What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How much do you charge? I get this question all of the time and of course it's an obvious starting point. When I talk about my average rates, it's for an average project/song. What's average? A 3-4 minute song with 20-30 tracks might be a ballpark. If you come to me with a 5 minute song that's 230 tracks (yes that was a real situation and yes I mixed the song) that's a very different fee than a punk band who has an album of 2 minute songs and 12 total tracks. I really need to hear the music and talk with you before nailing down a solid quote.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Mixing vs. mastering. They are two separate, discrete processes. VERY few people do both well.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Do everything you can to find someone whose work you like and humanity you appreciate. Mutual respect of people as creative individuals is so important and you should hire someone who gets that and sees your potential. Does this seem like a rent gig for this engineer? Or is he/she going to own your project like it's the last he'll ever do?
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Check out Jake Antelis. He's the man! I love losing work to Jake.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started recording jam sessions and my bands in high school to a VCR recorder. In 1999 at 19 years of age I landed an internship at a big studio where I really started learning. That lead to other opportunities in remote recording, radio and staff engineer positions at several other studios. I've been at this whole audio and music thing for 18 years.
How would you describe your style?
Dynamic, up-front and present.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Probably Jimmy Eat World. Their songs are always incredible. A list of who I'd like to work with could go on forever, however.
Can you share one music production tip?
Always step back and ask yourself, "have I gone deep and far enough with the vocal production and background vocal arrangement?" Songs often fall short when the vocal arrangement isn't as full as possible. Also, you should probably add a tambourine or a shaker. Or ask me to do it for you (no extra charge!)
What type of music do you usually work on?
Mostly pop, rock, singer/songwriter, etc. I recently did a beautiful bluegrass record as well as a metal band that slammed. I'm really fortunate to work on a lot of styles
What's your strongest skill?
Knowing when to use a heavy hand and when to stay out of the way.
What do you bring to a song?
Energy and vibe. I'm obsessed with sonics, but I'm first and foremost interested in feel. My number one goal is to take the energy, vibe and emotion of the song and amplify it. I like to make things more interesting, exciting and emotional. Some mixers have a more defined "sound" or stamp they put on things, which can be amazing. My style and sound is a bit more invisible, and I really try to stay out of the way and let the band/artist sound like themselves.
What's your typical work process?
We start with a creative call/email discussion about the project. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the songs? What kind of sound are you after? Do you like the rough mixes? Do you want me to do something specific, or do you want me to put my spin on it? Every artist has different needs and wants, and I'm here for you.
From there, I mix! I usually do about 1 song/day and send mixes as I get them done. We can work on revisions over the course of the project, rather than putting them off to the end. It helps me move faster and gives you more time to listen. I can stream the mix to you live over the web and we can do changes in real-time, or I can just send things as I get them done.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My world revolves around Pelonis 4288 monitors, some other crappy speakers, all housed in an ASC Attack Wall in Hollywood, CA.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
This is an impossible question to answer. There is so much good music and so many incredible producers, engineers and musicians out there. I draw a lot of inspiration from my roots in classical and jazz, and that has really informed my approach to rock, pop and other styles.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I mix! Sometimes people have me tune vocals, edit, polish and make them a cup of tea.