My goal has always been to achieve the sonic levels of Dr. Dre while crafting my own sound. I love to bring the voice front and center, make the tracks feel large and dynamic where everything has a space and place.
Sometimes when an artist turns into a producer / engineer, it's because of a need to control everything or to save money. In my case, ever since hearing 2001 by Dr. Dre, I've have this desire to know how he crafted such amazing music both sonically and in the groove. All that I do in music is in the desire to achieve said goal. I've had the fortune to know what it's like to be in front and behind the mic. When I craft a record I like to find ways to make the artist stand out, whether that be in the mix or adjustment the arrangement. When I produce for an artist who's seeking that creative direction, my goal is to wrap the song around their performance.
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Interview with Music By Darcy
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The "Why Not" EP that I produced, mixed and mastered with a Toronto artist by the name of Petey. We crafted this during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic completely remote minus one record. Most people don't know this, but 5 out of the 6 songs were recorded on a USB microphone of which I had to blend in the sound of the one recorded at my studio on the AT4040.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Crafting records with local artists that I know.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Jordan Criddle
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Hybrid, that's why I'm riding the Universal Audio train.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will treat your record as if it were my own.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The moment when you realize where the song is going and how it could sound.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Who are my influences.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I don't think this is a misconception about the job itself, but I commonly meet clients who's prior experiences have been with people who under communicate. I prefer to be in as much constant communication as possible to produce the best record possible.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you like and dislike the most about previous songs you've released or recorded? Can you show me a couple of songs that best represent the sound you're trying to achieve? What do you feel you need the most help with that you're hoping I'll bring to the record?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Even if you're unsure of how to communicate it, over communicate to me how you want to sound so that I can imagine it in my head. I can do the translation of metaphors into more accurate terminology for you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: iMac, Apollo Twin mkii, Adam Audio T7v, AT4040 and a midi keyboard.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started rapping as a hobby in 2000 while learning to slowly mix over the years. Five years ago I started producing and mixing, which I have been serious about ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Big, clean and wide sounds with forward vocals.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Joyner Lucas for his craftsmanship as an artist and desire for forward vocals.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Creating bounce comes from the interplay between elements, those that create anticipation and those that push your forward.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hip hop, Trap and R&B.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Starting as an artist, my mind is always focused on crafting records from the perspective of one. I take each song seriously as if it's my own record. I always say to myself, I'm trying to find the song and let it come to me. Sometimes a backup vocal that was meant to be small ends up becoming the start becomes it catches me as a listener and I adjust the mix / arrangement accordingly.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: For me the vocals are center stage and I take that very serious in the mix. Before I even apply a single bit of reverb or delay I make sure I like how the vocals sound in the track. I want to be able to enjoy them raw first, because I know they'll be that much better. Making sure not just the vocals, but everything has a place in the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Mixing is all about getting to understand what the client is aiming for, cleaning up the vocals word-by-word and then striking the right balance and adding the sweet stuff. Getting the to know the goal and cleaning up the vocals are most crucial steps that often get overlooked.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Apollo Twin mkii, Adam Audio T7v, LUNA, Logic Pro X, Audio Technica AT4040, Aston Origin and iPad Pro for mobile music production.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a really big fan of anyone who has unique style but creates space and dynamics in their production. For me it's really these producers that do it the most: Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Kato on the Track and Illmind.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of the time I'm either mixing a record or producing and mixing a record for an artist.