I am Los Angeles based mix and mastering engineer (by way of Boston). I've worked with subsidiary labels of Sony and Columbia and Def Jam. As well is indie labels such as BBE, Ubiquity, Soul Clap and many more. My experience ranges all the way from disco and funk vinyl reissues to pop, hip hop and almost anything in-between.
Joseph Caserta is a Mix Engineer and DJ based out of Los Angeles (by way of Boston). Starting to DJ at a young age played a huge role in influencing and broadening Caserta's musical taste. From Doo Wop to Hip Hop and beyond, there was always a fascination with the science of sound.
In his junior year of high school, Caserta would meet his soon to be best friend Ashmead “Ash” Arjune. It was Ash that introduced him to his first production and mixing software, Sonic Foundry’s Acid Pro, Soon experimentation became an obsession. He began crafting and mixing self-described “horrendous beats” out of stock loops that came with the program. With the musical flame being lit, he went from making Hip Hop mixtapes to high school cheerleading music. He would use any excuse to get behind the computer to edit and mix.
Things haven’t changed much since then. Since moving to Los Angeles Caserta has worked on projects for 1500orNothin, Britney Spears, Czarface, Redman and John Singleton to name a few. Caserta has had the unique opportunity to apply modern-day techniques to Disco, Funk and R&B sessions from the 70's and 80's - while at the same time, infusing House, Pop, Latin and EDM projects of today with a touch of nostalgia.
With his humble and focused approach as a 'lifelong student', and a growing resume, Caserta is most certainly poised to continue to expand on his recent success.
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4 ReviewsEndorse Caserta
Caserta is super flexible, quick, and has an amazing ear. It always sounds like he is working with entire extra dimensions when I compare his mixes to my roughs. I used to think I was a decent mixer until I had him mix one of my tracks... I haven't mixed anything of my own since. Top notch!
When I'm in a jam, and can't get the sound I'm looking for I know Caserta is willing to get me past the finish line! Great ears, and very friendly to work with.
Great ear! Picks up on the sound and vibe we were looking for and was fast with mixes and any feedback.
Unlike the past where artists and producers would hire somebody to mix their project, these days many producers also take on the task of mixing down their own music which is great if you have an understanding of what it takes but, it's an art within itself and Caserta has a true talent for the science of sound.
Interview with Caserta
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Hyrbid. Who does'nt want instant recall along with the analog sound?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'm going to do my best to make your project as great as possible. Not only is it your song but my name is now attached it so there's no half stepping or shortcuts.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That all we do is turn stuff up and down and make the whole thing loud! Theres so much more that goes into a recording for it to have depth and purpose.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What inspired you to make this? What do you like about the project? What do you think could be improved upon? What are your influences? Do you have any reference tracks showing some of the directions you want to go ?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Talk to the people you are interested in hiring and get to know a little bit about them. You never know who is going to be the right person for the job just based off of audio demos. You could pick someone with less experience but a fresher perspective.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Computer Ableton UAD Apollo NS-10 monitors Behringer Edison
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started off as a DJ when I was around 12. From there I fell in love with computer programs and editing. worked my way up to producing which lead me to mixing and mastering my own stuff. All that brings us to present day. So I would say 20 years if doing something music releated.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm very groove influenced. If the drums and bass are'nt sitting right its going to be tough getting the rest of the record to work. I tend to like my vocals to stand out and be right in your face. So yeah, Vocals and Rhythm are the meat and potatoes the rest is the herbs and spices that make the dish great.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Dr Dre. A friend once said to me "Pretty much anyone that works with Dre at some point has great sounding stuff from that point forward". Dre is just a sonic genius and to have any amount of that rub off on me would be incredible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: LESS IS MORE!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: For the most part I work on Dance (Disco, Deep House, EDM etc) and Urban (R&B, Hip Hop) music. But a Big part of my reason for joining SoundBetter is to expand my repertoire and palette
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think my strongest skill is knowing my roll within the assignment. I'm not going to put 1000 plugins on every track just because I can and to show you that I have them. I like to work within the vision of the artist and producer to make an improved version of their record, not my own version.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think I bring an open mind with plenty of creativity to any project I'm working on. I like to get to know a little bit about the client so I can know best what they are aiming for. This way I can help them express what they were trying to convey when making the record
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First thing I do is listen to what I'm working on! I've learned from past mistakes that as mixers we can be all to quick to jump right in and start throwing EQs and compressors on tracks. Doing this we often lose sight of the vision and direction of the project. When I do start the mixing I typically like to start with the rhythm section and vocals. Then from there fill in around those elements with the rest of the elements of the song. Obviously this changes with the style of music but vocals and rhythm elements tend to be the back bone of most recordings. I like to get all the elements of the song playing together as quickly as possible. I don't like to spend to much time with individual or groups of tracks soloed. I feel like it does the song a disservice because after all everything has to work together and not by it self. From there I like to take the song section by section, massaging all the elements of the song into place. Hopefully within a day or so I have something I'm proud of for the client to take a listen to
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Computers: Mac Pro Monitoring: Yamaha NS-10's JBL LSR4328's Young Guru AIAI Headphones Superlux HD668B Headphones Outboard Processing: UAD Apollo Duo w/unison pre amp collection Moog Minitaur Filter Behringer (DBX) Edison Stereo Imager Software and ITB Processing Ableton Logic Pro Tools 10 Cores of UAD processing power w/plugins (Neve 1073, SSL, API, EMT Reverbs, Studer and Ampex Tape to name a few) Select Waves plugins (SSL, PS22, L1/L2/L3 etc) FabFilter Bundle Ozone 6 Airwindows Plugins Slate Compressors AutoTune Melodyne AltiVerb Vallhalla Vintage and Room Reverb 2 Cats (Toby & Leroy) + A whole lot more
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Engineers: Dr Dre, Bruce Swedien, Manny Marroquin, Andrew Scheps, Serban Ghenea, Young Guru, Dave Cooley etc Artists/Producers: Quincy Jones, Prince, Mike, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Rick Rubin, Dr Dre, Just Blaze, Alabama Shakes, Black Keys etc
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: A lot of mix and mastering for vinyl and digital. I never really considered or wanted to be a mastering engineer but with shrinking budgets sometimes you have to wear multiple hats. So I studied up on MFiT and linear phase eq and was pleasantly surprised with the results!