What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What do you want from the finished product and how will it be used.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A twisty windy road since 1981. Recording with my own band, working with many artists in many different studios, Theatre sound, Live shows and touring, all of these things developed together since the early 80's.
How would you describe your style?
Old school techniques with an edge.
Can you share one music production tip?
Learn the rules like a pro and then break them like an artist. Also, understand exactly what each piece of equipment is actually doing and have a good reason for using it. Don't let the equipment dominate. Performance is the key so focus on getting the best out of the musicians.
What do you bring to a song?
That depends on the song and the performer. Hopefully I can help the writer realise his vision for the song and maybe take it further in the same direction.
What's your typical work process?
Well mixing is mixing. When recording I spend time getting the instrument sounding right first, also locating it in the right acoustic space with the right microphone. I adjust the mic position to get the best sound before I start playing with the technology. With bands I prefer to have everyone in the same room as the drums but with the guitar cabs in isolation booths. Great headphones mixes are critical in these kind of sessions so I try to make them as comfortable as possible.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Simple protools 10 with top of the line plugins. A 1970's Neumann U87. Some UAD pre-amps. Anything else I need I bring in as the session requires. I have a few basic high quality instruments (2 taylor acoustic guitars, a Gibson Firebird, a Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum) as these things are difficult to get in the middle east and make a huge difference to the way the musicians play and sound.
Analog or digital and why?
Both. In varying degrees depending on the music. I love using tape for tracking but the expectations of clients and the common unwillingness to really play the song well normally means hours, days. weeks, of editing that can only be done digitally. Also, the sheer number of plugins/outboard gear I can apply with digital (when necessary) is staggering. I've never been to a studio that had 32 tube tech eq's or compressors, but I can do that in protools.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A big difference
What do you like most about your job?
I choose my own hours (within deadlines) and live in which ever country I feel comfortable in.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q: How much does it cost to mix a song?
A: That depends on the song and how it was recorded.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
People ask for mixing and mastering. I always recommend a dedicated professional mastering engineer in a mastering room. I'm sceptical of people who offer recording, mixing and mastering. I record and mix. I work with the mastering people but generally let them do their own thing first.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A generator, a well stocked fridge, an espresso maker, a fast ocean going speedboat, a flare gun.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Mark Linkous (sparklehorse), Queen, Led Zeppelin, Chopin, Vivaldi, Floyd, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Beatles, George Martin, Dr. Dre.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Mostly mixing other peoples' recordings. Often done by the musicians themselves. Sometimes remixing music that wasn't mixed too well to begin with. Some orchestral and movie soundtracks including sound effects and dialogue.