I've been making music independently for many years. I'm a multi-instrumentalist and producer who would love to help you with your next great project. I've been working with Aanisah Mateenah (check her out on Spotify) exclusively for a couple years as her producer and co-writer and ready to start partnering with other passionate artists.
I offer services as a mixer, session musician for guitar, bass, drums, and/or percussion. I do full production work, can program beats for modern production, or arrange a live band for tracking. Whatever you need, I can probably bring it to life in a track.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Chad Cummings
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Aanisah Mateenah's first 4 singles (originally meant as an EP) show the depth of my work, which is cool, but her songwriting and voice are phenomenal. It was a pleasure and honor to get to write, compose, and produce with her!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: The second round of releases for Aanisah Mateenah, as well as some other local artists and personal instrumental projects.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both - use what you have available, and try to be unique with every application of music production!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Satisfaction, of course!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Creating something out of nothing.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: hmmmm... need to get back on this one.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: We just "add verb and EQ."
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your objective for making music, or the particular project you have? Is it financial, passion, for promoting gigs, etc.? There is no wrong answer, I just want to understand motives because it helps me focus on what each song may need individually.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to reference work, and ask questions. We all just want to make clients happy, and setting realistic expectations upfront is the best way to do that for everyone involved. And you get what you pay for.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Just my upright piano.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been doing this as a passion career for a few years, been recording personally since 2003. I still have a day-job in renewable energy, but I'll be doing this forever whether or not it's a full-time gig for me. My goal would be to support myself 100% via music production someday.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm pretty mellow, except when I drink too much coffee. I like making people happy, especially when that means I'm helping them bring a song to life. It brings me a lot of joy regardless of the genre. I love to work one-on-one with artists so I get to know their personality - that needs to shine through when I'm producing their music. Every song needs to be an extension of them, not me.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Jaquire King - he's a mixer/producer who has worked on or overseen some of my favorite records of all time. He spans many genres and seems like a very down-to-earth guy. He's also a great teacher and I admire his working style.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Create strict boundaries or parameters for your workflow (deadlines, what gear you'll allow yourself to use, etc.). Being restricted brings out creativity through necessity. Having an infinite palate of plugins can paralyze your decision making - force yourself into constraints and watch what you'll create!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop music, modern worship music, and instrumental music (chill, alt, etc.)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Communication and keeping the objective in mind without stifling creativity. It's far too easy to veer off objective with creative rabbit holes that ultimately abort a song's potential. It's a fine balance to be creative yet effective with supporting a song's purpose - it's a lesson I'll never finish learning or perfecting, but experience has been a fine teacher for me so far.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh perspective, clarity, creativity, and being the hardest working person in the room every time.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If I'm re-composing for a pop artist, I'll listen to a demo with the topline melody, and start with piano to compose and arrange. Being a multi-instrumentalist and percussionist, it all flows from the chord structure and rhythm tracks. Getting those right helps everything else fall into place. If I'm mixing, I'll work off stems and first get a balance EQ without added effects. Depending on the style and artist's objectives, I'll begin adding creative uses of effects or additional recorded textures as needed to bring the song to its peak potential.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work primarily in Logic Pro X. I've been recording on that platform for 15 years and am very familiar with it's capabilities. I use Waves plugins for vocal processing, mixing, and mastering. I like to use outboard hardware in addition to high-end plugins for analog natural warmth. I also love to include "special" mic/recording techniques that create one-of-a-kind textures... you can be sure you're song will be like none other, but in a good way!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Mark Ronson, Jaquire King, Quincy Jones, Thundercat, Vulfpeck... I add more later :)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I provide co-writing, the majority of musical composition, and overall production for a professional finished product. I do all the recording and engineering personally, spending whatever time is needed to get the perfect sound and vibe for each track. Songs are as unique as their artist's and should be treated with care individually.