Let’s make something to be excited about.
People write songs and play their instrument and think, that’s enough to make a record that affects others. It takes sincere expression in every aspect from lyrics to performance to a mix in order to hopefully affect others. We will focus on the details and decide if those aspects do in fact come across sincere before we move on to the next step. This process will help develop the most exciting outcome for your project.
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Interview with Michael Vealey
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Witty Tarbox “Origins of Schmitty”. I finished the tracking then mixed the record. The band is full of great guys and it was an eclectic fun project.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Roughly 4 hip hop singles or records, 2 indie rock records, 3 gospel songs, a dance song and miscellaneous podcast and voice recordings.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog gear into Pro Tools because of budgets.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that we will not stop until their vision or an improved version of that vision has been achieved and they feel excited about it.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with others on a creative adventure. The gear is cool too.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long have you been doing this? I say nearly 30 years. Have you worked for anyone famous? I say no.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Maybe that it has no real value. I say that because most of the artists I have talked to think that my part is easy, shouldn’t take long and shouldn’t cost much.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you have original songs? What are your goals with your song(s)? Do you desire to produce something more artistic or commercial?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have a clear picture of your goal. Understand what you would like to create to a point that you can express it with your voice or a guitar. If you know both of those previous points of advice, make sure you memorize every part, word, inflection possible before attempting studio work.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Martin Acoustic, vintage drum kit, acoustic bass, microphone, recorder.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started with being a rodie, then starting a band, then recording, lots of trial and error in bands and recording, got serious in my 30’s and went to Full Sail for music production, dedicated myself to music in my 40’s. Nearly 30 years with a more serious focus after the first 10.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Focused, engaged and creative.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The Black Keys. They are raw and focus on feel.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Encourage and value the bands/artists creative tendencies.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Original indie rock, hip hop and blues.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ability to sense if a performance is sincere or communication.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Lyrical, melodic, harmonic and rhythm sense to guide the song to it’s emotive potential so it stands on it’s own, artistically and musically.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Review songs, focus on parts that need adjustments, record every step, review, adjust as many times necessary, track, Edit, Mix, Master.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work out of GCR Audio and Black Rock EPS in Buffalo NY and travel with a mobile live mixing and tracking rig for pre production and live performance situations.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Pat Carney, Dan Auerbach, Chris Cornell, Brad Wilk, Dave Grohl, Seal, Mike Campbell, Tom Petty, Eric Valentine, Warren Huart, Michael Brauer, Bob Clearmountain, Michael Jackson, Dave Matthews Band, Jacquire King, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Artist and band writing and production for studio and live performance.