Being a musician, I always break the barrier between audio engineer's technical mind and musician's creative heart. Que además habla español!
Studying music for 20 years now, I offer editing and mixing services of your recordings and if you want I can add a few touches of my own, even an EDM remix(I'm a music composition graduate). And on top of it I'll do mastering!
I consider track comping (merging several takes into one track) as editing. Just like time alignment-quantization. For me, all that is editing (track comping, quantization and editing) is 30$.
I take a special consideration on vocals, making the whole process (vocal comping, vocal editing, quantization, editing) cost 50$.
I can make the mix I think sounds right, or you can send me references of song you like, but in the end I'll make the mix that you want, no matter what.
Mastering included with every mix!!
If you want a remix, I would make a EDM remix of your song. But if you have some special needs, feel free to ask.
I have a 300$ fee if you want a full new song. But if you only want some special FX or some new piano chords, the price gets much lower.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with NOx
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: One first thought, SoundBetter puts my answer on reverse, so my state of mind is actually from bottom to top. This makes more sense if you start reading from bottom to top. So... Havana On Me (a local band) was having a big concert (at least, big for me hehe). They were going to record the concert, and make a video. They wanted to record it multi track, I think it was like 30 tracks. I had to learn how to do that with the mixer they were going to rent, and send it in real time to my laptop. I had 2 days of rehearsal to check that my laptop could stand that stress. I had to use ProTools, FL Studio isn't made for that. So, the day of the show, I had to mix live and record live, I had a tablet, a Yamaha digital mixer that I had to study, lots of effects and tools, it was really awesome. And then... Editing and mixing allllllllllll that. My head was about to explode. I like that feeling hahah and in my home... I realized... The sax mic (it was wireless) was raised by someone.... it just was impossible to have sax in that recording. I had to make a mistake somewhere, doing the job of 3 people (live mix, live recording, editing-mixing). But, mistakes make me grow. That was the last question!!! Wiiiiiiii
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Well, we are on quarantine, so I'm just making my own music. Everything else is stopped. As soon as everything starts again, I'll keep teaching counterpoint, playing in my band, making my own music, mixing live and mixing in my home. Probably your song!!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm the first of my people in here. If anything, I'll get them here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Oh **** I knew this one was coming! This question only makes fights! It's like asking about religion, politics or what is love! But.... I have to answer. I prefer digital. The analog world is about crispiness, soft saturation and electric errors that makes a great sound. I really don't want that. I like cleanliness and perfection, easy automation and endless possibilities, and having the same effects for many tracks without having to use the effect one at a time because lack of funds. Although, we will always need the analog world. Speakers are there, and many effects are simulations of analog equipment. And saturation is, many times, a good sound.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You'll get what you want, unless you don't talk to me.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: ..... It's weird, but I really like how every work is better than the last one... I haven't got to a place where I feel stucked (depressions as an emotional guy aside haha).
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: You made such a good job! How can I pay youuuuu?? lol Jokes aside, money is a big concern to clients.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Many people think that we are tech machines, that just do tech stuff. Editing and mixing takes a lot of tech knowledge, and with that you can do great things, but you get the edge when you use your artistic side. In editing: if you hear a note out of beat, the tech way would be to move it to sync. The artistic way is doing it by ear. Sometimes a note is meant to be a little out of beat. In mixing: balancing the volumes of every instrument could be seen as techy. "The voice above everything, bass and kick should work well together, lead instruments should be at the same volume of the voice (when soloing), and the rest is on a second layer". And then comes another guy and says "well, the voice should sound like a radio in this part, this guitar should sound way in the back with a big reverb but somehow it should be heard enough to be present, this choir needs more people so let's put a flanger to double it, and this pre-chorus should have a highpass filter, and remove it when the chorus start, to really make the kick and bass to crack open our brains". All that could be entirely different on another guy, and that's when the artistic part comes into action. Everyone has his own perspective. It isn't just volumes.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask for reference songs. Songs that the client wants to sound alike. Also I ask, how do you want to sound? But mostly in a friendly way, and to get his/her vibe. Translating vibe words into tech-mix stuff is way to hard to waste time in it. So I just take vibes and emotions and use that. The other big question is about money. I always feel bad around here, but I have to eat and I really like music, so I don't want to work on anything else. Another recurrent question is, how much editing you want? I tell them what's that, and why they should let me do it. There was one time (I'm going to bore you here, move to the next question), that a recurring client said she didn't want editing, she didn't had the money for it. I said "you shouldn't do that, you can pay me later". She didn't listen. When I showed her the mix, she almost got angry with me (she didn't, out of respect of our friendship), but I told her "I said you needed editing"....... Gladly, she did listen to me after that.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Check out many profiles and read about them. This is like dating, you want the one you like the most, you don't want to waste your time. Curiously, it is just like buying haha you want to buy the best product with the best price, you don't want to spend money on something that turns out to be useless. But, how to know if he is a good engineer? Hear to his/her song. Don't take into account genre, but pay attention to acoustic recordings vs synths, those are 2 different worlds, also, if he can mix a good voice, that's another world too. Listen to things like cleanliness, crispiness, and try to hear every instrument. If you like it, read his profile. If you like his tone and you think he is nice, contact him. Our job is about sounding good and listen to your ideas. But sometimes you have bad ideas or out-of-this-world ideas (and that's okay, you aren't an engineer) and we have to be smooth and tell you why it isn't a good idea, or an impossible idea. We have to be nice about it, and give a solution close to what you said. We can't just say no. An engineer that is counting the hours to end his job and take his money is a bad engineer, even if he sounds good.