NYC based Guitarist/Producer for over a decade. I work in my studio where I track and produce with my 20+ guitars, world instruments as well as pianos, synths, soundscapes and orchestral elements for clients ranging from pop artists and singer-songwriters to ads, film and tv. I record through a world-class collection of microphones and gear.
I have been a professional NYC based guitarist, keyboardist, producer and composer for over a decade specializing in a wide range of contemporary genres— but I particularly love to produce pop and ambient music. I was trained studying Jazz Performance at programs at both The Manhattan School of Music and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NY. For the past several years, I have been playing live music on Broadway and on tour with Dear Evan Hansen and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. While not performing live, I work from my studio which hosts a wide variety of 20+ acoustic and electric instruments that I record through a full range of top quality recording gear. In addition to guitar, I am a trained keyboardist and have produced many full-scale tracks in conjunction with my vast collection of software instruments and synthesizers. I have worked with clients such as singer-songwriters, Broadway shows, films, advertising agencies, corporations and independent artists.
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17 ReviewsEndorse Matt Brown
Very happy! I was recommended to Matt by a friend who had previously used his services. I was told that he was good, but good was an understatement. Matt exceeded all expectations! Great musician, great producer, but most importantly in my case, he was excellent in communicating all around. He wasn't afraid to give AND take suggestions. Can't wait to work with him again. I recommend!
I hired Matt to do a recording of a song parody that I wrote for some friends. The execution was just perfect -- including both instrumentation and vocals. He completely understood the project and his final product was very impressive.The turnaround was very quick, which I very much appreciate. His rates were extremely reasonable, and I will definitely keep him in mind for future projects.
Matt was fantastic to work with! He got the job done exactly how I wanted it and fast! Highly recommend him with his superb talents, his ability to play many instruments and great attitude!
Beyond delivering great, style-specific bossa nova guitar tracks for my project, Matt was communicative with his progress, responsive when I reached out, and very open to feedback - I'll definitely be reaching out again.
You simply must use Matt! His business is on point, his ears are gigantic, he's honest, fair, and affable. The care by which he treats every project, big or small, is really worth your time and money. I've known him for years, worked with him for as many years, and continue to recommend and use him in myriad professional outlets. He has my strongest endorsement because he has earned it.
I spent nearly a year on tour with Matt Brown sitting next to him six nights a week in the pit orchestra for Dear Evan Hansen. In that time we would also occasionally room together on the road. Matt is an incredibly diverse and natural guitar player. He has a big appetite for genres, is always incredibly tasteful, and just a lovely guy to be around.
In the time I spent on the road with Matt I watched him develop new skills on a regular basis. He’s always researching and learning about all aspects of music.
In my opinion Matt Brown is an asset to almost any conceivable musical situation
This guy made me feel like a star. I felt perfectly taken care of when working with Matt Brown. The dude is a genius. I went in to the process of recording a track without a crystal clear idea, but just a general feel of what I wanted, and he produced a track for me that gave me the courage to shine. All of his instrumental ideas gave me wings soar on, as I recorded my vocal at home and the sent it to him —which he then perfectly mixed right in, as if we were in the same room all along. Who knew that so much could be accomplished remotely!
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work with Matt extensively over the past couple of years. I’m a pianist with extremely limited recording equipment, and Matt is the guy I always hire to refine piano tracks or produce recordings (recordings on which he often plays). Not only are both his studio and ear for music production state-of-the-art (as is made very obvious by the quality of work he puts out), but he is also one of the most skilled, easy-going, knowledgeable, intelligent, tasteful musicians around. Truly one-of-kind.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Matt for the last few years on the Dear Evan Hansen tour. Matt is an exceptional musician and has an extensive background in live performance, recording, music technology, and composition. He is one of the most knowledgeable, kind, and collaborative people I’ve ever worked with and I highly recommend him.
I'm a musical theater composer and have used Matt many times over the years to help produce and mix my music, as well as to track guitars. I've never worked with anyone more dedicated to getting the final product just right. In addition to being reliable and professional, he is a "musical-mind-reader." After many years of working with Matt, he usually nails the sound I'm going for on the first try. Couldn't recommend him more.
I am a choreographer and I hired Matt to compose an original piece of music for one of my dance pieces. We briefly chatted about what I was looking for and he was able to give me exactly what I needed. His communication throughout the project was consistent, he was so easy to work with and I couldn’t be happier with the result!
