I'm a half Brit / half Swede living in Sweden. Most of my work is in a studio I run called The Overlook, located in the top of a 120 year old Seamen's church in the centre of Gävle. I record, mix and master. Most of the bands I produce/mix are in the extreme genres - but as an engineer I've worked with a lot of folk, pop and jazz.
Born in 1979, started playing in bands when I was 13. I got into the audio-world in 1999 when I played in a hardcore band and started tracking my friends demo tapes. Went on to study one year at college level, then did freelance work until I got employed in 2003. Been working full time ever since, ranging from live mixing, engineering, producing, mixing and mastering. I have experience with all styles of music, but you might find that my work is somewhat focused in the extreme area.
I've also been living in the UK in the past, and done freelance work there, both in other studios and using my mobile setup.
I offer online mixing and masterering, if you have a project that needs a tweak - get in touch.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with William Blackmon
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Last years coolest project was This Gift Is A Curse. The album is on quite a few "new year lists" in rock/metal magazines/blogs this year. I recorded the drums and mixed the album - the mix was one of the more time consuming projects so far but I'm very proud of the results and the album has gotten a lot of praise for the production in reviews.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A very long-term project which is heavy production together with mixing, at the same time two grindcore album mixes and an EP that needs vocal tracking and mixing / mastering.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Don't know anyone here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because of total recall and less detrimental A/D conversion! Also; a great mix is a great mix is a great mix.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To put my heart and soul in my work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working so in-depth with a process that can bring out the full potential of the product (i.e. the recording) is very rewarding.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: If I have any vacant weekends for recording, and usually it's yes but not in a while.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: There is still a lot of misunderstandings about loudness out there, and to no surprise since the rules are constantly changing.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is the time frame for the project and is there anything you really DON'T want me to do with the mix.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Play it safe with a DI on all instruments but also make sure you are happy with the basic sound of your raw tracks. Always record one-shots for the drums (for my phase/time adjusting). Label everything very carefully.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My BAE 1073 preamp, Coles 4038 ribbons, Orion 32+, Macbook pro and my Genelecs. I would have to build my own instruments though.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Since late 1999. Realized early that it's hard to build a career from playing extreme music and also fell in love with the process of recording. Started with a 8-track, went to College, got an internship in a studio working with a big console and 2" tape - got a job in that same studio and now run it all by my self with a completely digital setup.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Hifi mix - lofi vibe!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Napalm Death - such a classic band and lovely people.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get the sound at the source right!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most of it is death metal or grindcore, but ranging from that to alternative pop music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Making high energy music feel the way it's supposed to!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A musical understanding of what the song needs, and 100% dedication to fixing just that.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing; check the integrity of all the files, make sure everything aligns and is labelled correctly, setup the pro tools sessions using my mixing template - everything is colour coded and bus-assigned and grouped correctly. Check phase on all the multi-tracks and possibly nudge for time alignment, especially on drums. Listen to the raw session and see if anything sounds like it needs a lot of work or possibly re-amping / sample replacement - if so, check back with the artist. Setup a basic mix and work on this until I have something up that starts to sound like a record - bounce and check mix at my home setup. If it's pretty close - submit that first draft to the artist. When the basic mix is up on all tracks and everyone is happy, the next part of the process is the "musical" part of the mix - automating pans and levels, doing all the extra on every song to push them to the extra level, usually means a lot of automation to build dynamics. When all the songs are at a point where we don't know what needs fixing or could be better, bounce and export mix files and master files.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a digital setup for total recall-ability. I've spent my money where they make the biggest impact, so instruments, microphones, mic pre's and conversion. I have a few nice outboard compressors, such as a couple of Distressors, but I don't use processing on the way in and 99% of my processing in mixing is digital.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a big fan of Andrew Scheps, not only for his work but also his philosophy.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Remote mixing and mastering, sometimes including re-amping. I also do quite a lot of recording sessions with local bands.