Luis Villalobos

Strings Magician (Producer)

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8 Reviews (2 Verified)
Luis Villalobos on SoundBetter

Hello, If you need the very best strings sound, look no further! My solos can be heard in Bruce Springsteen's "Western Stars" and have been premiered at the Latin Grammy's, Carnegie Hall and with the San Francisco Symphony. If you're looking for a Producer, I have dual Master's Degree's in classical music and contemporary production, get in touch!

Hello everyone!

My name is Luis Villalobos and I will compose, arrange, perform, record or tune to perfection any string work that you need for your projects. I can also work with you to produce your next album or single. Any genre is welcome, I hold two Master’s Degrees in classical and contemporary music production from the University of Freiburg in Germany and Berklee College of Music. You will receive the highest quality strings sound in the market, period! No project is too big or small. I will work with you with the same excitement and commitment as with the multi-Grammy-winners that have blessed my musical path (Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Antonio Sanchez, Arturo O’Farrill or Disney’s Dan Zanes). Whether it is an improvisation for one of your songs, a written arrangement for other performers, or a full production, I can make it happen with non-paralleled quality and elevate your project to the next level. With more than 30 years of experience, I understand music with incomparable depth. I am a professional composer and producer who will support your vision and deliver ready-to-play tracks or raw files for integration in your project. If you like my work and are interested in my playing, I am available for concerts and touring anywhere in the world as well. Drop me a line and let’s get started, I am looking forward to making music with you!

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Luis Villa Lobos
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • Arturo O'Farrill
  • Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • Arturo O'Farrill
  • Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • Arturo O'Farrill
  • Dan Zanes
  • Dan Zanes

8 Reviews

Endorse Luis Villalobos
  1. Review by Bas Kooman
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    Luis is an incredible musician who is one with his instrument and plays the violin like he sings. He is eager to know what you want to tell with your song and took mine to a level i had never imagined possible. And besides his musical skills and professional attitude he is also a nice and communicative guy. Thanks Luis!

  2. Review by Steven C.
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    Luis was an absolute joy to work with. A man who really feels his instrument as opposed to just playing it. Very confident but at the same time very gracious, and a good listener as to what you are trying to express in your song. Great high def quality recordings as well. Simply beat in class and I highly recommend him.

  3. Review by Alberto Jimenez
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    As a guitarist in many music styles, I can say that Luis Villalobos is one of the most interesting, multifaceted, and committed musicians I have known. Working along with Luis it has been always so rewarding in terms of professionalism, skills, and flexibility. I can rely on those characteristics at any musical situation, whether recording strings, live performances, arranging, or musical production. His wide knowledge about so many musical languages, from classical to world music, is perfect if you are looking for someone propositive and thought-flexible.

  4. Review by Andrew Dow
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    I'm an electric bass player and composer. I hired Luis to write an arrangement for a piece of music of mine. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my compositions. I had heard his playing with his group the Villalobos Brothers and felt that he would be perfect for what I needed. I was exactly right! I couldn't have been happier with the work that Luis did for me, and for how he elevated my composition in a way that I couldn't have done myself. His string arrangement was not only beautiful, but it was creative, and it ended up feeling like it had always belonged there. Bravo, Luis!

  5. Review by Andrew Dow
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    by

    I'm an electric bass player and composer. I hired Luis to write an arrangement for a piece of music of mine. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my compositions. I had heard his playing with his group the Villalobos Brothers and felt that he would be perfect for what I needed. I was exactly right! I couldn't have been happier with the work that Luis did for me, and for how he elevated my composition in a way that I couldn't have done myself. His string arrangement was not only beautiful, but it was creative, and it ended up feeling like it had always belonged there. Bravo, Luis!

  6. Review by Andrew Dow
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I'm an electric bass player and composer. I hired Luis to write an arrangement for a piece of music of mine. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my compositions. I had heard his playing with his group the Villalobos Brothers and felt that he would be perfect for what I needed. I was exactly right! I couldn't have been happier with the work that Luis did for me, and for how he elevated my composition in a way that I couldn't have done myself. His string arrangement was not only beautiful, but it was creative, and it ended up feeling like it had always belonged there. Bravo, Luis!

