Boutique recording studios Sydney and production services at affordable rates.
Jaminajar is the recording studio and home of renowned musician, producer, composer and engineer, Paul Najar.
Located 30 minutes north of the Sydney CBD, perched high on the hill with ocean and lake views to the north and east and a short walk to the sands of Narrabeen Beach, it is one of Sydney?s finest boutique recording and production facilities.
We've been doing almost everything music & audio for more than 25 years. Music production, film & TV composition, sound design & post production, Voice overs, mixing, mastering and even a rehearsal space.
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Interview with Jaminajar Music Production
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Two Music Production artists each doing about a day a week. Just finished mixing the music for a new Disney movie. A steady stream of clients looking to get their recordings mixed and mastered. Preparing and practising for a couple of bigger live performances coming up in May and June. Lecturing one day a week at TAFE ultimo in sound production.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long to record, mix and master one song? Anywhere from 2 to 5 days working about 8-10 hours a day
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A laptop recorder, microphone, audio interface, keyboard, headphones.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started classical piano at age 6. Stared jazz piano at age 14. Studied jazz piano and composition at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Fell into the MIDI revolution in the early 80s which launched me into being one of Sydney's most sort after session musicians. Toured Australia with such artists as Wa Wa Née, James Reyne, Margaret Urlich, Mark Williams, Joe Walsh, Jeff Skunk Baxter, Noiseworks and too many others to remember. Worked on film soundtracks such as Moulin Rouge and lots of other lesser known ones. Wrote and did sound design and recorded over 300 Australian/ international advertising campaigns. Wrote recorded mixed and mastered European top ten hit with music artist amba and have produced over 60 albums for other artists.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Any great singer, songwriter or musician because those skills are the raw material that fuels the very best productions. These are the people I can help the most as I have been them many times.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: It varies a lot. Everything from all mainstream radio genres, to less commercial experimental electronic, acoustic and fused hybrids including classical instrumental Jazz and operatic styles.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If it's real band we get the whole group playing together to iron out any song arrangement issues and then we get the best possible drum tracks and replace the other instruments one at a t time if necessary. Once we have a hot music track we then move onto vocals proper. For music production we start with getting the song right, get a guide vocal down and then build out the arrangement with all the other instruments. Once that's done we get deeply into vocal recording. That usually the last thing to get recorded. After that there is usually some editing of vocals and other instruments. Once that's done we mix it and then master it.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: All our spaces are fully acoustically treated and sound isolated so all microphone recordings sound really good. We have a large comfortable control room, one large recording room, one fully treated booth, and a couple of other untreated rooms usable as recording spaces as well. Gearwise we have a big mic locker, a broad range of high end microphone preamps, compressors and other analog front end gear. On the didgital side we use RME based MADI system and converters are the excellent Cranborne Audio 500Adat racks plus a high end RME ADI-2 Pro FS ADDA stereo converter feeding a Mac Pro running Logic Pro and Pro Tools with access to a 12 core UAD plugin system amongst some other great plugins.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Amba was the project developed in the 1990s. I co-wrote, played almost all the instruments, recorded, mixed and mastered it. We had a European number one hit.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both for different parts of the signal path because both are better at some things.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: All our work is fully guaranteed. All our quotes are fixed price.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being deeply and intimately involved in creating great music that communicates the artist's intention as clearly as possible.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That a small number of "big" things make the difference in great music production when in reality it is a great number of small decisions made well, one after the next that lead to great work.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Too many questions to list - but in saying that I take the whole interview process extremely seriously. It is only by getting clear answers to the right questions that I am able gauge my clients artistic expectations.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when shopping for a provider. Some providers may look more affordable but can they really give you what you need? And if you come out the other side of spending with someone more affordable and you're not happy, what then? Will they work for you until you are happy?
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Great attention to detail and clarity and chameleon like in style.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: the number one reason a music production becomes loved by many is because it is a great song well performed. The most difference good technical production can make is only 10 - 15% of that equation so if you want to get better at the work, focus on getting better at the 85% part of the equation.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to fashion a mature unique and appropriate response to every production challenge as they arise.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 30+ years of writing, recording, programming, keyboard playing, engineering and production experiences at the highest level in both Australia and internationally.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: It's all about the best possible songs, well performed. At Jaminajar great sounding productions and production ideas is a given, and a full guarantee is a standard part of every deal but without the foundation of the great song and performer it's all for nothing - So all of that said I am inspired by great songs, great singers and great musicians in every musical style.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Full service end to end Music Production including all engineering, studio time, recording, mixing and mastering. Often this also involves additional songwriting/ composing.