Why have someone like me mix or produce your song? In a word: objectivity. Former co-owner of Chemical Sound Recording (Toronto) and recording artist (Papermaps), Dean Marino has been making records for over 20-years, working with countless artists as diverse as Tokyo Police Club to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
Do you have songs tracked that you need mixed? Need someone to make sense of it all? Need those sounds beefed up? Worried about mono compatibility and phase issues? No sparkle? Your mix seems flat, less exciting than it could be? Maybe you just need an outsider's perspective. Let's talk. Together we can ensure that your production sounds its best, whether it was made in a basement or a world-class studio. I've been engineering and mixing records for more than 20 years. My rates are affordable. I'm client-focused, open to revisions and low ego. I will do what it takes to take your project to the next level while honouring your artistic and aesthetic values. I've worked with countless artists ranging from local Toronto darlings like Goodnight Sunrise to international acts like Tokyo Police Club and Born Ruffians.
I specialize in indie rock, indie pop, rock 'n' roll, blues, funk, jazz and vintage styles. I have worked in most genres (including Hip Hop, Metal and Classical).
I come from the analogue world working almost exclusively with tape until about 2012. My current process is a hybrid of digital and analogue. I mix in the DAW, re-recording tracks through an outboard signal chain when deemed beneficial. I believe it's my experience with analogue gear that makes me a good "in the box" mix engineer.
I also offer full production services within Toronto (Canada).
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
3 ReviewsEndorse DeanMarino
Dean is thoughtful and asked a lot of questions to make sure we were on the same page. He got some great sound out of the low quality tracks I sent him.
Quick response, highly professional, and (most importantly) Dean’s mix is fantastic!! I would absolutely recommend.
We met Dean while recording our second album V, at his former studio, Chemical Sound. We loved what he did with that album and have since asked him to mix a couple EPs as well as some new material that we have yet to release. Dean is friendly, easy to communicate with and knows his way around mixing, engineering and creativity. He understands the importance of space and sonic texture to create depth and atmosphere, which we love. We have a very specific approach to frequency and sound and Dean totally helps us facilitate our visions and conceptual approach in our mixes. Highly recommended!
Interview with DeanMarino
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm good at making all the parts of a song make sense, sonically speaking. Mixing can be like a jigsaw puzzle, everything should fit nicely (and the "picture" should be exciting).
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: First and foremost, I try to bring more excitement to a song. A good song tells a story and I serve to highlight that story (or journey). That may involve "cleaning up" the tracks to allow them the proper space to shine, or it may involve more creative input on my part (e.g. editing, re-amping, adding sounds that seem to be "missing"). I always discuss the limits of my creative input with clients going in. In the end, you will have something greater than the sum of its parts (or tracks).
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working with a Toronto band called The Mooks (recording and mixing) and I just mixed a new track for a band called 5th Projekt.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They both have their sonic and technical advantages / disadvantages.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise my mix will sound bigger, deeper and more exciting than your roughs and I will do everything I can to make it so.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love hearing new music I can really feel excited about.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long will it take? Can you make the drums sound like (names favourite album). I usually spend half a day to a day on a mix and the answer to the second question is usually, "No, but I can make your drums sound more exciting in a way that works for the song."
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I can make your song sound exactly like X or Y...sound is 80% talent, 20% technical stuff; given the exact same gear, no one can copy a person's talent exactly.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How open are you to editing? Can I cut out or diminish parts if I feel they are cluttering the story?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Remember, you are you and not your influences. My job is to make you sound the best you can with what you've got and not sound like someone else.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My 1971 Neumann U87, my Thompson tube pres, my old 1971 API console, my MCI JH24 tape machine and my Studer A80 stereo mixdown deck...
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I stated as a studio intern in the early 2000s, moving up to in house engineer before taking over a whole studio. I signed a record and publishing deal in 2010. In 2015 I went on hiatus to father my son, taking on only favourite clients and my own creative output. Now, I'm returning as a freelancer with a small studio.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Agressive with depth.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to mix a Radiohesd song, just to see how those raw parts sound individually.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: In a modern 4/4 rock song an exciting and punchy kick/snare sound is vital but make the lead vocal ride just a db or so above them.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie Rock, Hard Rock, Punk and Roots Rock.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When mixing I mix entirely "in the box," in combination with breakout analogue treatments (i.e. re-recording tracks through analogue gear, like console EQ and compression). I begin by organizing the tracks, then balancing all the instruments without any plugins or treatment. If a rough mix is provided, I will include that as a reference in my mix session. After finding the initial balance I will treat individual tracks to analogue processes and plugins as needed. The rest is secret sauce stuff (working on balance, image and depth of field). When the first revision of a mix is complete I will create an mp3 for the client. Depending on the client, I may put a limiter on the master chain for added "loudness" on various listening environments. I provide up to three revisions. The final product is an uncompressed stereo WAV file (24 bit, 48kh or 96kh). Stem WAVs of the same type are provided if ordered.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small collection of vintage and modern gear. Microphones from the 1960s and 1970s (Neumann U87, Coles 4038, a pair of Altec "lipstick" 195As, AKG 414 and a pair of AKG 421s, an EV RE-11, various Sure, AKG, and Seinhauser dynamics), six channels of custom-made 90s Thompson tube preamp (based on the modules in the EMI Redd consoles), vintage Universal Audio and DBX outboard compression, a 24ch into 8 bus 1986 Soundcraft 600 Series console with John Hardy op amp replacements, many vintage guitar amps (Fender, Vox, Gibson, Ampeg) many vintage guitar pedals from Morley, Boss, and EH, Custom Tama and Pearl Drums, into Apogee DA/AD conversion into ProTools with a full compliment of Waves/SSL/API/Oxford plugins. I mix and monitor on my trusty Yamaha NS-10s and Auratones. For home listening (checking mixes), I have my 1st generation KRK V6s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by the work of engineer/producer Steve Albini, Ian Blurton (whom I've often worked with), Tony Visconti, Phil Brown and Daniel Lanois.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I track and mix records, often in the role of "producer," sometimes as "co-producer" or as "engineer " along side a producer.