Hello all! My name is Mitchell Leonard. I'm here to connect with those in need of piano and keyboard parts on recordings, as well as assistance with the composition and arrangement of musical and lyrical elements. I have thirty years of experience in the business, and worked with clients from all over the world, of every style and skill level.
- I am available to track any piano, synth, or background parts you need. My studio includes multiple keyboards, ProTools 12, all the latest plug-ins, and Unity MkIII monitors. I'm well seasoned in adding incidentals (strings, pads, etc) to flesh out simpler recordings.
- I excel at helping strong ideas reach their musical potential. I can help take any musical idea from concept to completion.
- I'm always open to performance gigs. I'm skilled in sight-reading, pick up quickly by ear, and am well-seasoned on the stage.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
4 ReviewsEndorse Mitchell Leonard
Mitchell did a fantastic job. He did exactly what we asked for and offered some additional options, which were fantastic. Very highly recommended.
Mitchell was really helpful and great to work with. He helped me see possibilities and new turns in my music, and even though he brought in new ideas I never felt like it lost my voice. Mitchell showed a high level of professionalism, he was on time with his work and the result turned out better than I had hoped
Mitchell is a serious pro. Incredibly easy to work with. Comes thoroughly prepared. Arrives early. He's at a level where he can record live and nail it, which is exactly what he did for us. His piano/keys brought the whole thing together. He's one of these guys who's so good that he prepares several ideas, but can also adapt on the fly and make it sound just like you'd hoped, if not better. No doubt one of the best I've ever recorded with. He's our "go-to" every time.
I worked with Mitchell for a short promo video he was shooting for his collaborative song/video project for ‘I Went Ahead And Did It Anyways’. Mitchell was engaging, and attentive to the run-of-show, briefing us on how he envisioned the video to be shot. We had to improv some segments and he was a sport, making all feel at ease and ad-libbing some very funny lines. He is clearly passionate and very focused on the task at hand, making sure everything runs per schedule and distractions are minimized. All in all, he was professional, accommodating and efficient.
Interview with Mitchell Leonard
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: When I was sixteen years old, I began working as an accompanist for traveling theater companies. I discovered my knack for composition when, unable to afford the rights to the music for one of their productions, I took the lyrics for an hour-long musical and wrote entirely new music for all seven songs. When someone from the cast brought the original soundtrack to one of our cast meetings, a week into the show’s run, they all agreed that they liked what I had done better. That was around twenty years ago now. Since then, I've recorded several of my own works, played on dozens of others, toured almost all of the fifty states, and several other countries.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would say look at their body of work, and make sure there's something you connect with there. If their existing pieces don't have a style or soul you can connect with, keep looking.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I find that logging detailed notes after each session is incredibly helpful. It gets me to take a moment to review where I am in the process before my next session, and think about what my goals are for that day. I also track how much time I'm spending on what elements of the production (even when it's my own), so I don't go too far down the rabbit hole in any one direction. I see many artists and producers overwork a particular part of the project, and end up destroying something that was great to begin with.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to hear additional parts that most artists wouldn't think of themselves. I have a well-developed ear, and general intuition about where a song could go with just a few new elements.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work out of my Brooklyn studio. I'm set up with all of the latest and greatest software, and have a full range of real instruments that I use as well.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I tracked for an up and coming country artists earlier this year, and it was a blast. We added chorus vocals, wind noises, violin slides - all types of background elements that took the songs to a whole new level. Altogether, it only took a couple of weeks. Lately, he's been working hard to promote the release, and getting all kinds of press from it. It's great to see the effort is paying off!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Absolutely! I have a few colleagues on the site. Rachel Gavaletz is a good friend and amazing vocalist. I've also played with Daniel Sadownick more than a few times, and he's fantastic on percussion.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My composition idols are George Gershwin and Wayne Horvitz. For production, I'd have to say Mark Ronson and Clint Mansell.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually listen to a song a few times without even touching a keyboard or console, just to get a feel for it. I'll take it with me in the car or on a pair of headphones when I'm going out. Then, I'll cycle through sounds as I try out different lines and progressions. The sound and the part have to work well together.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Lately I've been doing a ton of keyboard tracking. I put down pianos, synths, organs, and pads on tracks that need a little something extra to make them groove.