  7. Review by Aaron Sinclair Hauser Cello
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    Luis Villalobos is a consummate professional and virtuoso of the violin! I hired him to play on an album of mine. I found him after listening to Bruce Springsteen's latest album and could not believe the beautiful violin playing on the record. I reached out to Luis and he provided me with excellent recommendations on the violin parts I had written, and he sent me back fantastic recordings of his playing. If you need a violinist hire him immediately!

  8. Review by Aaron Sinclair Hauser Cello
    starstarstarstarstar

    Luis Villalobos is a consummate professional and virtuoso of the violin! I hired him to play on an album of mine. I found him after listening to Bruce Springsteen's latest album and could not believe the beautiful violin playing on the record. I reached out to Luis and he provided me with excellent recommendations on the violin parts I had written, and he sent me back fantastic recordings of his playing. If you need a violinist hire him immediately!

Interview with Luis Villalobos

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: "Fandango at the Wall". Grammy-winner Arturo O'Farrill invited me to be part of they amazing double-album/documentary (HBO). I composed and performed my compositions at the border between the United States and Mexico to raise awareness about the importance of fraternity between nations. The albums were later recorded at the wonderful Avatar Studios in NYC.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: New series of works for full orchestra and a new album for my group, Villalobos Brothers.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: Sure! Marcos Barilari orchestrated a couple of my compositions for the San Francisco Symphony and he did a fantastic job.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Day and night, time and eternity, love and fear, Analog and Digital! Two sides of a very beautiful coin. But one must know how and when to use them. I would never exchange the sound of my acoustic violin for a sample library...but no piece of analog gear gives me the control I get in Melodyne!

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: That if I am working with them, I'll treat their music with the passion and professionalism that I treat my own...and music is my life!

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: That as cliché as it sounds, never in my life have I felt like I have one!

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: My customers are usually interested in staying in touch with me in a more personal level. I love meeting new musicians and making new friends, so I usually say yes!

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That to lead a life as a full-time musician is an easy path compared to a more traditional way of living.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: Before I ask any questions, I prefer to listen! If I am simply performing and not producing, then it is very important for me to have as much context about the song/music as possible. Sometimes lyrics are in another language, I'll ask for a translation. What do you want to express? What was the trigger, the story behind this song? What are your expectations? If I will be producing, then the questions a bit more pragmatic, at least at the beginning: "How soon are you looking to get this album/single done?" "How fixed are you in the current structures/instrumentation of the songs?" etc.

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Don't be shy and don't get scared if my price seems out of your budget! Drop me a line, show me your music. If I like it, I might do it for less... or even for free!

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: Well... if the island is desert, then I would put more emphasis on my instruments rather than in a way of recording music. Plus, gear needs electricity... I guess, violin, guitar, solar battery for a keyboard, tons of strings and music paper.

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: I was practically born with a violin in my hands. I started studying music and violin at 3 years old. By 13, I won the National Violin Competition performing the Kavalevsky Violin Concerto and as a prize, performed it with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra. At 20, I received the National Endowment for the Arts which allowed me to continue my Master's in Music in the University of Freiburg in Germany where I studied under late professor Nicolas Chumachenco. I declined invitations to become an orchestra musician and a University Professor back in Mexico and moved to NYC to pursue a career as a soloist. I spent over a decade in NYC and touring the North America as the front man of my own musical group (Villalobos Brothers) (www.villalobosbrothers.com) and then completed a second Master's Degree in Contemporary Music and Production at Berklee College of Music. I have dedicate my whole life to music and plan on continue doing it as long as I have the strength to.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Creative and flexible. The best of both the classical and the jazz worlds. The best of both the performer and the producer worlds.

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: Vincent Mendoza, I love his compositions. Jacob Collier, I met him when we were both performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival and he is a kind and fun guy. And, Danny Elfman... I recently watched his "Masterclass" and found that we have many things in common.