I had Matt write some music for some comedy sketches of mine and he was so incredible at it. He be exactly what I was going for and he worked so hard and quickly on it. It also helps that Matt is extremely kind and has a terrific sense of humor. He’s a great collaborator and someone you’re just so pumped to get to work with. You gotta do it!
I hired Matt to compose, record & produce production music on several occasions including a film score and TV commercial soundtracks for productions in Europe and Canada. Not only was Matt an absolute pleasure to work with, his music was outstanding and on point. His communication was excellent and he always delivered. I look forward to collaborating with him again. 11 out of 10 would work with again!
Matt is a highly skilled player adapt at many styles. I have hired him on multiple occasions to record parts on both acoustic and electric guitar. He always delivers killer sounding recordings in a timely fashion! 5/5
I’m a engineer/producer based in SF and hired Matt for guitar stems. He nailed the style of the particular genre and his turn around was fast. Great communication....Highly recommended!
I hired Matt to play guitar on several songs for an album and he delivered not only an amazingly musical finished project, above and beyond my wildest hopes, but was extremely professional, prompt, and communicative. Highly recommend Matt - he’s the real deal.
Interview with Matt Brown
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: The most common question I get is "do I use Pro Tools?" My short answer is yes but that's not the interesting answer. The real answer is that I am happy to use Pro Tools if I'm only working with audio or if a client specifically requests to work in Pro Tools. It's totally fine with me. However, if left up to me or if I am working on my own music, I am almost always going to be working in Logic. The reason for this is simple-- I started studying audio engineering and production when I was 13 and I started out learning in Logic (Logic Express at the time!) as my DAW. I learned this DAW like one would learn an instrument. I'm most fluid in it. It's not at all a second language to me. Analogy: Cory Henry is most often seen playing on a Rhodes or an organ but you know he will absolutely tear it up on an acoustic piano if he wants to. Vice versa, Keith Jarret will almost always be seen on an acoustic piano but back in the day he was a monster on keyboards and synths during the Electric Miles Davis era. FYI, I recognize how cringeworthy it is that I used Cory Henry and Keith Jarret in an analogy that even remotely involves myself. Sorry about that.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: A project I recently worked on was a unique experience that ended up being a ton of fun. I was hired by a playwright to compose, record and produce a full track for a scene in a live theatrical play. The instruction was to sound like an authentic radio ad/jingle from the 80s. So I did a fair amount of research of the common tools producers used back then. I was able to put a track together that everyone was extremely happy with. This project was the perfect example of learning and applying new skills in real-time to deliver top quality work to a client. The challenge was fun and the final product was incredibly rewarding!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Composers like Brian Eno, Thomas Newman, Pat Metheny and Ólafur Arnalds have inspired me for a long time in terms of the textures I use in my productions. John Mayer has also been an enormous inspiration to me in the realm of contemporary guitar playing and modern pop production.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now, I am working on producing and recording a piece of music for a play that is being produced in New York. My task it to produce an authentic sounding 80s radio advertisement for a scene in the play. It has actually been quite fun. Gated reverb and tom toms go a long way!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm sure there is but I have not come across anyone yet. I'm assuming I will soon.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Truly age old question that is just not worth answering. Put simply, there's an implication with this question that makes the question completely nonspecific. That is to say, the question itself is really asking "analog or digital AUDIO GEAR." When I record my electric guitar into a whole series of digital gear like a Kemper Profiler and a bunch of Strymon pedals, we think of that as 'digital." Yet the end result is the sound that has been around for the better part of a cetury-- the electric guitar. So the sound is actually 99% analog in that it's the sound of the electric guitar. Sure, maybe it's running through a bunch of digital hardware and then some plug-ins but who cares? Again, it's all about the source. If the source sounds good, regardless of what it is, then have a field day with whatever process you want to use to refine it. Analog or digital? -- I couldn't care less. It means very little to me.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is honesty and hard work. I will always, and I mean always, put in my best effort to accomplish what I think a client's project needs from me. Honesty to the point where I will absolutely not accept the work if I don't think I will be able to help in a way that will help fully help the client at the highest level. I don't want my name on anything subpar and I don't want to work on something that I know is not in my wheelhouse. Regardless of the work or money. My long term reputation is too important to me to consider money over quality of work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the feeling of completing a project. It's so satisfying. The hard work and focus is fun too, but there is something so rewarding about listening back to a final product that you put your blood and sweat into. The feeling is transcendent and makes everything about the process worth it.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I don't think there are too many misconceptions that I'm aware of but since this is such a creative and subjective business, many musicians, producers and composers who do what I do work in very different ways while all yielding exceptional products. So in general, many people don't know in practical terms what it means to produce a song or even record or mix a song. They might not know what goes into it because there is no uniform process.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: It truly depends on the nature of the potential work but assuming I don't know the client at all, I will probably start off wanting to know basic things like the client's broader musical goals, what inspires them and what they hope to accomplish with me. Most importantly and cutting to the chase, I will ask what specific function they will want me to serve-- in essence I am asking, "what do you want me to accomplish on your behalf?"
