What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
In my teens and 20's I was obsessed with music and guitar, playing in a variety of Bands in my home country New Zealand before migrating to Australia in the late 80's.
In my 20's I became very interested in Recording Technology and also Electronic music and completed a Graduate Diploma in Music Technology at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Around this time in the mid 90's I also started as an Assistant Engineer at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne which is a large SSL/Neve based studio working with a huge variety of music mostly Pop and Rock. With my background in Music Technology I was contracted much as a Pro Tools Engineer and also began to Produce and Mix Artists in my own right.
Around 2005/6 I was also signed as an Artist/Producer with my own studio production Deepface which was an Electronic/Dance based act which received wide acclaim and received an Aria nomination for Best Dance Release, a Top 20 US Club Hit and success in the UK.
I currently work with a range of local Australian based Artists and have also taken on online mixing/production roles. I also work professionally as an Audio Director and Audio Post mixer for a large commercial TV Company in Melbourne, Australia.
What do you bring to a song?
I think at this point in my career experience is an asset and I like to think my empathy to delivering work that is suited to the track. Not "over mixing" or showing off my skills, rather working to deliver a great outcome for the track itself.
I believe can I bring a "high end" quality to vocal production and balance within music and mix to a genre.
I also pride myself in communication with clients and the ability to listen and deliver work as requested.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently Co-Producing and Mixing an EP for Tre Samuels who is an exciting young Australian Artist showing much promise. I am working with the Australian label Creamy Spies who have a number of Artists at various stages of development and I work generally in final editing/mixing and some co-production.
What do you like most about your job?
I like delivering a great result for my clients and feeling that I have engaged with them and worked together to produce a finished work that we are all proud of. There is a great element of trust clients place in me to work on their music and feeling that I have delivered for them and respecting their trust in me is very rewarding. Of course there is the huge bonus of seeing the music released and engaging with an audience and the Artist receiving due praise. Knowing you have made a contribution to music that is received well and enjoyed my people anywhere is a very tangible thing in my life and always has been.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think the biggest misconception is that mixing is a simple task of balancing all the elements of a song.
So much of what I do in particular with Electronic based music and Vocal mixing is in fact subtle and empathetic time editing and subtle sound design, working to create space and feel within a mix. Of course I also use all the usual tools of EQ, Compression and FX etc and years of experience in delivering quality work to my clients.
I don't have a set list of steps I take and proceed robot like thru every work!
What type of music do you usually work on?
There has been a large variety over the years but currently I think my vocal production and mixing in Electronic, Pop, RnB, Dance, Soul has been a strength. In the mid 2000's my own studio act Deepface had some success and drove work in Electronic/Pop/Dance but in the last few years I have been working in Neo Soul, RnB, Hip Hop also. I recently finished online mixing for a London based RnB act (LA Gray) that was mastered at Abbey Rd and due for release in 2016.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio is like many in that it has migrated to mostly "in the box" Pro Tools world. I have also collected thru the years a variety of analogue audio units like pre-amps, compressors and FX units that I will still use occasionally for re-amping or FX etc. For some projects I use a large format studio for tracking and mixing on Neve/SSL consoles which of course is budget driven and generally have analogue recorded drums within the session.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
My 'promise' to my clients is respect, courtesy and professionalism in all communication and never take on work that I don't believe I can make a high level contribution to or deliver to deadline.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I will ask the obvious questions like how many tracks in the session, the format it currently is in (Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic, FL Studio). I will also ask what genre you feel your music sits in and to give me examples of productions you feel are awesome.
I will ask for a timeline? What is the deadline for delivering back to you finished work? Am I able to commit to this is a fair question for a client to ask of me!
Communication is everything and online its vital to get to a point where we are "on the same page" in regards to your music and the outcome you are driving for. As an Artist myself I have worked with a range of music professionals in mixing and mastering etc and and I feel that if the communication is difficult or not really engaged then you must follow your instincts in making decisions about who you trust in contributing.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
I would research the professional as much as possible, checking credits and listening to their work. Do they already work in your genre and have delivered to clients finished works? Then of course communication is so so important! How do they respond to your questions and understand your music and do you believe they will make an important contribution?
What type of music do you usually work on?
Well there has been a large variety over the years but currently I think my vocal production and mixing in Electronic, Pop, RnB, Dance has been a strength.
What's your typical work process?
Once I have the clients work established within a session I will go about grouping tracks into areas like Vocals, Harmony (keys/bass/guitar), Kit and Percussion, FX etc and work to get a "ruff" balance happening while also listening and referencing to any mixes sent by the client. Then its zoning into areas looking closely at recording quality and making sure I have everything thats meant to be there.
Every track and every Artist of course has a vastly different approach to their work so what I am doing is initially looking at the presentation and sounds and what I feel I could do to enhance the work. At the early stage I listen before acting, setting up my session in readiness for mixing or editing as requested.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Online my clients have contracted me mostly for Mixing services while locally in Australia I am Producing/Mixing with a range of Artists in Electronic/Dance/Pop/Hip Hop,Soul,RnB. I have much experience in Vocal Editing/Mixing with Electronic Production which has I believe driven my reputation for delivering quality work in this field.