I help create remarkable & marketable music for synchronization and placement.
My career in audio spans 3 decades, and I have so many more stories to help tell with sound. During this time I have worked in many different capacities, including Video Production, Location Audio, Video Editing, Post Sound Editing, Podcasting, Live Sound Reinforcement, Music Composition, Music Recording and Performance. My studio space is a creative environment dedicated to produce great content.
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Interview with Bob B Melanson
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: In the studio, a great and often underutilized skill is knowing what NOT to do. There may be situations where more textures help tell the song's story. In those situations I have plenty of tools to help us achieve the final mix. There are also situations where those types of signal processing can just get in the way of the actual song. Knowing the songwriter's vision will help dictate where the process takes us. My primary focus is ‘what is most important’ in the track. Whether it's the melody, rhythm, lyric or texture... the touchstone to build the mix upon.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Decades of musicianship and songwriting experience is what I bring to a song. Bringing a songwriter’s song to life is timeless and fulfilling. Collaboration is key!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am a multi-instrumentalist and producer that enjoys sonic textures and soundscapes. Helping put music to lyrics and melodies is where I find my services being utilized most often to achieve a marketable product.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on a large range of styles of music. Hip Hop, Blues, Spaghetti Western, Country, Pop, Rock, Soul, Zydeco, Classical, Jazz, Folk.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Every artist has a story to tell. To be able to help tell that story in a more clear and concise way is why I do what I do.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I realized my career path in the beginning of my teens. I am a quick study and was lucky enough to write, record and perform with musicians, engineers and producers that we're better than me. This anointment of industry experience is what help shaped how I operate. This is where I learned what NOT to do. This is a huge lesson to learn and live by. I have been doing music production for 32 years.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'd take a ukulele, an umbrella, a hammock, a knife & a fishing pole.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I want to hear what their wants, needs and expectations are for their music. Above all, I want them to be happy. Cultivating this type of working relationship is what has kept me doing what I love.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I come from the analog domain. I LOVE analog. However there has been major improvements on the sound quality of 0's and 1's, that you just can't deny it's convenience and quality. I also believe in a hybrid of analog and digital where convenience and quality meet. My Apogee convertors along with outboard gear help me achieve this.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I don't know anyone on SoundBetter yet. However, I believe that if someone has great passion for their craft and a desire to work and thrive in their craft, there will be many possible artists, mixers, masterers and editors on SoundBetter that can help take your song to the next level. It's just a matter of finding someone that sparks your interest and then working with them and seeing the effort they put into your project while cultivating a professional relationship.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Louis Bell, Brendan O'Brien, Todd Rundgren, Quincy Jones, Focus
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Avid ProTools, Logic Pro X. WAVES, iZotope, URS, Ampeg, AKAI, Yamaha, Apogee
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen (Listen to the client and song). Mix (While making the song/ story the primary focus. Then, if needed, add the ear candy and proper soundscape). Master (I don't go crazy in mastering. My main focus is not to color the mix, only to get it to sound great in any listening environment).
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't rely on 'fixing it in post'. Get the proper track and performance to work with, right from the get-go. You and your listening audience will be much happier with the end result. It will also allow your engineer or producer to do their best work with your music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I guess my style would be considered 'modern/ old school'. I find myself always giving a nod to the great recording artists that came before. Allowing myself to be current while paying tribute to classics.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Collaboration is key. If you have a great song, but just not the ear or knowledge on how to properly mix your song... let me help. That’s what I'm here for.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: "Polishing Turds". Hahahaaa. But seriously... if you send a vocal track recorded with only your iPhone mic... please don't expect it to resemble Billie Eilish's latest hit. There are things that sound mixers can do to help guide the track where it needs to be... but miracles can't be performed in every case. I prefer to work with the artist, making sure we have the best assets to move forward.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I get asked to co-write and ghostwrite a lot more than I ever thought I would. Not so much for lyrics... but always composing beats and performing musical instrument parts happens a lot. My answer is ‘If you feel I can add value to your song, let’s do this’.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I can put to use, all of the skills I have developed over the past 30 years, into my craft. This lets me wake up with purpose and a smile.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will promise to do everything I can to make sure I deliver the highest quality mix or master, on or before the agreed upon deadline. This adds trust and helps build those relationships that will keep you coming back and will allow us to keep working together.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently working on a soundtrack for a film. I also have return clients with podcasts and voiceovers that need mixing. In my spare time, I write beats and music for film, commercial and radio placement.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm proud of mostly everything I spend time working on. I don't take every job that is offered to me... but if I feel (or hear) that it's something that would benefit from my experience, I am more likely to sign onto that project over one that doesn't necessarily see my value in the same way. I have put decades into my craft and know what type of value my collaboration has had on both amateur and professional credits. If I had to pick one project I worked on, it would be a film I helped produce titled 'All I've Got' - A Classic Rock & Roll adventure based on the true life and music of Gary Wey. I got to listen to his original reel to reel recordings and re-create them for the soundtrack and performances on the film. I was blessed to be able to hang out with his surviving family and they were so happy and proud to hear his music again. It was an absolutely amazing and satisfying experience.