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Definitely ask as many questions as you would like to or can. Really get a sense of who you are considering hiring. Don't make quick, impetuous decisions. Even when you think you you are sure you have the right person, take some time to consider everything. Ask yourself, am I sure this person has my best intentions at heart, is there a possible reason he or she wants to work with me for financial incentive or because he or she simply owes a favor to someone else? Consider everything.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'd like to think this is easy. I travel so much touring and feel like I'm often in this position. 1. Apple Computer 2. Suhr Classic Antique (Strat) 3. Martin D-18 (Acoustic) 4. Metric Halo ULN-8 Interface 5. AT-4050 Condenser Microphone
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out studying Jazz guitar and ended up making a full time living playing Broadway shows in New York and on tour. I have been a professional for about 10 years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'd describe my style as pop/rock with touches of electronic and ambient.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: It would be a dream of mine to work with Thomas Newman. A brilliant man who has composed that many films and can help tell stories on that level with that kind of experience is an invaluable person to work with.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The biggest tip I can share is one that has almost become somewhat of a cliché in the music production world but I'd say: don't ever fool yourself into thinking that you can just throw up some gear and capture sound expecting to make everything sound perfect with hard work in post production mixing and editing. There is a saying-- "Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO)." That is to say, if the source you are capturing doesn't sound great to you, whether it be musically, sonically, acoustically or all of the above, no matter how hard you work to get it to sound good with plug-ins, editing and mixing, it's not worth it. Get it right from the source. Then the rest of your work is just fine-tuning and enhancing something that already sounds good.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I tend to work on pop music-- "chill" music, covers, soundscapes, film scores and ambient music. Typically, music that evokes strong emotion and tells a passionate story will be something I'm best suited for. Particularly pensive ambient music. Brian Eno is a huge inspiration of mine.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I can confidently say that the single biggest skill that has allowed me to earn a living in music constantly is being able to read music at a very high level, particularly on guitar. On the production side, I'd say a key skill of mine is capturing the style that a client asks for. Studying many different types of music growing up and playing eclectic musical genres for a living such as Broadway shows and film music, I internally absorbed a very wide variety of styles. In turn, this has allowed me to naturally hear in my head the sonic pallets and tools that will specifically allow me to take a client's description of what he or she is going for and turn it into reality.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I got into music because I was so strongly inspired by music that moved me emotionally, spiritually, creatively etc... So now that I am lucky enough to work in the music business professionally, I want to bring that to every piece of music I work on. This means that I always intend to bring a raw sense of emotion, passion, and soul while maintaining a top-notch level of technical skill both as a musician and producer. Playing at a high level is always extremely important to me but so it playing with true soul.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I always start with the artist or client. I want to get the most well-rounded picture of what the client is intending to accomplish, what his or her intended sound is, and given the window of time available depending on the project, what the most efficient way to proceed is. From there, I am lucky to have a studio I have worked in for a long time that is set up in a way that has a consistent and effective workflow for me to quickly put together content that I know the client will want to work with.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio set up is centered around capturing and recording all types of guitars and software instruments. Equally, I have recorded countless other sources here such as vocals, percussion, woodwinds, strings, horns and foley sounds. I'd describe my studio as a small to medium sized project studio. At the center of any good digital signal chain is the interface (A/D converters). I use one of the best manufactures of interfaces on the market, Metric Halo (mhlabs.com). I have 10 extremely high end microphone preamps readily accessible via a DB25 snake so at any given time, there are several microphones and inputs from hardware instruments and effects plugged in and ready to go so I do not have to break my inspiration and concentration dealing with plugging and unplugging different sources as I work. My studio is fully acoustically treated and is a great sounding room to both record and listen/mix (on my amazing Focal monitors). I have a solid collection of high end condenser, dynamic and ribbon microphones from manufacturers such as AKG, Audio Technica, Neumann, Shure and Warm Audio.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly track guitars and synths among other instruments in order to produce top quality tracks for artists and singer-songwriters.