My name is Tom de Groot and I am the mixer/producer behind Clarity Hill Studios. A Studio that aims to give you professional sounding mixes and songs for an affordable price. We've worked on a wide range of artists and styles and are looking forward to be taking your project to the next level and adding it to our portfolio!
My main focus and expertise is mixing. My approach to mixing is that I try to get familiar with the song for a while. This way I establish for myself what direction I want to take with a song and can map the proces to achieve that out in my head. This creates a more efficient and enjoyable environment for artists to perform at their best. And enables me to give you the best result in a shorter amount of time.
Personally I like creating mixes and songs that sound very open and have great clarity and punch. However, I've done several projects that required a more organic and vintage sound. So it is really up to you what you want to do. The most important part for me is for things to be balanced out nicely in terms of where they sit in the mix. And that you get the best result possible.
If you have any questions I'd be happy to jump on a quick Skype call to talk some things over. You can add me on Skype using the this ID: ClarityHillStudios.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Clarity Hill Studios
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 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.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: 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.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: 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 performances.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Top quality mixes and service for an affordable price.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I get there is a strong debate going on in the audio business in terms of what is best. However, since a lot of companies are putting out lovely plugins that emulate analog gear I think it is perfectly fine to mix solely 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.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: 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!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: 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 or use the rough mix and listen to that for a while before I do anything in terms of editing or mixing. As soon as I get an idea of how I want to mix the song and how the song should sound I start mixing. I don't just start mixing things to match the direction that think the songs should 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.