Producer and Audio Engineer
My name is Jason Stephens and I'm a multi-award winning singer, songwriter, producer and audio engineer in the Metro-Atlanta area.
I'm simply offering my mixing, mastering and production services to artists in need. I'm also offering writing and feature services for those that need that as well. I've been working in these fields for years and have an extensive resume' of projects that I've worked on and I would love to continue working with those that are pursuing their dreams within music.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Jason Stephens
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My brother Threat from Florida is dropping a project called 10 Felonies. I mixed and mastered the project, but I went in and recreated a track and just did so much more on his songs than he expected and he loved it. It's going to be a crazy project.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm actually working on my album at the moment which will be released in the summer of 2016.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Don't know anyone at the moment.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. We're in a digital world now, but analog sounds so good to me. Digital is really sharp, bright and thin to a point. Analog gives that warm, thick sound. I think digital makes everything quicker, while analog takes a little bit more time. So I would say do both for different reasons. They both have different sounds. Create a sound using both, or mix in digital and master in analog or vice versa. See what you get.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll give you the best quality that you can possibly get out of your and my equipment.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Freedom and creativity.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Customer: You're going to give me a discount right bro? Me: Not anymore.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I just add a bunch of presets to vocals. I mix and master every song from scratch. Presets were good for whoever made them using their equipment which none of us have. Sure it's a good starting point for people who don't know what they're doing, but I don't use them. Maybe just the telephone vocal here and there but that's a huge misconception.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's your deadline? Why are you doing music? When are you releasing? How are you going to market and promote? What's your vision for the song?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you need mixing, please have all of your files in place of where they're supposed to start and end. Consolidate your folders. If you use Pro Tools, perfect. I just need the session folder and everything in it. If you need mastering, have your song exported or bounced down where it's peaking between -3.0 and -6.0 so it leaves enough headroom to mastered properly.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. Computer (already has everything on it that I need) 2. Interface 3. Mic 4. Keyboard/Maschine 5. Wifi stick (make some tracks and some money while I'm stranded, waiting on my friends to get my email and come get me. Simple. Ha)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Initially it was just to be a singer. Make beats for my singing group, get signed and just tour. That was when I was in my late teens. Around 21, I realized I wanted my own label so I worked towards it and now I'm doing it. I've been singing professionally for 17 years, producing for 16 years, and mixing and mastering for 10 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Creative. To the point. Or maybe my style is like a highlighter. I'll say my style is highlighter. What that means is this. You're reading a great book. You see this one part that really stands out to you so you highlight it. Why? So you always look forward to that part and it will always be in your memory. I do that with songs. I highlight parts to make people remember the song and those particular parts.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with all types of artists. Artists that are actually talking about something. Artists with a message in their music that's not glorifying killing our brothers and degrading our sisters. As far as famous artists, I'm not sure. Never really thought about it. Maybe Justin Timberlake, Bieber, Bruno Mars, Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor, Timbaland, T.I., Usher, Chris Brown, Maxwell, Musiq Soulchild. Probably more if I really sat down and thought about it.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't get caught up in what's popular. It's ok to go with the trend every now and then, but once you caught onto the trend, it's already almost played out. It was popular when the famous artists and producers created it years ago prior to the release. It's new to us but the music industry is always changing before we know it. Create your own sound and make that pop.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: It really varies. Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, Gospel. I've done some soft rock before. Would like to do more of that actually.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would have to say producing quality work.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to bring life to the song. If the song is really great, I feed off of that energy and it makes me want to do so much more to the song without taking away from it. I just want to enhance it. Not outshine the artist or the producer at all.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I don't necessarily have one but if I had to break it down, I would start with finding the tempo of the song. Most times artists send me raw files so I'll edit the dead spots out of the vocals before I do any mixing. After that, I would group the chorus together, verse and ad libs together, etc. Once I have the session organized, I'll start tweaking the mix and adding my bus and send tracks.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Right now I'm working off of what's listed below: iMac 21.5 Pro Tools 12 Logic Pro X Maschine Mikro 2.0 Axiom 49 Presonus Studio Channel Mic Pre Focusrite Scarlett 2.2 Yamaha HS-5 MXL V88
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: It's very vast and ranges through all types of genres. I'm a music lover so I may listen to something Berry Gordy did for the Jackson 5, then move to something Timbaland produced. I grew up being a self taught musician, but I always loved classical music and joining the band helped with that too so I love Beethoven, Bach and Wagner. Maybe throw some Justin Bieber in there and some Justin Timberlake, then head over to some T.I. It just depends. I'm really just inspired by music in general.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Over the last 4-5 years, I've done more mixing and mastering for artists than anything else. I've done a lot of production, writing as well as my own concerts and such, but mixing and mastering has taken up the bulk of time lately.