What are you working on at the moment?
The Black Market Merchants and Float.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Not at this moment.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. It's just so much simpler and the technology has really caught up to us. The digital stuff sounds so close to analog in so many ways. On top of that, digital doesn't just break down as analog gear does. Plus, you don't have to spend money on fixing gear!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To excel in producing, performing, and designing client material.
What do you like most about your job?
The dynamic clientele. I've done everything from classical to hardcore metal. It's all fabulous!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How much? Depends on you! I am flexible with my rates, with reasonable accommodations. I won't break your bank, but I need to make a living as well! Will you squash my mix? Only if you want me to, but no, that is not the goal. Do you have a revision fee? Nope!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
"Not everything sounds good," said Randy Merrill to me, "Write that down." And it rings so true. I am all about constructive criticism, and will work with what I am provided with and give useful feedback. However, if a mix is just not up to par - I will let you know! "You can't polish a turd!"
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What's your direction? Do you have references? How open is your vision on this particular project? (Is there play-room?)
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't assume, and always ask questions whenever you have them!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Audio Technica 4047, API 3124+, Apogee Symphony, Benchmark DAC1, Dynaudio BA15's.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been doing audio since 2011. The first time I got a gig was with my professor during my time in college. He set me on a path to discovering what I really love to do primarily: mastering. I have done everything from live sound, to sound design, to the music studio. I am at my greatest with mastering.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I have been working (early 2015) on a band called The Black Market Merchants as their mastering engineer. Their stuff has been very exciting and melodically compelling.
How would you describe your style?
Big, punchy drums. Large sense of space. Epic!
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Big fan of Nile. I'd love to work on their material and make it just a bit punchier. Some part of me loves the way they have their stuff mixed, but I'd love to try and mix it in a different direction.
Can you share one music production tip?
"Always… and you'll never…" A very valuable motto by the great Andy VanDette.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock, Metal, Pop, EDM, Singer-Songwriter.
What's your strongest skill?
Production in the recording studio! I have a lot of experience directing a band and putting content into words. The producer needs to be open to ideas and be democratic but at the same time staying in control. Things need to get done, too!
What do you bring to a song?
I'm a percussionist. I like big rhythm sections and emphasize the song as a whole. It's important to step back and say, "It's not about you, me, or him/her. This is about the song." I am straightforward and ask questions to steer the ship the way it needs to go.
What's your typical work process?
First I like to get acquainted with the sound they're looking to obtain. I ask for references and make decisions that will work towards that goal. I like to have at least one main inspiration for the style the band or artist has in mind. Then, I record drums, bass, guitars, vocals, and any extra performances. If the song is pop, I like to usually record the vocals with a piano backing track and build everything around that. It highly depends on what the artist or band is open to. Bands that have material already is easier to record the band first and have the vocalist rock to it. Pop and R&B stuff is much more focused on the vocal and it's important to let the artist sing it out and phrase it the way they want to and build around that.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Working on a pair of Dunlavy SC-1 monitors with a Miller & Kreisel V-1B subwoofer. All running through a Bryston B3 amplifier. My DAC is a Benchmark DAC1. I mix everything in the box and record out in a separate studio.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Alex Skolnick, Nile, Alice in Chains, Beck, DevilDriver, Disturbed, Duran Duran, Dream Theater, Ghost B.C., Foo Fighters, Papa Roach, Jeff Buckley, In This Moment, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Meshuggah, Muse, Michael Jackson, Bridget Mendler, Miley Cyrus, No Doubt, Pat Benatar, Regina Spektor, Savant, Skrillex, Steely Dan, Raga Bop Trio, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Steve Vai, Stevie Wonder, Symphony X, Tito Puente, Toto, Willie Colon, etc.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I am primarily a Rock and Metal producer. Also Pop. I have, however, worked on several jazz, Indian, and other ethnic styles. My sound is a big, punchy mix.