What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure you know your material inside and out BEFORE you get to the studio. Everyones job will be that much easier in the long run. And we"ll be able to make a better product. When your here, let us take care of everything else. Just playthe roll of the musician you are and everything will turn out fine. Relax and enjoy the process.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Our studio is an acoustically correct facility that is fitted with well maintained, professional recording equipment in an environment that lends itself to the creative inspiration of making music. Naturally, we've got the whole state-of-the-art digital recording thing worked out but, have you ever wanted to make an analog recording? Ever dream of releasing a vinyl album or single? Then our studio might be just what your looking forNaturally, we've got the whole state-of-the-art digital recording thing worked out but, have you ever wanted to make an analog recording? Ever dream of releasing a vinyl album or single? Then our studio might be just what your looking for. We have 12 channels available at the moment and we can offer different combinations of analog and digital recording services. Some clients really like how they sound going through our vintage high end tape decks. The ReVox especially has that special sound. It's the "tube amp" of it's class. Combined with our tube mics and preamps you get a beautiful, rounded sound difficult to get with just digital equipment. E studio is also in a huge artist loft which lends a nice creative vibe to the place. People like creating here.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it's quick and easy. Good recordings don't just happen. They take mounds of hard work and dedication.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"Is this thing on?" The answer is generaly, yes, unless of course, phantom power is swithced off.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I think working with any artist who has a clear vision and who works deliberately and without hesitation can be rewarding. That said, it's important for an artist to keep an open mind while they go through the process of producing their music. I try to attract this sort of clientele in our studio
What's your strongest skill?
As a multi-disciplinary artist, I have the benefit of being able to offer a lot of different skill sets when it comes to making a record. And since one of my many hats is as an Afro-Cuban percussionist and longtime bandleader, I've managed to develop good ears along the way. I also consider myself to have good taste and a strong sense of aesthetics that transfer well to the music. Once I become familiar with the music of an artist who I enjoy and am working with, I can offer my opinion (if they want it) on how to make the music translate into a great recording. I'm also connected to a large pool of talent in many different realms so there's always someone around the corner I can rely on to make the project better.
Which artist and why
I think working with any artist who has a clear vision and who works deliberately and without hesitation can be rewarding. That said, it's important for an artist to keep an open mind while they go through the process of producing their music. I try to attract this sort of clientele in our studio.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Yes, Kamilo Kract of Soundworks Recording Studios here in Queens. He's an inspiration and my go-to person whenever I do bigger projects with my own band. He's pretty much the guy you need if you're recording the Latin genres.
Analog or digital and why?
Both, of course! Analog for the sound and digital for the workflow it facilitates. At the studio we sometimes mix down to a ReVox reel to reel deck. It gives the music a warm and mellow sound compression that can't be had with any plugin or anything else in the digital realm.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
Satisfaction and a great final product. Efficiency and an organized atmosphere that's great to work in.
What do you like most about your job?
Being around great artists and their creations. I also like when I see the final product of a project I take part in.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
As a longtime member of DUMBO's enclave of musicians and artists it was inevitable that I embark on a musical path. I started as a visual artist but left that world for the music business in 2003 when I founded my band, Conjunto Guantanamo. Within several years of that I began exploring the recording side of things and here we are enjoying the success of lots of hard work. It takes blood sweat and tears to make dreams come true. Just keep going.
How would you describe your style?
Classicaly swinginging. Traditional yet fresh and new.
Can you share one music production tip?
Know your material inside and out before you step into the studio to make it forever. Make sure you don't find yourself hesitating over your music when your there. At the same time, be open to new ideas that may surface. Sometimes things that really work well in a recording start off sounding challenging at first and it takes a bit of getting used to something new.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring a certain level of good taste shapped by my decades as a lover of the most ecclectic blend of musical genres. From traditional Cuban to jazz to classical to Punk rock. And, of course, my many years as a bandleader. Over the years one develops good ears and a strong opinion of what works and what doesn't
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Egrem Studios in Havana, Cuba, where Buena Vista SC recorded thier monumental suite of Albums. It's one of the oldest studios in existance anywhere in the world. Some of the most influential music since the 1940s was recorded there. Anyone interested in recording should look it up.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Right now we're doing mostly live tracking projects involving several musicians simultaneously tracking their songs. I prefer to work that way whenever possible because that way it's a recording of the musicians actually interacting in a mutual conversation rather than just laying down tracks in layers the way people are doing these days. While that's ok sometimes, this new way is lacking life and energy. The players that came before the track being recorded are shut out of the conversation and the final product lacks the feel of a "special moment"
Like most small studios, we also do a lot of editing and mixing and even overdubbing. Since we also have our publishing division, sometimes we participate in the publishing and distribution process. We can even help our clients secure licensing for cover songs, if that's what they're doing.
What's your typical work process?
If I'm working with an artist it's generaly because I feel I like thier style or genre. I don't think it makes any sense to have an engineer or producer that doesn't identify with your personal musical style. I generally like to sit down with an artist and discuss thier project at first. Have a pre production pow-wow and plan out or sessions and what we'll record live and or what we'll overdub. Once we start, I like to mske sure everything goes smoothly as far as time and workflow because, for the client, time is money.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I'm usually doing work with more natural sounds. Acoustic and traditional instruments and players more than electronic stuff or sampling. Although, creatively speaking, I'm open to working with anything really. Ad long as something works, anything is viable, whatever the art form.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I'm producing a compilation album of some of the different acts coming out of DUMBO, Brooklyn. There are a great many musicians here and i feel there an opportunity to make an interesting album that people will appreciate years down the line. I'm also producing Conjunto Guantanamo's next album which will be a live album. This as well as a few demos and the sort of small projects that commonly happen in a small studio like this.