NYC based, I can help bring your records to the next level through mixing . As a producer, I have work spanning from commercial & underground house music, bass music (trap/dubstep/rap), and more. My (now defunct) artist project Solidisco has toured the world. My discography covers labels like Sony, Atlantic, OWSLA, Fool's Gold, Big Beat, Ultra.
What I specialize in:
- Sound Design (mainly synthesis)
I do not write lyrics/topline, record, do in-person production/mixing sessions, sing/rap or fill in as a session musician.
I have a production YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4YQmRzVcF2MS6NFqYRqwxA
I have a lot more production credits than listed however here is a quick summary of ones I can share publicly:
All Solidisco music is co-produced, co-written, mixed and mastered by me
TWRK ft. MIGOS, Sage the Gemini, Sayii (mix/master)
DJ SLIINK - Higher ft Fatman Scoop (co-production, sound design, mix/master)
DJ SLIINK - Trifecta (co-production, sound design, mix/master)
Chachi - No Letting Go (co-production, mix, master)
Happy to share full credits privately. I have over 6 million streams on my own productions in 2019 :)
I have scored/had my production featured in the following commercials:
Stuart Weitzman w/ Gisele Bundchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JGtas2dsgg
Budweiser - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vehqlx2sgPQ
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
3 ReviewsEndorse Don Skotnicki / DSTAR
As a teacher, Don’s strength comes from his vast experience creating and engineering professional music across a variety of genres. His mind for sound will actually blow you away at first and then you’ll quickly resort to taking as many notes as possible because you’ll realize Don wastes no time and has a lot to teach students of any level on any topic. From creative process and fine tuning a mix to career building, Donny's got you covered.
Donny is hands down one of the best producers / mixing and mastering engineers I've ever come across in my career. He is my go to guy for all of my projects. You will not be disappointed.
I have been working with Don for almost three years now and can easily say he is the smartest and most talented producer / engineer I've ever come across. He really has helped me take my productions and mixdowns to the next level: on-par with those of professionals.
I would highly recommend taking a session with Don as you will definitely get something out of it. He is incredibly knowledgeable across all areas of music production, be it mixing, mastering, songwriting, anything.
Interview with Don Skotnicki / DSTAR
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I don't, I am new here!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Price! I am happy and flexible to work.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think people think you need a lot of fancy analog gear but in reality, it is kind of embarrassing to me to show up to a studio with a 100k SSL board that's being used as a laptop stand, with a pair of $300 monitors from 20 years ago and no room treatment. Every room has a "sound" and most untreated rooms are acoustically terrible for mixing properly - even those large SSL boards act as reflections and cause inaccuracy in the way you hear the music, which clouds your mix decisions greatly and causes the issues of "why doesn't this sound good in the car/club/my friends studio?"
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would say be particular of the final product and listen to their work in a high quality environment. A lot of dance music is pretty poorly engineered but sounds passable because it's so loud, most casual listeners don't really notice the nuances especially on small laptop speakers.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: JOYRYDE, Skrillex. Love what they are doing creatively.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by everyone pushing art forward - that's everyone from Billie Eilish and Finneas to Virtual Riot and Skrillex.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: All of my work in Solidisco! Some of it's a little dated but I'm still really proud of it's accomplishments.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A lot of bass music - producing a few projects right now!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Neither are perfect.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to go the extra mile and make sure you're happy. I am meticulous with mixing so it's really important to me that the hard work translates!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love working in audio - it's been my calling my entire life since I was a child. I enjoy being able to be a part of tons of projects, and not just one thing. Variety is awesome for me.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Reference mixes of course! Everyone's taste is different, so feel free to send me references or inspirations, don't be shy about it.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Just my laptop, monitors and a pair of headphones so I don't wake up any animals :P oh, and my pesky iLok and a midi controller. I'm a simple man.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been DJing for 15 years, always dabbled in production but really dove in around 8 years ago. I then started Solidisco with a friend, we toured a ton, went separate ways and I started mentoring local DJs and producers in NYC as well as got back to working as a DJ. Lately I think engineering for others could be a good replacement for DJing on the weekends, as I started valuing being in the studio more as I get older.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Loud, upfront, and powerful.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Try to find that "a-ha" moment in a song and don't lose or ruin that moment. The best songs are all about that one moment, whether it's a strong hook, melody line, or even just a little uniqueness. Don't ruin your great idea by overproducing or overthinking.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Mostly dance and bass music but I've touched on pop and rap.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'd say technical skill - I have a pretty deep understanding of a lot of the technical side of sound.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh ear that has been working on music WAY too long :)
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Every song is different. For dance music, the kick/bass relationship is so key for a strong foundation, I usually start there, move to the vocals if there are any and carve out the space around them.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Currently in a treated room with HEDD Type 30 monitors and a Apogee Duet 2. Ableton Live 10 with a lot of good plugins. I don't work out of the box because most of the time emulations are so on point now, you'll need an incredible converter to beat them.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mostly mix and mastering - I appreciate how in electronic music (and all music) mixing can really take a song to the next level.