My name is Tom de Groot and I am the audio engineer behind Clarity Hill Studios. A Studio that aims to give you the sound your looking for. Either in recording or mixing. Starting out with a musical background I try to listen to what your song needs next to what your opinions are on recording or mixing direction.

I mainly focus on mixing songs and occasionally record one in the studio here. My approach to mixing is that I try to get familiar with the song for a while. Listening to it on multiple devices around the house, but also in the car. This way, once I load all your preciously recorded files into my session and start to work on them, I already have a idea what direction I would like to go in.

Personally I like creating mixes that sound very open and have great clarity. Yet I make sure the separate instruments do keep connected and make the song feel strong and powerful.

My credits include

Genres I specialize in

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Interview with Clarity Hill Studios

What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Andrew Scheps mostly. He has a very natural approach to recording and mixing. Sticking to the natural sound of things and not changing to much about it, but mostly adding things to it to strengthen, instead of replacing, the original sounds. Also Yoad Nevo has been a great inspiration with his innovative and fresh approach to anything audio production related. And man do his mixes have clarity!
Analog or digital and why?
Coffee or Thea and why? Well, I do get there is a strong debate going on in the audio business concerning this issue. However, since a lot of companies are putting out lovely plugins that emulate analog gear I think it is perfectly fine to mix just in the box and still achieve that analog sound. I am a big fan of in the box mixing since it allows me to go back to projects without having to set up all this analog gear the way it was mixed first. This way I can quickly change something little in a few minutes for my clients if they want that. On the subject of looks: get analog gear.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
To let their song live up to its fullest potential.
What do you like most about your job?
Getting to hear new music all day. I really like how musicians always keep surprising me with their unstoppable creativity in songwriting and top class delivery.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Anything really. I don't tend to focus on just one type of music. My interests in music span over a large field of different genres and sounds. However, if I don't feel I'm fully interested in something I won't take the job. Just because I know that this will not result in the most high end product for the client, which he or she deserves of course. That being said, it doesn't happen very often that a project/song doesn't get me excited or grabs my interest.
What do you bring to a song?
A new pair of ears, to determine what are the key aspects of the song and what sticks out. Creativity, to improve certain parts of a song either in recording (changing the parts) or in mixing to make a mix really come alive.
What's your typical work process?
It really depends on the job I'm hired to do. If it's producing I always meet up with my client in the rehearsal studio first to see what song(s) they want to record and work on them a bit before we hit the studio. This way I already get to know the song and allows me to contribute more to the sound me and the client are after. Also I get the opportunity to reshape certain parts of the song or add/change certain parts to improve the song. This approach makes for a much smoother recording experience that is a lot more fun for the client as well. In mixing, my approach is somewhat standard I think. When I get all the files I make a quick bounce, after some quick standard editing, and carry this bounce around to listen to it on different types of speakers and even in the car. As soon as I get an idea of how I want to mix the song and how the song should naturally sound I start mixing. I don't mix blindly in the direction that I like to go. I always first speak to the client about his/her wishes before I even make the bounce and listen to it extensively. Just before I start mixing I contact the client and talk the project through once more, knowing what is possible and what might not work as well as expected. Sometimes clients have certain wishes that don't work with the (type of) material they supply. I always try to find the best solution to make it sound as close as possible to certain references they have, yet making the tracks at my disposal live up to their full potential.