What are you working on at the moment?
Retro/60's surfer-pop project with local band. Enjoying it, they really don't make 'em like this anymore
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Gentry Studer (Epicenter Mastering)
Analog or digital and why?
Definitely both. Digital because of workflow and with today's technology it is amazing what can be done. Analog because there is no substitution. Nothing can bring more depth, dimension, character, color, and overall shape to sound like analog.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q. You can fix that, right?
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That I'm only working when the record light is on.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I always ask, "who do you sound like?" Without fail I will get one of two responses. Either "nobody" or "everybody"
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
I would say don't bargain-shop. A lot of artists have the "retail" mentality when it comes to choosing a studio, or producer/mix engineer. I always suggest that if you're serious about your music then pay the engineer/producer what they're worth. In the end, you'll get more than you paid for
Can you share one music production tip?
If a song, at its core, cannot be reduced to a single instrument and a single voice in a single performance then, most likely, it's not ready yet. Keep cooking, you're almost there.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Usually, I work on pop, pop/rock, heavy rock, acoustic, americana, reggae, and singer-songwriter.
What's your strongest skill?
Again, I would say management. Most clients I work with are great at creating the "mountain top" experience of a song or song idea. I like to help them carve out the path from the ground to the mountain top and back down again, and with a bachelor's in music I have the tool set to help provide that. It's almost always in the little decisions that you find the most creativity. Let's try this triad inversion here, or maybe end this phrase with a weaker cadence.
What do you bring to a song?
Management. I had a colleague of mine say to me once, years ago, "Bryan, you're a fantastic musician, but you don't know how to manage your music." These words haunted me, because he was right. So I dedicated myself to learning how to manage music and musical ideas, and how to commit to something until the idea became a fully developed song, ready for production.
What's your typical work process?
I'm very methodical and cerebral in my approach. I like to think things through and consider all options. For me, this brings clarity to the "decision" table and leaves no stone unturned, so to say. Mostly, I mix WITHOUT any processing over the mix buss or stereo buss. This forces me to commit to the mixing process at hand and makes me make better decisions as I go. I like to commit to every step before the next one is taken. I.E. we're not ready to mix until the tracking is complete. We're not ready to track unless the writing is complete, etc.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio is centered around a Euphonix CS3000 automated analog console paired with monitoring by PSI Audio. I love analog mixing, always have. So most tracks are pre-mixed (edited and prepped for processing) in the digital realm and then sent to the console for analog mixing, incorporating compression and equalization through outboard processors. All reverbs, delays, and other time-based effects are usually handled digitally, more so for the ease of workflow and recall-ability.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Everyone on soundbetter. I really love seeing everyone doing so well. When I need to be inspired, I just check out the next listing
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I take most of my clients from start to finish; that is from song conception, development, arrangement, tracking to final mix down. I like this because we're able to create the song from moment one with the final mix in mind. So, the decisions we make while writing affect the decisions we'll make with arrangement which, naturally, affect the decisions we'll make during tracking because we know we'll want the end result to be x or y. I think this produces a unified and coherent approach to making records.