Hi! I'm Jack, I have 3 years and counting of audio training with 5 years of experience in the music industry. I primarily work in Pro Tools but I can also use Reason, Garageband, and Logic Pro.
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Interview with Jack Topaz
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People seem to think we just move a few faders and everything magically sounds amazing, but the actuality is that there is a science behind everything we do, a measurement of every decay time on a reverb, setting the delay time to fit with tempo of the song and so much more.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Pro Tools equipped mac, a Focusrite 6i6 interface, a set of JBL self-tuning monitors, an electronic keyboard, and an SM-57.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Never stop learning. The second you think you know everything is the second you begin to fail. No matter what situation you walk into, there is always something to learn.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Really anything that comes my way. I've come to find that I have a knack for mixing big band music and orchestras.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would probably say my best skills are curiosity and people skills. I have a lot of patience, I'm laid back and I constantly ask myself 'what if I did this?', which opens up a whole world of opportunities.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I normally bridge the gap between the artist and the equipment needed to make the music. When I work with a client, every plug-in is a color on a pallet and I want the artist to be able to paint any picture they want.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I normally start a mix by importing all the files into Pro Tools and converting them to the session's sample rate. Then I go through and re-name them (like kick, snare, etc.). After that I start to color code the tracks so they are easier to determine on my mix window. All my drums are usually blue, and the other instruments just follow the rainbow from there. Lastly before I start working on the actual musicality of the song, I'll group the tracks so I can control all of my levels simultaneously. After all of this organization is done, I get to the fun part: mixing. From there, there's no real rhyme or reason, it's all season to taste.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: The Red Hot Chili Peppers' engineer Andrew Scheps inspires me a lot because of his approach to engineering in a more creative sense rather than a technical one, which makes the work I do endlessly fun.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I normally do mixing, but recently I have been doing a lot of recording and live sound.