I will ensure that the message of your music gets across to your listeners. This is my goal, to be invisible and allow your music to shine. The first thing I do when beginning a project is make sure I truly understand the vision or message of the artist. Then I aim at that vision single-mindedly and move towards it!
I'm Jesse (aka Jeppe), a Musician and Audio Engineer from the east coast USA. I have over 10 years of experience recording, mixing and mastering music. As well as writing and performing!
Short list of my achievements:
Worked in multiple professional recording studios (most notably Eightsixteen and TraxEast, NJ) Began building my home studio in middle-school. Performed all over New Jersey, as well as NYC
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Jesse Ford
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on branching out into composition. I've composed my own music ever since I've had a guitar, but I've never really done it for other people. I'm also working on releasing a split album within the next year or so. I'm in the recording process right now, everything is pretty much written!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital every day of the year. I don't hate analog but the processing/editing possibilities of digital far outweigh the pros of analog, that isn't to say that there aren't any pros to analog though. I would much rather mix with knobs and faders rather than use a mouse for example. But I would want to edit with mouse and keyboard, so much efficiency especially with key-binds. I can imagine splicing a perfect edit on tape is probably extremely satisfying.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like the creative side of mixing. There is definitely some sort of objectivity to mixing, but I like making creative decisions and experimenting with different sounds to see if I can portray what the song intends/needs to portray, but maybe in a way that not many have heard before, or maybe in a subconscious way.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: There's a lot of misconceptions - and stigma, even - around pitch-correction. People seem to think that pitch-correction eliminates the need for "talent" or skill. Or that a singer that doesn't use it has more merit than a singer that does use it. When really it's just another tool that has it's place. It certainly doesn't eliminate the need for skill.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your goals/motivations for this project? What do you envision the end result to be? Who/what are your inspirations?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Think about what's important to you, in general and about your project. Like really think about it and once you have a clear idea, think about what kind of questions you could ask a provider that would give you a good idea of their values and whether or not you're a good fit for each other. Communication is number 1. Have conversations with all of your potential providers and see if anything/anyone sticks out to you. I think a lot of it is intuition so listen to your gut, at the end of the day a providers previous experience/level of "prestige" so-to-speak, is not very important if you don't work well together or mesh together.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Solar powered laptop(?), Probably a UAD interface for the low-latency FX, SM57 (Pretty sure historians agree that it has never sounded bad on anything haha), Electric Guitar and a MIDI keyboard. That would allow me to do pretty much anything I wanted to.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was a musician first, I got my first guitar around 11 and started writing over the next couple of years, even before I touched an instrument I was writing stories and making comic books as a kid. But as a musician I was extremely shy and I didn't want to go to a studio because I didn't want to be in front of anyone when I was performing. So when I was about 13 I started to build my home studio so that I could record myself privately, and then I ended up really liking it, and it snowballed into going to school for it, working in studios and ultimately I ended up pursuing freelance engineering, but the adventure feels like it's just beginning!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A mix of organized preparation and stream-of-consciousness workflow, before I mix I ensure that I have an end-goal in mind for what I'm about to work on. But once I start working I follow my intuition, while stopping every once in a while to make sure I'm on the right path.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Marianas Trench. Their albums are larger than life. Not only are they mixed exceptionally well but they also tell a story, and that's really the bread and butter. A great mix is merely a road to the artist's story/message etc... As an audio engineer I'd just be honored to work with them, as a musician I'd love to get a glimpse of their creative process and philosophies.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Reference tracks can do amazing things for you! You need to have a good idea of what a good mix sounds like, in all sorts of genres. And having a reference track or two in a session while you work so that you can solo it and compare your mix, it eliminates the guess work, or at least some of the guess-work. And having a monitoring tool that can solo the middle and sides of your monitoring chain do wonders for analyzing as well (check out ISOL8)
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 10 years of experience as a writing and performing musician, audio engineer and music lover. I love music that is well written AND well mixed, it gives me goosebumps. That is the experience I want you and your listeners to have.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I load the song into my DAW and listen intently for my client's vision and message. I then listen to some reference tracks to get an idea of the overall sonic signature the artist would like, while keeping in mind my client's vision. By then I have a pretty clear idea of how I can achieve that vision, So I note down any specific techniques I believe will help me in achieving that and then I get to mixing!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock and Pop. I've also done Metal, Jazz and Hip-Hop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My analytical skills. While mixing I often cross reference my mix with multiple well mixed songs that I've known and loved for years, I do this so that I can analyze what steps I need to take to bring your song to that level.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: KRK Rokit 5 monitors, Fiio K5 Pro headphone amp, Sennheiser HD650 open-back headphones. Motu M4 audio interface. As well as a solid state U47 inspired microphone that I built from microphone-parts.com!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Josh Ramsey, Jeff Buckley, George Martin, Rick Rubin, Andrew Scheps, the list goes on!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mix artist's and band's songs.