Multi-instrumental Composer and Producer with excellent writing and arranging experience. Specialising in feel-heavy, catchy and ear friendly vocal, guitar and keys based music of all genres.
I specialise in vocals, guitar and keys but can pickup most instruments with ease. I have a lot of performance background having worked in the UK's originals circuit in many bands and then professionally with some touring theatre shows. As a producer I run my own protools setup on which I recently completed my 2nd album "Darling Remember". It was recorded and produced entirely by me at my studio.
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Interview with Murray Gardiner
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My 2nd album Darling Remember was a really satisfying creative experience and I learnt a lot in the process.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Whichever is the client's preference.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I really do care and just want your music to be the best that it can be.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I just love nailing a great performance and being able to deliver quality work.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How quickly can you do the job. I answer as honestly as possible in relation to each project and my availability.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask them to send lyric sheets if it's a vocal session (don't want any misinterpretations spoiling a good take). I discuss tones and sounds and effect requirements with guitar sessions. In all cases I ask for examples of what they're hoping to achieve and what they would like to avoid.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. And ask questions/have a conversation. We work better when we understand better what you need.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Just a guitar and a piano would be enough. Oh, and a drum kit so I could finally master it without worrying about the neightbours.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I spent some years in a bunch of indie bands where I mostly played guitar and keyboards and wrote songs. Then did some professional touring before moving onto production and session work. In the midst of all that I self-produced two albums on my own label.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Rock, Blues, Alternative, Jazz, Country, Electronic - anything that jams!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bob Dylan. People don't talk about it a lot but a lot of his music is very groove based and I'd love to chug a rhythm or sing a harmony in the background of some of that stuff.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't go overboard on effects.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A lot of rock and country/folk music. Also some more off-kilter electro music. Also some jazz influenced tracks. My clients are fairly varied, which I appreciate.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have a good ear for harmony and am able to double vocals and rhythm tracks with a lot of accuracy.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Harmony, variation, killer sound! Ultimately, the best of whatever a client is looking for.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I consult properly with clients and am happy to discuss needs in detail. It brings reassurance to the client and makes my job easier to understand what's needed before pressing record. This also speeds up the process and helps me to deliver projects on time.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run ProTools on my iMac with Native Instruments plugins and hardware for keys and digital amps and effects. I use high-end Fender and Gibson guitars with Marshall and Fender amps as well as a variety of excellent analogue effects by builders like BOSS, Catalinbread, Jim Dunlop, Fulltone, M.I. Audio and EHX.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Vocal sessions: I am regularly asked to provide lead and background vocals as well as rhythm and lead guitars for a number of varied artists across the globe.