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: If I'm in a desert island, I really won't care about music, other than singing. So I would take: 1- A full bodysuit made to sustain heat and cold 2- A bag with food and water 3- A knife (everyone needs a knife to survive) 4- A GPS 5- A satellite phone, with batteries, working So I would call for help, and say my location from the GPS. So I can return to my home and make music.... Or writing a book about my awesome story and make millions... And then making music because I want to. The other way is: no one answers... So... I have a knife... Maybe I can survive with that.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Well, I'll bore you here, I'm going to talk a lot :) I started learning music in a music school when I was 8. That was 1999-2000. Since then, this is my life. I started playing violin, learned many stuff, deep stuff, that I still use (harmony, etc). I started making my own songs when I was 10 years, on the piano, no singing. And when I was around 15 years old I found FL Studio (the old Fruity Loops). Then, I started making songs in it, really crappy songs by the way. Didn't knew anything about mixing, and without that, good music sounds like trash. So, when I was 19 I entered in the Arts University of Cuba, ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte), taking music composition as my main topic. At the same time I continued my learning about the computer side of music. I didn't had much access to information about mixing, audio and sound design so I had to learn alone, cracking my head against walls many times. I started playing on bands when I was 20 years, as a violinist and then playing keyboards. Those bands allowed me to learn about the analog parts of electric guitars, and friends gave me really good hints. At some point, people started to see me as the tech guy lol and thanks to my cousin I started to mix live when I was 24 years old. By that time I started to record and mix people on studio, and I really started to make a living out of it. Now, I'm 28 years old, I play in a band, I mix live, I mix in my home (for other musicians and myself) and I teach counterpoint in one of the schools that I learned music. My students are 18yo tennagers. I told you I was going to talk a lot. Thanks for reading about my life! 😘
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: So many questions... I'm not sure I have a mixing style (as a musician I have a style, but I'm not in this site as a musician). Many engineers use presets to work faster. I actually don't use presets. If I have to work faster I skip some steps, thinking about what takes more time and gives less improvements. For me, presets make you sound like the guy who made the preset, and like the other engineers that use the same presets. And if the engineer made the preset himself and he uses it in every work, all their works will sound the same. And no musician wants to sound like another. I have suffered that and didn't like it. Although, I have only one mind, and I take many times the same decisions for the same reasons. So I probably have a style and I don't know it...
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would melt in front of Bruno Mars. I actually answered this way too fast haha. He is good at everything. He plays so many instruments, sings as a god (without editing) and dances like Michael Jackson (another god without editing). I could never beat Bruno Mars as a musician, and I'm ok with that.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Well, I already answered that lol Editing. That's what makes my mixes sound good. Read the answer about my strongest skill. I could add something. Musicians don't like to be edited. That's a mistake. That's an ego decision (I actually do that too, with myself). Fans want to hear gods, not humans, they want to worship us, and at the same time feel close to us. The closeness is about social media and lyrics (not so much about mixing) but the worshipping part is about sounding awesome, and editing makes you sound awesome. While a good bass sound, and a good drum sound makes fans dance.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My own songs are Pop and EDM. But as an engineer I have worked on Flamenco, Latin Music and Pop-Rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Editing. Lots of engineers don't pay attention to editing. I know that recording a guitar on top of only a drum is hard; or singing on top of a song (made by many musicians who couldn't record exactly on beat) is hard. Editing is about fixing that, and accomplishing what they usually do live. Playing at the exact same beat (aided by seeing each other). Also, the singer or violinist record a note out of pitch, or a guitar solo was smudged by a note that was a little off, that's fixed by editing. No one needs to know or wants to hear that mistake, and hearing it makes fans leave and hear someone else. We don't want that. We want you to be the best you can be. That's editing. After all, we want to hear the artists, not a good mix.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am a musician, so my vision of songs is about how it feels, not about db and tech stuff. I always enjoy this process, and I feel that I have good taste (people tell me that too). So, I take decisions based on what sounds better (hey, that's the name of this site haha).
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Step by step: 1- The client gives me the tracks and explains me what he/she wants, communication is very important 2- I organize the tracks by instrument (voice, guitars, drum, etc) and color them. Just to have a good understanding and a clean view of everything 3- I make a fast mix of everything (maybe the tracks are already good, so I leave them like that) 4- I clean every track, removing noises, cracks, pops, etc... 5- I edit the tracks (long hours there), converting every musician into gods! If they give me permission... 6- I really get into mixing, balancing everything, adding effects where is needed 7- And then master, getting the song to proper volumes If the client wants to hear how the process is going, I do a fast mix and master, so he/she can hear how it should sound at the end. Nothing sounds worse than a track without mixing and mastering.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio isn't the big whoop lol I prefer using headphones (Sennheiser) cause the stereo is always better (for my taste) and people now hear mostly on headphones and directly from the phone's speaker. So I think mixing with headphones and double checking in monitors and phone speakers is the best solution.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love EDM. Although in my youth I listened to rock, all kinds of rock. Right now I like Marshmellow and Alan Walker, but that doesn't mean I won't enjoy hearing some other genre's good music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Usually I do the whole process of recording, editing, mixing and mastering. But, in SoundBetter, due to being so far apart :( I won't be recording.