Jim Daneker is an award-winning and Billboard-charting composer & producer with a diverse musical career, including 25 years as musical director and producer for CCM icon Michael W. Smith, producer on several #1 albums, film & trailer composer, and synth pop artist...
- Producing, programming, and mixing for pop/rock, synth pop, cinematic and instrumental projects
- Composing original music for film/trailers, epic cinematic instrumentals
- Piano, keyboards, synth overdubs
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Interview with Jim Daneker
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My AD ALTA instrumental album. It was my dream project; I did a Kickstarter to fund it, composed the whole thing, hired an orchestra and A-list players, and I still get letters from people who are inspired by it.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Epic pop singles & instrumentals for sync licensing.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: A mixture of both, and nobody should care about anything but the end result. Does it move you and inspire you?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I NEVER settle for anything less than extraordinary. I abhor compromise, and it shows in my work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That I'm my own boss and work on my own schedule; that I can pick and choose what I work on!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: What do you charge to produce or program a track? A: It varies greatly depending on the arrangement!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That anyone with a laptop and sample libraries knows how to compose for film, or mimic an orchestra. Only a very few people can do it well.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your time frame, budget, and goals for the project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Get to know each other and have some great conversations first. Trust your instincts and if something feels weird, RUN!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop with all my sample libraries, a great controller keyboard, speakers, and a generator with unlimited fuel supply!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Moved to Nashville in 1995 and landed my dream gig with a major artist (Michael W. Smith) 6 months later. Eventually became his musical director & produced several projects for him over 25 years. Worked on a ton of indie projects on the side over the years, and finally started composing for film and sync licensing as well. It's been a thrill ride!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A crazy blend of classic and modern film music mixed with synth-heavy pop/rock. The more cinematic the better!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: John Williams. He wrote the soundtrack to my life.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't overthink it. If it moves you, pursue it.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Modern film & instrumental music, and synth-heavy pop/rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Hearing a finished product in my head, and carving away until it becomes reality!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Lots of creativity, outside the box ideas, pop sensibilities, and extreme attention to detail and sonic quality.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: See www.jimdaneker.com/studio for a detailed list. My studio is a synth-lover's paradise, and really set up for high-end film scoring with multiple computers and mastering-grade monitoring by PMC.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I grew up on film music & 80s pop, so any artists in those genres tend to inspire me - as well as anything with great melodies or creative production.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My main work is producing albums and singles, composing for film & visual media, writing pop/rock/instrumental tracks for sync licensing, and high-end orchestral & string programming.