[1451MUSIC] "Striving for Perfection & Authenticity" My primary goal, is to help create a perfect & authentic final product for the artist. Contact me to find out how I Those more adept to music theory will catch onto the pun there... For the rest; the standard 1-4-5-1 chord progression[ I-IV-V-I ] is considered a perfect authentic cadence.
Adam Klein is an Audio Engineer & Music Producer, currently based in New Jersey. He is the Recording Studio Manager and Head Audio Engineer for Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). He graduated from the Florida State University College of Music, studying in the Commercial Music Program. As a classically trained French Horn player, he has been playing music for upwards of 20 years.
Adam was previously an assistant engineer and producer at Gasoline Alley Studios in Tallahassee, Fl., working with local bands & singer/songwriters. He also worked for the FSU College of Music as a recording engineer for student, faculty and guest concerts, in Opperman Music Hall and the three recital halls. Other work included FOH mixing for University ensembles and touring bands performing in Opperman Music Hall. In Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, he served as an assistant engineer and stage technician. Adam also served as a FOH mixer and live-stream broadcast mixer at Celebration Baptist Church (Tallahassee, Fl.)
Adam also lived and worked in Kansas City, Mo. acting as a freelance recording & mixing engineer, for groups like the Marcus Lewis Big Band and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra (select performances). Along with this, he was a FOH audio engineer for various corporate events in the city.
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Interview with Adam Klein
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I was the recording engineer and co-producer for Brandon Robertson's "Bass'd on a True Story". This is Brandon's first full length record. We recorded with 2 separate groups, in 2 separate locations. The record was released via Slammin Media in September 2019 and is available on all major streaming platforms, as well as available in CD and Vinyl format. This record is doing well throughout the country, and doing even better internationally! Last I heard, France and South Africa have been really digging his album.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mixing tracks for a big band in Kansas City, while we are all under quarantine. All tracks are recorded by the members themselves, with video, and then sent to me for mixing and mastering. Working now also on a "Live @ Snug Harbor" (New Orleans, LA.) record with another group of musicians. Recorded the 2 live sets one night in October, mixing and mastering now. (keep an eye out for the release!)
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for recording and processing when available. If your able to mix or record on an analog desk, take that opportunity. There's something about sound waves being transduced into electricity, running through electrical circuitry, and then back into sound waves. Digital is great for on-the-go or smaller projects you want to turn around quickly. It's like using a keyboard with a hammond preset, when you can find a hammond, Leslie amp and a hammond player, the keyboard wont sound like the real deal. Analog is the REAL DEAL!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Reliability, honesty, transparency, and good communication
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being able to work with really talented artists and musicians from all walks of life.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I can't fix tracks that we're recorded poorly or in an incorrect environment.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your end-result idea for this project? Who are your influences? Where/when are you recording? If previously recorded, can you get me session notes and a mic/input list used when recording? Is there a producer involved with your project? What is your desired end-product? What's your group's desired end-result?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I'm open and honest and appreciate that reciprocity!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop (with protools or logic) Sony MDR7506 Headphones ADDA Converter Neve Preamp channelstrips zoom H6n (for field recording all the different bird noises
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Been going at this since Summer of 2011. I started with a small band in Little Havana, Fl. that played spanish rock-romance ballads. The bands drummer, a good friend of mine, had asked me to come and help (after expressing to him my new interest in the industry) with the setup of a rehearsal and recording space in the shed the band leader had renovated. The band leader owned all the equipment, and hired me as their audio tech. We tried, unsuccessfully, for some time to get some decent recordings accomplished. After that went under, we shifted our attention to live show production as the band leader landed our first and recurring gig outside a brand new liquor store every Friday night in Midtown Miami. It was a hell of a summer. After that I attended classes at Miami Dade College, studying in the School of Entertainment and Design Technology. When not in classes, I volunteered my time as an assistant engineer in the schools recording studio, working with faculty and school ensembles. I was very fortunate as this was a top of the line facility. Studio A had an SSL duality, Augspurger monitors and plenty of outboard gear to go around. Studio B was a surround sound mixing space. There was a separate space for ADR and foley work, for the television program. From there I went and graduated from Florida State University and their Commercial Music Program. While still living in Tallahassee, I worked in the University concert & recital halls, a few different churches around town and a commercial recording studio (simultaneously). Now living in Kansas City, Mo., I am continuing my freelance recording and mixing career as well as holding down a job as an audio engineer for corporate events around the city.