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: Hmm...so you want a little freebie huh?... alright, alright, here is one that will go a long way: In order to get a great recording, address improvements in the right order. But... "What is the right order?", you ask. The order in which sound travels into your system. First, educate yourself, practice, become the best musician you can (or hire the best musicians you can afford), a great musician will sound mostly great even if recorded with poor technique or through a mediocre microphone. Number two, use the best instruments you can afford, and fine tune them before the recording session. Then, and only then, start thinking of a better microphone, a better cable, and then a better interface and preamp. The point is, no amount of gear, no matter how great it is, will ever be able to get better results than a better instrument, and the best instrument, will still sound horrible if performed by a terrible musician.

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: Eduardo Galeano, the great writer was once asked: "Maestro Galeano, you have written novels, essays, short-stories, poems, and journalism...how would you define your genre?". Galeano - "I write". Similarly, I work on music, period. No genre is a box that cannot be opened. Good music can be made in any style.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: Difficult to single this one out, but I think that none of my technical abilities (violin, guitar, counterpoint, improvisation, solfege etc.) would mean much without creativity. I am above all, a creator, a creator of music, harmonies, melodies, emotions, productions, albums. A creator of human responses and of meaningful connections.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: Experience, empathy & creativity. Working with me you get a rare combination of a classically-trained musician who has studied jazz at Berklee, and music production. I have years of experience as a performer, composer and producer, and I bring it all together when I record or produce for my clients.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: The key for me is never to rush music. I listen, then listen again and again to the piece I am going to work with, before I even touch any of my instruments. Then, I like to play, to have fun, I'll put a section on a loop and let the ideas flow, improvising, creating from the heart rather than from the mind. When I am happy with a phrase, I either notate it or record it and keep moving along. When the time to record definitive takes comes, I rarely rely on "comping". It is a great tool but inevitably kills a bit of the emotion of an organic take. I prefer to work with small but organic sections (a verse, a bridge) and record until I get a perfect take. If any tweaking is needed, I use Melodyne because I find it incredibly natural. Regardless of the scope of work, I am a perfectionist and will give myself entirely to your music.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: My studio is in the heart of Boston. It's a beautiful space with very high ceilings which imparts a great, natural tone to my recordings. I work with Cubase, Melodyne and Reason for software, DPA, Aston, Neumann and Golden Age for microphones, Mogami cables throughout, Equator D5's monitors, and a Cranborne 500 series rack with preamps, EQ and compression for tracking and off the box mixing and mastering. Of course, a beautiful concert piano graces the space, along with a 88-key production keyboard, acoustic guitar and Spanish guitar, and my 1950 German violin.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: I've been honored to work with legends in their own fields. Performers/composers that I've worked with and admire immensely include: Bruce Springsteen, Multi-Grammy Winners Arturo O'Farrill and Antonio Sanchez. On the producing side, Multi-Grammy winner Rafa Sardina is my personal hero.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: The most common scenario is a songwriter/composer/instrumentalist who is looking to add violin or a string section to his/her music. Usually, they do not have a part already for the instrument, and I am more than happy to develop a full part. I work with detail and structure, creating captivating melodies and appropriate accompaniments where needed. Unlike most classically-trained violinists, I am comfortable improvising, which allows me to experiment, have fun and develop lines that are truly unique and serve the song. Unlike most classical musicians, I hold a second Master's degree in music production, which ensures that you get the best service musically and technically. There are also cases where artists are looking for an experienced producer to guide them through the process of making an album or a single, I have worked with both and I love both processes.

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Luis Villalobos - Ose Shalom

I was the Violinist, Composer, Mixing Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

The complexity of the work I can do for you can vary widely, but I will commit to every project fully and guarantee your satisfaction. All pricing includes a free revision and excellent communication.

GenresSounds Like
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Dolly Parton
  • Regina Carter
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Get in touch! If I love your music, I'll do my best to adjust to your budget!

  • All Things Considered - NPR InterviewMar 23, 2021

    Check out my feature interview at NPR's "All Things Considered"

    https://www.npr.org/2019/08/08/748791596/saying-something-that-is-us-the-villalobos-brothers-raise-their-voices