Music and audio producer, songwriter. Multiple genres. I can create bespoke original music for you, or mix and master your music to the highest professional standard. Also available for music production tutorials, specialising in Logic X. Get in touch and let's discuss your project today!
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1 ReviewsEndorse Charlie Elwess
To put it very simply; Charlie knows music. Even if we ignored the fact that he's an accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right, his love of ageless pop writing sensibilities, indie aesthetics, dirty grooves and lush harmony makes him a versatile person to work with. His eclecticsm and technical know-how are valuable assets to any production. He's a nice guy, too! Plus, being a Yorkshireman means you will always get a straight answer from him, which isn't always a given in this industry. Drop him a line!
Interview with Charlie Elwess
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Elle Exxe's first album. I worked on 3 tracks, 2 of which were singles and which were played on TV, in concert and on radio around the world. I was co-writer and producer, doing all the programming and recording as well as guitar and a few backing vocals.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Some super secret music of my own.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Andrew Wilson (Wilsoni Tha Funkmasta) for all things funk and old-school hip hop.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital - quicker, cheaper, more reliable, more environmentally friendly, higher quality, more creative freedom. I could discuss this for hours! Don't get me wrong, I grew up listening to tapes and I still collect and consume music on vinyl, but in terms of production digital is the present and future. At the end of the day it only matters if the music is good or not - very, very few people will care if it was recorded on tape, through an expensive tube pre-amp or modelled in the computer, and even fewer will be able to tell the difference.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will work with you until you are fully satisfied, and that my communication will be clear, precise and consistent.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The marriage of the creative with the technical and the fact I can mostly work from home.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What do you think it needs in order to be finished? Again, my answer is case-dependent, but I'm a creator as well as a technician so I know very well how easy it can be to lose perspective on a project, and how know when you're done. My experience and breadth of knowledge means that 9/10 times I know exactly what we need to do in order to get your project over the line and sounding incredible.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: It's relatively easy to do with minimal equipment and experience. Whilst making music is easier and more accessible than before, making really great music that communicates its message and sounds good on all playback systems takes years of hard work and experience.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are you hoping to achieve and how can I best help you? Who/what are your biggest influences on this project? What is your budget/deadline? For mixing/mastering jobs I would also dig more into technical questions: What sample rate/s is the project in? What will be the ultimate release format/s? 3 commercially released recordings to reference
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Good | Fast | Cheap - choose 2. I suppose that's general advice for anything, but I think it's especially important to have in mind with creative projects.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: An acoustic guitar, a computer, condenser mic, interface and good headphones (assuming I have solar power somehow!)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I taught myself to play guitar from the age of 11, sung in school choirs and then graduated to writing my own songs and playing with my own bands. I later went on to play with, and produce for, other artists and bands. Along the way I studied for a degree in music and a masters in audio production. All in all I've been getting paid to make and play music for around 15 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Adaptable, but with a strong aesthetic sensibility.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with Iglooghost. I think his approach to sound design and creating futuristic sonic worlds is really unique and I'd learn a lot from him. On the other side of the coin I'd also love to work with somebody like Laura Marling or Lianne La Havas - people with incredible voices and timeless songs!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Set limits - whether it's a palette of instruments and sounds, the plugins you use or the length of time you work for I think limits are important. They help us combat option paralysis and ear fatigue, as well as helping to clarify our goals.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, singer-songwriter and rock music are my strongest areas of expertise, but I love working on everything from hip hop, funk, folk and jazz to EDM.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say I'm good at understanding arrangement and taking a song-focussed approach. Sometimes removing elements from a song at the right time are what serve it best, and that's easy to forget when we have so many options to add layer upon layer in our projects. Every song has its own narrative from start to finish and I think I'm good at enhancing that.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Nearly 20 years of experience in writing and 10 years of solid technical production. I have an experienced set of ears and an intimate understanding of how to sculpt and optimally present music from multiple genres. My personal tastes are very eclectic, my passion for music is as strong as it has ever been and I'm excited to help you achieve the ideal sound you're after.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'm sure everyone says this, but it really is dependent on each individual project. That said, I always spend a lot of time up front speaking to my clients, getting to know them and their goals for the project - it's imperative that we understand each other so I can provide the best service possible, within the deadline and on budget.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Digital focussed, acoustically treated home studio with Genelec monitoring. I primarily work in Logic Pro X on my self-built Hackintosh PC, but I also use a Macbook Pro when travelling and am experienced in all major DAWs. I have a range of around 10 guitars and basses, a couple of tube amps, a bass stack, various percussion instruments, a modest mic selection and a healthy collection of effects pedals. I do almost all synthesis "in the box", but also a lot of re-amping and bouncing to tape on my Tascam Portastudio to achieve true analogue tones when required.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Paul Epworth, Susan Rogers, Serban Ghenea, Sylvia Massey, MsM Engineer, Catherine Marks, Max Martin, Andy Wallace, Steve Albini, Iglooghost, Mark Ronson, George Martin, Mike Dean
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Music production and songwriting. I aim to strike the perfect balance between the creative and technical aspects of each project, and I have the skills and experience to take the seed of an idea all the way through to a finished, commercial, broadcast-ready master.