Zach Allen has over a decade of experience working in studios all over Nashville. A graduate of Full Sail University, Zach has worked with famous artists in multiple genres like Deep Purple (Rock), Keb Mo (Blues, Roots) Toby Keith and Gary Allan (Country) as well as Multiple Grammy Award Winning Producers Tom Hambridge and Frank Rogers.

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Zach Allen:

  • Johnny Lee
  • Keb' Mo'
  • Keb' Mo'
  • Jennifer Holliday
  • Johnny Mathis
  • Toby Keith
  • Toby Keith
  • Toby Keith
  • Triumphant Quartet
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Gary Allan
  • Natalie Grant
  • Trailer Choir
  • JW-Jones
  • VeggieTales
  • Canton Junction
  • Larry Fleet
  • Larry Fleet
  • Andrew Varner
  • Andrew Varner
  • Andrew Varner
  • Andrew Varner
  • Andrew Varner
  • Zach Allen
  • Billy K Band
  • Deborah Allen
  • Beyond the Ashes
  • Tempt

Genres I specialize in

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Interview with Zach Allen

Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I just finished up tracking some overdubs on a Keb Mo/Taj Mahal duo record tentatively set to release this fall. I tracked lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, horns, bgvs, and also did a lot of editing in Pro Tools.
Analog or digital and why?
Depends on what you are going for. If you want it to sound more vintage, and if you are able to perform without the help of Pro Tools, go analog. If you want the max amount of flexibility, options, and ability for quick easy recall along with a more modern sound, go digital.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I really have done everything from Pop, Rock, Blues, Hip Hop, Southern Gospel, but being in Nashville, I have spent the most time working on Country.
What's your typical work process?
I always analyze the client I am working for and try to work at their preferred pace, not mine. I have tracked as many as 38 Nashville Demos in a day with a great session band, but I have also gone the other extreme spending 2 hours getting a vocal sound. The more versatile you can be, the more people who will feel comfortable putting their music in your hands.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Being born in the 80's and growing up in the 90's, I am a child of the grunge rock era. My 3 all time favorite Producers are Rick Rubin, Butch Vig, and Brendan O'Brien. More recently I have been a big fan of everything Bruno Mars and Ryan Lewis are doing, among others.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The beautiful thing about my job is that each day brings a new challenge. One day I could be tracking a band of session musicians from Nashville, the next day I could be programming a pop song, and the next day I could be tuning vocals, tracking horns, etc. Keeping my work fresh allows me to have plenty of energy and passion for each job I am assigned.
What are you working on at the moment?
Answering all of these questions. :)
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
110% effort every time to make sure they are always satisfied.
What do you like most about your job?
I work on music for a living. Enough said.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think the average person doesn't realize the time it takes to make something great in the studio. It definitely doesn't happen overnight.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are your goals for this song(s)? Tell me about the music? I like to know as much as I can about the music and a person's musical approach going in as that helps me get inside their head and allows me to achieve their vision for their music.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Hire me, I promise you will be happy. If during the course of working on your song(s), I feel that something in the production or mix could be improved, I am never afraid to bring it up. I treat everyone's song that I work on like my own. That being said I don't submit work to my clients until I AM 100% happy with it.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
That's kind of a weird question as desert islands generally don't have any power. :) A Pro Tools Rig, Neve 1073 Pre/EQ, Distressor, an SM7, and a good guitar.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I graduated from Full Sail University in 2007 and moved to Nashville immediately afterwards. I spent about 8 months doing various internships until I landed one at the World Famous Tracking Room in Nashville. A few months later I started assisting sessions and just built my way up from there learning everything I could from the Pros that would come in. I spent 6 years on staff, 4 as the Head Engineer and Studio Manager, before I went freelance in early 2014. I now do the majority of my tracking out of CTM on Music Row.
How would you describe your style?
I just try to analyze each client and figure out the best way to make them happy. At the end of the day it's all about customer service.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
My all time favorite is The Beatles. However, since I listen to music all day everyday it has become harder and harder to continue to seek new music out. I prefer to keep all of my musical heroes at an arms length to keep the nostalgia in tact. To answer the question though, the next big thing, whoever that may be.
Can you share one music production tip?
Make sure your clients are happy.
What do you bring to a song?
Musicality. I was playing guitar and studying music long before I learned what a mic pre is and how to EQ something. At the end of the day it is about triggering emotions with your music.
Tell us about your studio setup.
For tracking it really just depends what studio I am in. I love tracking on an API legacy like in Blackbird Studio D and Southern Ground, but I also love a good Trident 80B. What those Pres and EQs do to drums is spectacular. For mixing I mix in Pro Tools. Use an Apogee Symphony as my interface. I rely heavily on the UA plugs as well as the Metric Halo Bundle. My vocal chain is a Neve 1073 Channel Strip into a Distressor. Mic Depends on the singer.