Recording and mixing credits on dozens of punk, experimental, and metal releases. Constantly on the look for new artists who push the boundaries and deliver off the wall performances. No sound is too extreme for me.
I am offering potential clients the opportunity to work with someone who has been able to provide artists with a comfortable free range to be themselves and keep the autonomy with their music. I believe people should feel connected to what they create and that they should feel that they have control over their work so that they can be proud of it.
Working out of The Watershed here in London, Ontario, the opportunities to deliver heavy music is endless and of exceptional quality. With all the modern tools we need and importantly the skill to translate ideas into action, we can achieve just about anything.
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Interview with Preston Lobzun
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: For my own band Isolation Party, we worked on our album "Fibre Optic Holiday" in 2017 and it took some time before it came out in 2019 but when it did, we put an exceptional amount of work into it. I engineered but passed mixing duties off to Eric at The Watershed since I feel he could best deliver to our expectations and eliminate any bias I might have in the mix. The end result is perfect.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Three albums for my own projects.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not that I have seen yet.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for demos, EPs, experiments... Digital for everything else. Analog process is fun and very raw but digital still wins out in convenience and necessity.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To give you something authentic and untainted.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being able to work on material that I can actually listen to and enjoy. I find almost all of my clients have produced exceptional work and I am lucky to have been a part of it.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I am asked sometimes to have clients sit in while I mix and I often answer no. I don't think clients should be involved in the mixing process anymore than guests at a restaurant should be involved in the cooking of their food. It ruins the perceptions when you see what's going on and what amount to minor mistakes can become glaring when they are under a microscope. I find it makes the mixing process much harder.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: A possible misconception would be that I don't do heavy editing and mixing because of a lack of effort but in reality I think everything sounds best when my job is quick and easy... It's when you have to do a lot of changes and fixes that makes it harder.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I often ask for a reference track and if they have any small ideas they would like me to do in the mixing stage?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be confident in your material and let me do the rest.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: DOD Death Metal, DOD Thrash Master, DOD Gonkulator, DOD Vibrothang, DOD Grind
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Recording ever since I began playing music in 2006 with tape recorders and Garage Band. 2013 is when I began recording others professionally and I subsequently went to school at Fanshawe College for Music Industry Arts between 2013-2015.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Minimalist and hands off.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Darkthrone in the 90s when they were constantly pushing their sound into a new dimension. Alternatively Terrorizer because I like fast drums.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If the song is buried in a hundred unnecessary layers, it needs to be stripped down.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock music, metal, experimental and harsh noise.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Allowing an artist to truly own their work and feel engaged with the process rather than being sidelined by studio magic.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Keeping the material close to how it sounds when they perform it live. No use in recording a whole orchestra if it isn't warranted. Occasionally I will hear things within vocal parts usually that I feel could have a slight adjustment to sound better.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I work efficiently and do not like to waste much time debating on minor details that ultimately don't change the nature of the song. I like to work with bands that are well rehearsed and ready in terms of performance but also in terms of sound. I don't do much editing unless it's absolutely necessary as I believe the music should speak for itself.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Most work done at The Watershed using a modded Soundcraft Ghost 32 channel mixing console running into Saffire Pro 40s. Often using a FMR RNC compressor in much of the tracking process. At home I have a modest set up with Pro Tools, select necessity Waves plugins, and my ears.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Steve Albini, Eirik Hundvin, Markus Stock, Sylvia Massy,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Tracking, Mixing and occasional mastering.