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Authentic and Natural. Especially when working with live instruments. When I record, I want to capture the sound that they want to be heard through a horn or amp or any creative method we conjure up. Only if needed will we artificially create the tone or sound 'in the box'.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Artists that hire real musicians to play real instruments on their tracks. There's nothing that compares to the true sound made by hot air and vibrations resonating through an actual instrument, and each player adds their own unique flavor to the pot.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Record it the right way, the first time. In woodworking & carpentry people say "measure twice, cut once" same can be applied to music. "We can fix it in the mix" is never a viable option and will only lead to more struggle down the road.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Currently been working primarily with jazz combos (trios, quartets, quintets, sextets) as well as some jazz big bands playing contemporary compositions. In the past I've worked with singer/songwriters, jam bands, reggae groups, Americana/folk artists, southern rock, blues and hip-hop artists backed by live instrumentalists.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Reliability, communication & knowledge about appropriate equipment for the project.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 20 years of musical training and knowledge - Almost 30 years of musical listening, including radio and a variety of music genres on and off the airwaves. A musically trained set of ears and a brain that understands how music and instruments interact with each other, both before and after recording.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: --Recording: Talk with the artist/ensemble about how they want to record, whether in a live setting or something where there is more separation and control, allowing for overdubs later on. Scout the location, or find a suitable location that can accommodate the project. Establish what gear is available, and what needs to be rented/borrowed and brought to the location. Stay in contact with the artist or leader, stay on top of any changes (try to anticipate any changes or problems). Recording process depends on the group and their needs. After the session; upload the session files/folders onto my own external hard drive and then backed up to other hard drives when I get home. --Mixing: Upload stems, make sure everything is aligned and edited properly. I process tracks if needed, if it sounds good then great! Sometimes the person in charge is looking for specific sounds, so then I would tailor to their needs. I start mixing with drums, then bass > guitar > keys then other rhythm section instruments. After that I'll hit any horn tracks. Followed by vocals and backing vocals. After that I'll add in any auxiliary tracks laying around the session. After a couple of hours of working on it, I'll find a stopping point for the day and then come back the next day to keep plugging away at it. If time allots, I will take off a few days to cleanse the pallet. After getting to a point where I'm happy, I'll check it on my headphones, phone speakers, earbuds, and car stereo and compare it. Depending on time, I'll more than likely send a first mix to the artist/band and they get back to me with some notes. Then the process repeats until the client is satisfied. --Mastering: First I talk with the client about what their looking for, sonically. What's their big picture and what their inspirations are. After receiving the track I'll analyze the mix with a spectrometer and see if there are any issues and correct them first, with that some processing is applied. I check the loudness levels according to how they are looking to distribute their product. I'll send a copy to the person in charge for review and tweak it as necessary.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Mac OS Protools 12.7 Avid Artist Mix controller Focusrite AM2 Genelec Reference Monitors Sennheiser HD600 & Sony MDR7506 Focusrite Clarett 8pre & octopre Gauge, Rode and Audio Technica Microphones zoom h6n
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Quincy Jones, Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Rick Rubin, Jerry Wexler, Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, The Marsalis Family, Christian McBride, Kermit Ruffins, Nile Rodgers, George Martin, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Christian Scott - to name a few.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mostly Recording and Mixing. I am usually contracted to record a live performance or brought into a studio as a freelance engineer for the band or artist. These include singer/songwriters, bands, jazz ensembles, concert bands, orchestras, contemporary ensembles and choirs. For mixing, I am provided the stems and then mix it at my home studio. On occasion, hired as a mastering engineer for an up-and-coming band.