I want to serve your song, adding complexity tastefully where the song allows, but with a focus on subtle choices that support the structure and movement of the piece. I find it enjoyable to create charts, adding details throughout that will compliment other parts and allow the essence of what is already there to develop.
I've had a home studio for over 15 years. During this time, I've tracked vocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums, wind instruments, and even full bands.
My degree in music from The University of Akron provided me the theoretical and technical knowledge to read parts, create notation, analyze music, and adapt parts to arrangements. If you provide a reference track, I will mold it to fit your vision. If you enjoy blending styles, I love to see what is transferable and how to create something unique.
I have also been teaching guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele privately for nearly 15 years. This experience has exposed me to many styles and techniques outside of my usual tastes. It's been enjoyable to see the way that music is equally universal and entirely unique.
I look forward to supporting your vision and adding that extra perspective and personality to take it to the next level. Please reach out and let me know what you are looking for. I will be honest about what I can accomplish and whether I can help you meet your goals.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
1 ReviewsEndorse Tim Norris
Tim recently produced and performed on tracks that I mixed and always delivers a tasteful and musical performance. He puts his heart and soul into whatever project he is working on and is a great person to collaborate with. I'm a fan of his stylized and direct song arrangements, which you can hear in his original music. Tim is a versatile musician with great insight who always serves the music!
Interview with Tim Norris
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like working to create a part that fulfills the clients vision.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Creating a compelling track is not about being a virtuoso. It's about knowing your equipment and making tasteful choices that support the artist you are working with.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began home recording in 2005
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I created a cover of "If I Had You" by Irving Berlin. This was my wife and my first dance at our wedding. I don't consider myself a vocalist, but I enjoyed shaping my own version of this melody. It felt good to craft something that felt new from something so old and put my own stamp on it.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: '52 Tele, Fender Champ, Nord Electro, P-Bass, Studio Monitors
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Creating supportive parts that add character and dimension without taking the spotlight.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A song's most important part is the melody. Recognizing how the instrument I'm playing can support that is my main goal. I want to serve the song and elevate what is at it's essence.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I enjoy blending genres and playing in as many styles as possible.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Seeing how one musical concept can be applied in a different context.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by creating a detailed chart with notes about what is happening in other parts. If a reference track is provided I look to understand what influence is desired and how it can fit into the template of the project at hand.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a desktop computer with Yamaha HS-5 monitors. I use the Universal Audio Apollo Twin to commit to a tone and the Waves Gold Bundle and UAD Legacy Bundle for crafting the part further after tracking.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be as clear about what you are looking for as possible. If you don't know how to describe what you want in words, give me several reference tracks and I will work to sculpt a part that fulfills their tonality and timbre. If you're more open to bringing another person's creativity to your project, be clear about this, too. I will work to bolster whatever elements are already in your track with my own style.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I have a friend that busks for a living in New Orleans. He is one of the most entertaining performers I've seen. I feel I could learn a lot from him about reaching an audience, keeping them engaged, and making musical choices that provide a lot of mileage while still providing me with a style of my own.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I bought a Danelectro '63 reissue that I have gutted and am rebuilding from the ground up. I love to use my soldering iron to modify my gear for better and often more unique sounds.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Matthew DeRubertis is one of the most accomplished and versatile bassists I have ever heard. When I'm not able to fulfill your needs, I will recommend him wholeheartedly every time.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the most important element you want to hear? Is it in the tone? Is it in the note choices? Is it textural?
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm very interested in getting the tone I want to hear from the instrument at the source whenever possible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Be conscientious of the frequency spectrum right from the beginning. Arranging is a lot like mixing in this way. Make choices for each instrument that allow you to hear everything well from the start.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Recently, I've spent a lot of time studying the arrangements and compositional techniques of Tom Waits. His emphasis on groove, use of both high and low fidelity timbres, and ability to derive a lot of character from simple parts inspires me. As a guitarist, I have been drawn to the work of both Blake Mills and Mason Stoops.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. I'll use whatever tool is necessary to get the appropriate sound. For guitar, that usually means two microphones on an amp or acoustic. But I'll often use one mic on the amp and capture the DI in order to blend plugins into the sound. Occasionally, the DI is all that's needed. With bass, I use the DI only and craft the tone using plugins.