It is your music. Be proud of it! I started this music studio to work on my own music. It was a hard and interesting journey! Now I work with different artists from different parts of the world. Have mixed and mastered whole albums remotely and recorded various artists in Gothenburg.
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Interview with Proud Music Studios
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My clients usually record their tracks at a home or professional studio. They then send them to me and I mix their song. Many artists also come to my studio to record vocals with high quality
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chris Lord Alge. I learned from him to use my ears and not work on something until I knew the results I want. And then there's Graham Cochrane. He gave me the confirmation I needed about the relationship between good quality and expensive gear. Expensive gear is ot the most important factor in music production (they are nice to have though)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is quite simple. I focused first on acoustic treatment and good listening monitors. I also make use of room calibration software to improve the fidelity of what I am listening to. I got a couple of microphones to record vocals and acoustic instruments. For electric guitars and bass I use modeled amps software with great results. I also.ise an electronic drum kit to record drum tracks. I use the midi information that comes out from it to create a great drum sound using top notch drum samples. For mixing and mastering I use analog modeled plugins.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For recording I want to start with a reference track recorded following a tempo click. If the song has vocals, I want those vocals on the reference track. After that is done I record the rest of instruments and vocals one at a time. When mixing I expect the customer delivers high quality sounding recordings and in the correct format. I also ask for references on similar artists or sounds they like. If possible, a rough mix provided by the customers helps me understand what they're after. I listen to the raw material and give feedback to the customer about it. If it need fixing I also ask for that. After the initial listening I get into the mixing part. First I work with volume levels and panning. When I got a good balance I start processing each track, or groups of tracks, till then sound matches what I am looking for. The send the customer the mix indifferent stages so that they can hear the progress and give me feedback. After the mix is done from my side, the customer can still ask for changes. Usually I give them 3 revisions of a mix.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to give it space. Clarity. And emotion. I respect the work the artist has done by making sure that it can be listened to. With this I mean that each instrument or vocal that has been recorded will have its space and moment. And it will sound good when it does. Sometimes I add my own arrangements to improve a song. But the final decision is taken by the artist / producer
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Getting the best performance an artist can give me. Regardless of how skilled a mixing engineer is, if the recordings or performances are bad, the song will sound bad. So I focus most of the energy there. I would I have a good ear to get the best sound.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock music is the one I understand the better and have good experience working with it. Lately I've been working with rap and hip hop artists with good results.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Use your ears before the tools.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Beck. Love his music and his originality. His a genius and I could learn a lot from his creative process.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Working style: friendly, open and empathic. Music style: melancholic, hard and melodic
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been working seriously with music production for 5 years. Before that it was more experimenting and playing music and recording my self. It was actually the recording of my first album that pushed me to start my own production studio. I loved the experience so much that I decided to start working with other artists.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Given that I have a computer and instruments, I would take: a mic, an audio interface and a pair of good monitors. I am assuming that I have my plugins to work with :)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: To prepare everything very well before hiring me for a mix. With this I mean that the customer has to be happy with the recordings and the song itself. He or she should have a good idea of what they're looking for. And should not be afraid of asking what they want. If these things are met the working process would be more fun and smooth. And the levels of frustration from other sides very low (if any).
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Any reference to the sound they're looking for and if they are ready to get started. I usually tell them to take their time to prepare the material.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That gear is the answer to professional sounding mixes
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Money s their biggest concern. I have flat rates for my services like, for example, I charge x amount of money per song and not per hour. The answer I give them is the exact price of what they're asking for.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That every project is different from.the previous one. And well, music is the best thing in life and I get to work with it.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I'll do my best to give them the sound they want. And that, in case they are not satisfied, get wont spend any money.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: The one you feel most comfortable with. I work in the digital realm, but would not defend it against analog supporters. I think that a great job can be done with either of them.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet. Hope to meet many new people in here.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am recording and mixing two hip hop artists and a soul artist. I am also mixing and mastering, remotely, the album of a sweden based rock artist.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I got hired to mix and master the album of a rock artist. When I went through his recorded material I noticed many problems in them. Click and pops. Or bad performances. I decided to edit the material and fix it, but as I started working on it I thought that the result was going to be much better if the recordings where good from.the beginning. I talked about this with the customer and coached him a bit on how to get better recordings. He worked hard on this with some objections. But after a time he told me how grateful he was that I "made him" do a good work from the beginning. He was amazed on how his music sounded. That the music was the most important aspect of all. So, I mixed and mastered the album and then the customer send me a previous mix that another mixing engineer had made for one of the songs. The difference was huge! My mix was far better and the customer was so happy that we worked so hard on his music. It made me feel very proud of myself that I didn't take the easy way. That I aimed to good quality and got it.