Do you need a Musician? Great Songs? Production? Mixing/Mastering? Having worked for many years in the UK music industry I can provide all of these extensive production skills for your project and bring that professional edge to your recordings.
I am an experienced UK Musician providing all aspects of music production for my clients. I can provide everything from a simple guitar/ vocal part to a fully produced, radio ready song.
I have worked in many areas of the music industry as a Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Artist and Studio/Touring Musician.
As a Studio Musician I have worked on projects for numerous established artists such as Craig David, Damage, Eternal, Lady Leshurr, Jazzu and Alesha Dixon working in high end studios such as Sarm West and Air Studios.
In addition I have my own home studio setup which is fully acoustically treated and provides a perfect environment for remote recording and mixing/ mastering at a high level.
Please check out my portfolio on SoundBetter which only includes tracks in which I undertook 100% of the work myself including Writing, Arranging, Producing, Performing, Mixing and Mastering. All of these skills are now available for your project and I guarantee great communication, good turnaround times and 100% commitment to making your music sound fantastic!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Zac Whitaker
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I worked on a Remix of a song called All My Life by KCi and Jojo. The song ended up in a film called 10 Things I Hate About You and started my career as a professional musician so I am proud of that.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Songwriting with a Female artist called K'Leigh for Amber Entertainment, preparing for a live tour with a Russian artist called No Native and I have also just finished mixing and mastering a 12 song album of my own.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: None of my producer friends are yet on SoundBetter, I am trying to beat them to the punch Haha!! As soon as they are I will be the first to let you know :)
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: A bit of both..... Anolog for the front end- Mics, Pre amps etc to get a great sound off the bat. Digital for the mix- its just so much easier in terms of track recall etc and the sonic diffference is so small these days. Hybrid for the Master- Sprinkiling a little analogue warmth across your master bus, Pultec style EQ or SSL Compessor before using a digital limiter is a great approach.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: A professional approach and 100% commitment to get a great sounding result for your music.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music, i have always loved music and I will always love music- Thats it :)
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you make it sound like <insert your favourite Artist> ??? My answer is yes but my advise is not to copy and to take influences from your favourite artits but sprinkle other ones in there too. The process needs to be like a great chef taking a classic recipe but putting his/her own stamp on it to make something familiar yet original.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That its easy and we just mess about making music all day. I love what I do but I treat it extremely seriously with a professional approach that you would find from any other industry.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I am keen to get to know my clients so I can understand what makes them tick, especially musically. I like to find out what level they are at and what they arelooking to achieve from their music sonically and their ambitions for the finished project.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: The saying ' The only thing that matters is what comes out of the speakers' is true. If you like the sound of a providers portfolio then this is a good place to start. Then try and make sure that you are going to 'click' with the provider on an artisitc level, read the comments, biog etc and make sure the provider is going to provide you with great customer service as the result wont sound as sweet if the process is not a good one for you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. A Good Laptop 2. Daw- Cubase Pro 3. A Midi Keyboard (any) 4.Stereo Pair of C414 Microphones 5. Stereo Neve 1073 EQ pre amp. My reasons are that this will be enough to get great results . A good laptop with Cubase Pro will handle all mixing needs as well as a whole load of VSTs. The C414s and 1073 with provide a great analogue front end for recording. Hopefully then clients would wash up on the island with their own instruments :)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have started as a professional musicain in the early 2000s, I have been a full time musician with my own studio setup since 2013.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Classic songs with modern production :)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Stevie Wonder because he is a genius!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Let a track breath. By this I mean dont add instrument after instrument for the sake of it. Choose less instruments but ones that fill the enire frequency spectrum to get a really full sounding end product and make sure each instrument is audible inits own frequecy band, this will help balance the final mix and make it easier to get a good loud, energetic master.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop/Rock mainly but I have worked on all genres of contemporary music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ability to listen to the requirements of the client
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Experience- Being a Musician first who has gone into production and engineering helps me understand what is needed to bring a track to life. This brings a unique musical quality to tracks that an App or a plugin can not replicate.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: That depends on the job but it starts with listening to the needs of the client and understanding what they are looking for from a production. If I am unertaking a project from start to finish I would initially write the song with the client first in a basic form with an acoustic guitar. i would then listen to the production styles that the client wants on their track and apply them in the recording process. in terms of Mixing I will Gains Stage, Set basisc levels/ panning, sculpt with EQ, compess where needed, add effects such as Reverb/delay and then sweeten the track including automating individual instruments, adding parallell compression etc. At every stage I will always listen to the clients input to ensure they are getting what they want form the finished result.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small studio- 4m x 2.5m approximately. It is fully soundproofed and acoustically treated using graded rockwoll for a flat frequency response. My DAW of choice is Cubase Pro which in my opinion is the most versatile for creativity due to its vast library of VST instruments. I have Yamaha Keyboards with Motif Sounds that also act as my Midi/ Daw controller. Microphones include Rode NT-1, SM57, SM58 and WA-47 through Focusrite ISA pramps. Guitars include Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster Gibson SG and Takemine acoustic, I have two Tube ampifiers- Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister. I mix mainly in 'In the box' through Waves and Soundtoys plugins, My 'go- to' plugins include SSL E channel, Abbey Road reverb plate , J37- Tape, CLA 76 compressor, SSL Bus Compressor, Decapitator saturation and Echo Boy.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love the classic guitar bands like Queen, The Beatles, Nirvana, Oasis etc but I am a fan of music in general so if I hear something I like in any genre then I am inspired. If you listen to my own music you will definitey hear the influences listed above but there are also influences from Pop, R n B, Grime Rap, Country, Electronica and Classical music. In terms of music production professionals; There are so many but I love the work of George Martin for his classic arrangements, Chris Lord- Alge for his hard hitting Rock sound, Quincy Jones for his amazing creativity and ability to place the best musicians on the right records, Dr Dre for his unique ear and work with Eminem, Jacquire King for his great use of hybrid recording/ mixing between analogue and digital 'in the box'. I also love the album Sheer Heart Attack by Queen so have to mention Roy Thomas- Baker for his input on that album as well as A Night At The Opera.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My work over the years has been quite varied- I started in the industry playing guitar on sessions for Pop/ R n B records and gained a lot of knowledge from working in the high end studios of North and West London. Many of the records I worked on were re-mixes of singles by top 40 charting artists of the time but this work came to a grinding halt (post- Napster) when CD singles stopped being sold and Downloads/ Streaming became the normal. I then gained most of my work performing live doing an average of 200 shows per year in all types of venues for a variety of acts but also as myself as an artist (Zak White). This funded the building of my own home studio which although small, is fully sound proofed and treated and I have had numerous clients who have used my services for recordings and productions. These have included demos, cover recordings, backing tracks for live performers as well as full productions of original material in which I have been involved in the whole process, including the song writing and producing the final mastered recordings. In additon I get an increasing amount of requests as a session singer, I have a distinct 'gravelly' tone to my voice which is proving to be quite popular especially for more alternative music.