and new ideas. (2) Mixing and mastering.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Some of the world's greatest names are here, like Manny Marroquin, Yoad Nevo!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: If you know what you are doing, this won't make much difference nowadays. My set up combines both worlds, but I believe good ideas and vision are much more important.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: In addition to delivering technically and artistically, definitely commitment and communication which is what I look for when working with remote providers.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask about their objectives. What material they will provide, what they think of it, and what are their expectations.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Work with someone who will give you proper attention and who has the technical and artistic ability to deliver.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My computer, a keyboard, a guitar, a microphone, nice monitors.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: It all started with a small white Casio at age 3, then a bigger casio, then a Korg 01-W in my teens, and a small studio set up in my early 20s that has grown and grown. I played the piano, guitar and tenor sax (now forgotten) in bands in Brazil, the USA and England. During the last 15 years I have gone deep into production, mixing and mastering.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Restless, if it does not sound good I cannot sleep. My definition of 'sound good' is emotion and that inexplicable drive that makes us want to listen on repeat.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Artists who are open to experimentation and to developing their unique sound. I love how artists like U2, Rihanna, and a few others are always reinventing themselves and I would love to be a part of such process.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Attention to the energy of the song, keep it flowing, experiment and allow for happy accidents.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Electronica, indie-dance, indie-rock, pop, house, world, soundtracks.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening and responding to what the song is telling me.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: An objective view of what is working and what isn't, and making it work.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Respect the song. I can try insane things on it, but never impose. It needs to sound natural and energy needs to flow from beginning to end.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Trevor Horn, Quincy Jones, Timbaland, Trent Reznor, Flood, Max Martin, Dr Luke, Skrillex, Diplo, Stuart Price, countless other names.