The tone is in your touch. This has been my guiding principle as a player and producer since day one. Specializing in bringing mojo, sauce, and depth to your track, my 17 years of sonic obsession, dedication and debt are definitive of my work. If asked to describe what i do across all genres i have done in one word, it would be "QuietLOUD"
I started playing guitar as an impressionable, bacne ridden 13 year old, who obviously needed something to latch onto & be passionate about. 17 years later, I'm still out here doing whatever is needed to express the beautiful music that I hear in my heart. I attended Musicians Institute from 2009-2012, completing the Guitar, Audio Engineering, Live Sound, & Independent Artist Programs, with a 3 month leave of absence in 2011 to tour nationally with Youtube sensation Dave Days.
My specialties include: Guitar, Bass, Voice, Ableton Live + Push, Beatmaking, Looping, Sound Design, & Mixing.
For my production clients, in addition to providing instruments, recording services, arranging, writing, & mixing, I have also offered vocal coaching (if the client feels that they are struggling to access their full vocal potential). As a guitar player, I am a melting pot of influences from Flamenco to Funk, Prog Rock to Pop, & Rock and Roll to R&B. As a bassist, I would consider my vibe a mix of motown & jazz with a dash of alternative rock for good measure. As a vocalist I am rooted in rock, soul, & emo. As a producer/programmer, i'm awash in ambience, pop, hip hop, R&B & jazz. As a human, I'm easy going and value levity. I keep my skills fresh by practicing & creating daily, running sound at the historical Saban Theatre weekly, & I keep a black book of immensely gifted players & writers.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
Interview with davemakesnoises
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm really proud of this Dinosaurs Built The Pyramids record - I did it all myself and stayed true to my creative vision all the way through, and that vision is "Goosebumps on every song". However, since it's not done yet, i guess i could say my 2011 national tour with Dave Days - I played lead guitar and background vocals for him and continue to do so to this day on the odd occasion where he books a gig calling for a band.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am in final production on my Post Rock debut, Dinosaurs Built The Pyramids Vol. 1. All that's left is tracking drums, keys, and then final mixdown to tape. I am also building a catalogue with my colleague Johann Dawn, we have a full length album worth of songs in the works, he's working on his vocals currently for 7 songs, we have completed 2 and sent them off for mix.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Anthony Nino Salazar - Drummer (Los Angeles) Nino has been a dear and darling friend of mine for over a decade now. He is my first choice of drummer for absolutely anything but he shines the most on rock music. Nino will be recording drums for an 8 track album i'm in final production on as we speak, and i wouldn't have it any other way. Darrell Thorp - Mix Engineer (Los Angeles) - Darrell has mentored many of my colleagues and his resume really speaks for itself. He's a great guy who does great work. well...legendary work.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: yes. analog for sauce digital for convenience
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: A great interpersonal vibe, a fast and efficient process where you learn tons of valuable information while achieving your creative goals, a final product with a final polish equivalent quality-wise to anything you've heard before, but with a hint of that special sauce.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Capturing those magical moments of pure creative energy in perfect tune with inspiration, skill, and talent.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I am on a limited budget, i, like every other musician, am poor. How can i afford your services? "We can figure it out, i'm not a monster."
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I do a lot, that's a big question. From the standpoint of a Musician, i'd say the biggest misconception about what i do is that people don't take into account the years of study, hours of daily practice, debt for gear, cost of gear upkeep, and cost of living required to get to a point where i can proudly say "This is who i am and this is what i do at a professional level." From the standpoint of a Producer, i feel like a lot of people believe that the producer is kind of the "DJ Khaled" in the picture. Or at least the public perception of "DJ Khaled" sitting back, popping bottles, passing around a blunt, taking calls while in the studio, and just hiring other people to do the dirty work while i slap my name/tag on it and take my cut. People don't realize that DJ Khaled had to cut his teeth like everyone else and produce, produce, produce. He had to make the beats, record the talent, book and/or build the studios, organize the personnel (topliners, lyricists, players) for DECADES before he had a team of people that could reliably reproduce his "sauce" so he could focus on the bigger picture for the greater good of the whole team.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: 1. What are you hoping to accomplish overall? 2. How far along is the project currently? 3. What's left to do before project is complete? 4. What can you afford? 5. How can i offer you value based on your budget? 6. When are you available? 7. Can i see some examples of your past projects in this vein, soundalikes and/or influences 8. Are you cool with dogs?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do your due diligence, find people you connect with at a human level, because music is an emotion captured in time. You want to make sure nobody is tainting your vibe. Ask questions, and overprepare.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming that power is available and that sundries like strings, cables, power supplies are assumed included, 1. 1946 Gibson ES-125 - The mojo is insurmountable 2. Ableton Push 2 3. UAD Apollo 8 Duo 4. A computer that will run 2 and 3 with Ableton. 5. Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Music has always been my path and I have been beating my path for 17 years. I went to college for Communications for a year and knew halfway through that i would not survive if i continued moving further away from my passion.
