It's simple: We have a little chat and you send me your song, I work some magic and sprinkle a little fairy dust, Let me know what you think and I'll tweak it to your taste, Then it's yours to keep, less than 14 days after we met. Sound good?
2 years studying Diploma of Sound Engineering at SAE Institute in Adelaide, South Australia.
Working from home, Spare Second Recording, and Solarus Records since 2016.
Playing in bands and as a solo artist for 8+ years.
Podcast mix/master engineer for 12 months.
I'm passionate about pulling a good mix, and even more so with mastering. I cut my teeth on acoustic, rock, punk, and indie.
I work best when I have a clear idea of what you're after. So let's have a conversation about what you want out of the project.
Sonic influences, soundstage, loudness preferences. It's all up to you.
If there's something you're unsure about, just ask!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Sean Bell
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The newest Quinton Trembath single 'Warm Beer'. I mastered from stems, and feel like I really delivered the energy of the song. The double bass was in a unique position sonically, and balancing this with the drums and violin are the heart and soul of this production.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mastering a full length by Quinton Trembath, folk-punk artists from Melbourne, Australia. And buying more gear. I recently acquired a 500 series rack with Neve and JFET colour modules, so I can impart real analog saturation to my masters.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They serve very unique and specific needs and a good engineer will always recognise the benefits of both.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Excellence. Client satisfaction is ultimately the end goal, and my job isn't done until that's ticked off.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being part of an artist and engineer's creative process. Being able to make new and incredible music and delivering it to the world.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you add more weight to the kick? Yes.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's the same as mixing. Mastering is a discipline in and of itself.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of sound are you looking for? How much loudness vs. dynamics are you after? Would you prefer me to mix from stems or a stereo bounce? What kind of file delivery would you like?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Open a dialogue. I may only be as good as my last piece of work, but the next one will be better.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A good laptop, decent monitors, a pair of LA-2A compressors, a Studer tape machine, and a coffee machine.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Audio engineering has been my craft for 6
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Transparent; taking in the needs of the genre and applying that to the track.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Frank Ocean. The unbridled creativity and raw emotion that goes into his tracks are something I would relish the opportunity to be a part of.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Listen carefully, then adjust. Repeat.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, indie, and punk. Occasionally folk, hip-hop, RnB and pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The ability to highlight the important parts of a track, while bringing up everything in the periphery, so every facet can be heard clealy.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring out the strongest points of a song. Music is meant to be a dynamic performance, and I tailor each and every master to shedding light on the bright moments of a performance, as well as maintaining the feel and imaging of a commercially viable track.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I communicate with the artist and mix engineer; assessing what ideas they have in mind for the end product. I listen carefully and take notes, then begin at the low-end and work my way up. Finishing with (often) subtle bus compression, stereo imaging, and saturation.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A carefully assembled dedicated mastering space in a humble townhouse in Adelaide city. I listen to records here all day every day, and use mastering-specific plugins and outboard gear to inch closer to the perfect sound. The room is acoustically treated and tuned, with Focal Solo 6 monitors, an Antelope audio interface, MacBook Pro, and 500 series rack for analog summing and saturation.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Eric Valentine, with his open-book approach and no-nonsense mixing and mastering techniques. Sam Pura, a pop-punk heavyweight that stops at nothing to serve the song and make the best music possible. Ace Enders/Lumberyard Recording, a studio that gives artists the musician's approach to making records.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.