Fortress New Media Studios
Studio Drummer, Audio Engineer
Hi my name is Andre Skinner, I am a professional Audio Engineer, Music Producer, Songwriter and Session Musician working out of my home studio in Brooklin Ontario Canada. I pride myself in navigating artists with a specific sonic vision and making it a reality with staying power.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Interview with Fortress New Media Studios
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Canteen Knockout - Toronto based Alt Country band. This was a band that ended up being signed to a record label, toured Canada, USA and Europe and garnered years of worldwide radio play from 2006 onward. Canteen Knockout was conceptualized and recorded at Fortress New Media's Toronto location and exclusively worked at the studio for it's entire 10 year span.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Hip Hop and Indie Pop
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Sam Ibbett
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital: more flexibility and much more training on that format. Looking at offering a 2" tape analogue option when I have the resources to do so.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Major Label quality recordings.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I can help artists fulfill their recording visions
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Where is Brooklin? Just north of Whitby Can we record live drums? Yes What are your hours? Live band sessions must go end before 8pm. Mixing and overdubs can continue from 8pm onward. We have loud music curfew for 8pm (drums, electric guitars, full lound band etc.)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I only push buttons and record music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Have you recorded in the studio before, are your songs written, are your beats written, what are your goals with this recording, what are your career goals in music
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be as prepared with your project as possible before booking a session
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic guitar, drums, bass, shakers, multichannel digital recorder
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 20 years, I am currently apprenticing as a Foley Recordist. My career path will be as a pro-tools recordist/engineer both in musical and film capacities.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Unique and not forced.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Daniel Lanois; because we share similar reverb soundscape obsessions and I truly believe we could make sensational music together.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Be very selective for your vocal mic preamp. For warmth, use a tube preamp. It works amazing with my Sure SM7B.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, country and folk.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Drumming, guitar playing, singing, mixing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Amazing drum recording production and performance, top rate vocal production, top rate mixing and editing. Vintage and authentic guitar and bass tones both acoustic and electric. Emphasis on live off the floor recording for an authentic recording sound, no soulless overproducing.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to know in advance exactly what is being performed before the session arrives, at this point I will setup the session's technical details (amps, mic setups, sound checks) the night before an artist arrives to minimize downtime and getting to work. I like a productive workflow and to have artists very prepared, this makes our session efficient and rewarding.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio located in the basement with 500 square feet of space for the live room along with 3 smaller rooms for audio separation (amps, vocals). The control room is part of the live room making for an intimate environment between players and engineer.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Daniel Lanois, Brant Bjork, Brian Eno, Josh Homme, Ian Thornley, Harper Hug, Todd Rungren, Bob Rock, Ron Sexsmith, Ryan Adams, Wilco
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I record heavy metal, country, folk and hip-hop mainly. I specialize in live instrument recording (live bands, drum tracks, guitar tracks, vocal tracks etc.)