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Doja Cat - I admire any artist who takes it upon themselves to be creatively self sufficient. Just like in any relationship, it's better to have two complete individuals working together on a common goal than it is to have two people who think they need each other to complete the bigger picture.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: There are two parts of the creative mind at constant war with one another. The Artist and the Critic. The Artist comes up with an idea, and the Critic shoots it down. Maybe the critic tells the artist "this isn't viable, abandon it, it'll never be good enough" or maybe something more innocuous like "It's ok but not good enough yet, put it on the backburner, revisit it later." To truly harmonize the two warring sides of creativity, we must rewire the critic from pseudo-perfectionism to discipline. Rather than the critic saying "this is garbage, you're garbage, stop," we must train it to ask us at the end of the day "So you're about to go to bed. What steps have you taken today? What have to done to move in the direction of success?" Also, put a little trash can in your home studio. Big brain time.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: R&B, Anti-Pop, Post Rock, Soundcloud Rap, Ambient Glitch
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Musicality. The idea that the sound design should "interact with itself" just as much as the composition does.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Sauce. What are the ingredients of my sauce? Soulful, authentic instrumentation with rare, sought after equipment. Punch. Clarity. Sonic Density (if desired). A sense of significance. Probability/random chance based processing. Fast, efficient, thorough workflow. quietLOUD (if desired). a psychoacoustic space which places the listener WITHIN the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: 1. Evaluate client goals and influences. Which sounds inspire you, and what are you inspired to do? 2. Build or modify a template. This usually includes a few different drum kits, synth patches, and pre-routed audio tracks and returns for whatever instruments will be in play. 3a. If you have a pre-existing song already, slice provided stems into loops and load into scenes in Ableton Session View 3b. If starting from scratch, sketch out Section A Chord Progression. 4. Let the looping begin - my theory is if you throw enough s--t at the wall, some of it will stick. So i improvise and jam every idea i hear on every instrument i hear and keep looping until we have a massive stack of concepts and ideas 5. Filter through the noise - to many this is the hardest step, but i practice holding no emotional attachment to any of the ideas from the previous step. This is where we trim off the fat, find the ideas that do not serve the song, and remove/alter accordingly. 6. Arrange the Section - sequencing the parts out to build dynamics according to what the artist and/or the song itself wants. 7. Repeat steps 3b-6 until a complete song starts to take shape 8. final arrangement - like step 6 but more holistic in nature - where the bigger picture takes shape. 9. record arrangement by playing back scenes in Session view according to final arrangement. 10. Final Polish: Ear candy, automation, mixdown, bounce.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Computers/DAWs - Studio computer: late 2014 Mac Mini Core i7 (16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD) running Ableton Live 10 Suite or Beta, or Logic Pro X. - Stream computer: 2018 Asus GL703 Strix Hero Edition (i7 8750H, 16 GB RAM, GTX1050Ti, 125 GB SSD, 1 TB Fusion Drive) running OBS and Ableton Live 10 Suite or Beta. Audio Interfaces: - UAD Apollo 8 Duo (TB2) - Behringer q802USB (for audio capture to live stream) Mics - Shure SM7B - Pacific Pro Audio LD-1 - 2x Rode NT5-a (matched pair) - Shure SM57 - Blue Encore 200 Instruments - 1946 Gibson ES125 (original P90 pickup!!) - 2006 or 2007 Gibson SG Special (modified extensively) - 1984 Kramer Baretta (modded extensively) - 2008 or 2009 Cole Clark FL1AC - Squier Standard Jazz Bass - Ableton Push 2 Amplifiers - late 70's Lab Series L9 - 1996 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe - Aguilar Tone Hammer Bass Preamp + EQ - (with advance notice), access to a collection of lovingly maintained and modified blackface and silverface fenders (deluxe reverb, twin, vibro champ, bassman and more) from early 60's onward.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Guitar: Dean Ween, George Benson, Devin Townsend, Mark Knopfler, My Bloody Valentine Bass: James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, The Flaming Lips Vocal: Gene Ween, Devin Townsend, Matt Bellamy, Stevie Wonder Beatmaking: Flying Lotus, 40, Eskmo, Joji Producing: Davey Isaac, Daniel Lanois, Devin Townsend
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I take songwriters from an iPhone voice note to a completed viable production with professional level instrumentation, composition, and mix (if desired). I also have a setup capable of livestreaming sessions to any platform up to 1080p or recording video podcasts.