Professional mixing and mastering with attention to detail and artistic intent.
I'm an audio engineer with a focus on mixing and mastering. I've worked on various styles, including pop, classical, jazz, ambient, acoustic, and more. Each project calls for a unique treatment, and I genuinely enjoy providing that. As a keyboard player and artist myself, I understand the process of creation, which informs the decisions I make when working on client projects.
I was trained in classical piano styles, and was further educated during my time at Berklee College of Music, where I studied under dedicated instructors and collaborated with many creative musicians. I completed the Music Production and Engineering program and graduated in 2011.
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2 ReviewsEndorse Phil Vasta
Phil is just a boss !! I have worked with him on countless songs and every single one has been amazing !! He re-envision cover songs magnificently and he makes my voice sound amazing every single time. His professionalism is one we need way more of in this day and age.
Just a fantastic artist, musician, and professional. A great personality and an absolute master of the craft. His body of work reflects this. You will not be disappointed.
Interview with Phil Vasta
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: About a year ago, I cowrote and mixed an album of ambient music with a friend of mine. It was the first time I'd worked in depth on that kind of music, and I think it came out great! Instead of focusing on traditional instrumentation and arrangement, I was forced to think in terms of texture and mood. It's always interesting to get out of your comfort zone, appreciating and understanding a genre of music on its own unique merits.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently on a project in which I'm writing and mixing music for stock libraries. It's great practice for working in broad strokes and maintaining a clear view of the overall goal for music of that type, as opposed to getting lost in the details.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet, but I'm always happy to connect with other professionals in the field!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I don't subscribe to the idea that one is better than the other. Digital tools are often more flexible and easier to use than analog ones, but sometimes the analog tool offers an effect or sound that isn't easily emulated. There are other factors, too, but the bottom line is that I try to use the right tool for the job, regardless of it's nature as analog or digital.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that I will do everything in my power to make my clients happy. That means being reasonable, reliable, timely, and communicative.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They usually request small tweaks here and there, like turning the lead vocals up or pulling back a little on guitars. My answer is "Of course!"
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think that most people don't really understand what mixing and mastering is. And that's ok. They don't need to understand it, they need to enjoy the end product - a great song with a great sound. That said, the importance of mixing and mastering can't be overstated. It's one of those things that is kind of invisible until it's done poorly.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What artist are you especially into right now? Why do you want to work with me? What is your timeline for this project? Questions like these, and not necessarily in that order. I like to understand where the artist is coming from and where they're looking to go. It helps me understand their expectations.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I think it's really important to hire someone you gel with. Not only is it more pleasant when you're working together, but the end product is usually better too.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Motif ES8 - 88 weighted keys Nord Electro 3 - Great sounds Any microphone - For recording, duh Bitwig Studio - awesome modulation system for mixing and sound design Acoustic guitar - in case I can't find an electrical outlet
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I don't know that I'd say I have a particular style.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Spend ample time on the arrangement of a song. If a part isn't working, cut it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Honestly, I am all over the map when it comes to styles I handle. I've dealt with modern R&B, pop, ambient and experimental… even some Sly and the Family Stone-style stuff.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The first thing I like to do when working on an artist's material is to understand the intent, the emotional space they were in when writing and recording the song. I calibrate my ears with some standard reference tracks before I start to work, and I consult with the artist as the need arises. Of course, I always encourage clients to provide their own reference tracks as well so we're aiming for the same target. Once I'm finished, we can discuss any adjustments they might want.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a nice simple home studio. Most of my work is "in the box", the box in my case being a custom desktop computer built for audio production. I use my trusty pair of M-Audio BX8s that I know inside and out, along with some GIK acoustic broadband absorption panels. I also employ Sonarworks room correction software to help get the most accurate representation of sound. Speaking of software, my main tools include Studio One, Neutron, Ozone, and a host of high-quality hardware emulation plugins.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'll give a couple examples here. I grew up listening to Elton John, so maybe I'm biased, but I can't help but admire how much he gives to his audience. You can tell he really appreciates that so many people come out to see his show, and that kind of connection to people is pretty special. I also have a huge amount of respect for Beck. He wasn't afraid to explore a lot of different styles, mashing them up into something that's completely unique and interesting. It's a good reminder to me to change things up sometimes and be open-minded.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My specialty is in mixing and mastering. I find that having that creative distance from a project lets me focus on the technical aspects more objectively. That said, I'm always happy to lend a hand in production and arrangement if I feel like I can contribute.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being able to help artists realize their vision. It's really cool to collaborate with someone to bring their art into its final form.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been doing this for almost a decade now. I graduated from the Music Production and Engineering program at Berklee and have worked on many music projects since then. I worked as a live sound engineer and keyboardist for the band Trio Nova. I also write and record my own material. Most recently I've been producing, mixing, and mastering some material with Monique Marian, a great singer residing in Japan.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Emily King and her team. Her songs are soulful and musically interesting to me, and the production lends a vibe that totally complements it. It's wonderful.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I listen. This job isn't just about my gear, or what I can do. It's about the artist and what they're trying to achieve. It's important that I listen so that my actions as an audio professional are aligned with the goals of my clients.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a musician and artist myself, I like to think that I understand the depth of emotion that goes into a song. I really enjoy helping artists to bring that story out!