From a top 20 hit on the biggest radio station in the USA, to national ad campaigns, 10s of millions of streams, and multiple top 5s on Radio Disney, I've worked on songs ranging from pop to EDM to film/TV and can help you take your song to the level of quality it needs to be at to have a chance at national or international success.
For years I've worked closely with labels such as Capitol Records and Hollywood records among others, and artists such as Ava Max, Vicetone, Jay Cosmic, Forever In Your Mind, Sweaterbeats, and many more.
I've had songs placed in national ad campaigns, trailers, promos and shows for companies such as New Balance, Netflix, NBC, CW, Disney Channel, Freeform, FIFA, CMT, MTV, and VH1.
I can write, produce, mix, and take a song start to finish, radio ready, or do any part in between - from chill pop to high energy songs for movie trailers.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Dustin Atlas
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I co-write and produce for other artists, and when those songs are done I mix them, I have my own artist projects (Night Panda and Dustin Atlas) as well.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Max Martin, Serban Ghenea, Ryan Tedder.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I've got a pair of Focal Trio6 Be monitors (about $5,600) that I mix on. And a $6,000 vocal chain I record vocals with (Manley Reference microphone, 1073 Pre Amp, and Lynx converters). Of course the person doing the mixing and production is what counts, but having good gear definitely helps get things radio ready a lot faster.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For writing and production, I sometimes start with a track and write over it, and sometimes start with a good song idea over some chords and build a track around that. It's all just about finding a piece of magic and going and running with it once you get it. For mixing, I get the vocals and drums sounding right, then get everything else to fall in line, then keep circling back around until it sounds like one, cohesive record. Once it sounds good in my studio, I car test it and tweak as many times as needed, and then test it on my phone and tweak accordingly again. It's done when it sounds good on any set of speakers.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can find that thing that makes a song special, bring out the best in that, and make everything else work with it.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to tie everything together in a song, whether it's writing, production, mixing, or all of the above.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, and songs for film and TV.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Make the track work around the song. Usually, people don't sing along to a track, they sing along to the song. So make sure track makes the song sound as good as possible.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ryan Tedder. I'm a fan of OneRepublic, and I love the work he does with other artists.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Mainstream, but just a bit left of center.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out being just a songwriter. I only produced demos to show my work. Then when I moved out to LA, I realized I would get further if I could control a song from beginning to end, so I really cracked down and learned and worked on production for the next few years. Then I realized if I could mix, I could make sure the song arrived to the vision we had in mind for it without having to hope another person understood that, so I learned to mix too. And that's how I learned to take a song from start to finish. I've been making music for about 7 years now.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My speakers (Focal Trio6 Be), my vocal chain (Manley Reference Mic, 1073 Preamp, Lynx converters) and a strat.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure the person you hire really understands what your vision is. There are so many talented producers, songwriters and mixers, so it's about finding the one that really understands what you have in mind and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it to that place.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What references do you have for this track/mix and what combination of references would describe your overall project? Are you making this record to work well on Spotify, radio, film/tv etc.?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think the biggest misconceptions about people in the music industry in general comes from just going off their credits and what you see on paper, rather than what you hear in their music. Before I moved to LA and got in the music industry, I thought I only wanted to get to the point where I could work with people who had had a top 10 hits and that sort of thing. When I finally got to work with those people I found out some where just as talented (if not more) than I had imagined, but some weren't any more talented than the people I was already working with who hadn't had their big break yet. That made me realize that every song takes a team of people, and that one person with lots of credits may not be the answer to getting a great song. It's about finding the right combination of people who understand each other and compliment each other's abilities.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How rights to master recordings and publishing works. I'm happy to have a conversation explaining the details of these things if there's any confusions on them.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That moment when you land on some magic, and then the moment when it all comes together in the end. Those two times are the best parts about making music.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will keep working on it until you are happy.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Usually digital, because it's a faster workflow so keeps you more creative. There are certain things that analog is definitely better with, like guitar amps, but in most areas there's not as much of a difference anymore, so just makes sense to go with what keeps you creative and working faster.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Depends what they need. If they need somebody who would fit their project better than me, I'm happy to recommend them.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My own project for film and tv licensing (it's starting to land a lot of placements), with a few songs coming out through one-off deals with labels, as well as a couple independent artists who have started gaining traction on Spotify, Radio Disney, etc.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I've been working on my new artist project Night Panda. It started off a project making songs for film and TV but quickly starting growing into the more. It's now got over 7 millions streams across all platforms in the first 10 months, and has landed in a Netflix Trailer, a New Balance Commercial, a promo for The Voice, an episode of Riverdale and more.