Bring any content to life with professionally composed and produced soundtracks. We only use the highest quality plug-ins and gear, and we’re well connected to other industry experts to deliver the most satisfying results and offer great service and value to our clients. Musical detail to accompany and compliment any scene.
Niél Kruger started composing at the early age of 9 and has lived in the realm of musical creation ever since. He is a multi-instrumentalist with an NQF5 in contemporary guitar and grade 7 musical theory and classical guitar through UNISA.
He is also a proficient vocalist, drummer, percussionist, bassist and harmonica player.
Niél has worked with many industry professionals on both the session and production sides. His profound sensitivity to the emotional effects that are evoked by different musical nuances, chords, melodies, harmonies and rhythms is undeniable.
Niél has a knack for creating intriguing musical themes and catchy hooks and he often collaborates with other industry professionals on projects to make sure that the desired sound and vibe is achieved.
With dedication and no fear of working under pressure, dead lines will always be met and flexibility is guaranteed.
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Interview with Niél Kruger
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Silent Night by Sicumera (check it on YouTube) I was working with some of my favourite musicians in a great studio and excellent producer. The writing process of the song was so organic and almost instant. When the guitarist came up with the riff I was sitting in his room and it felt like the whole song was writing itself in my head.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I am working on a new solo single to be released hopefully by August.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet but I hope to reach out and perhaps become part of some communities.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Oh boy... there’s something magical about analog isn’t there? Just the warmth and the realness of it all. It’s so tangible. But great strides are continuously being made on the digital front and even in combining analog with digital and one can’t deny the convenience of digital which really helps to streamline workflow and increases ones options as artist (and client) significantly. It’s really not a clean cut choice for me. Depends on the type of gear and the situation.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I am a very dedicated person. Once I’ve put my mind and heart into something I don’t accept second best or close enough. The inner perfectionist comes out. That being said, I can work under pressure and take deadlines very seriously.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Constantly being creative makes me feel free. Also working with other musicians/music lovers.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: How long will it take? A: It really depends on size of the production, type of track, length of track, the budget, how many alterations have to be made and when the deadline is.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That musicians who aren’t famous can’t be successful.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are the emotions you would like to evoke with the music? What kind of instrumentation do you imagine if any?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you feel a connection with the person who’s going the work on the project. Goals and visions have to be aligned and energy met.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Takamine, Music Man, Randall Valve Amp, Tama drum kit (does that count as 1?)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Wow, started composing little ditties and jingles on keyboard at the age of 9, around about the same time I started singing in national choirs. Picked up the guitar at the age of 12 and by the time I was 16 I was writing about one song a day. Studied classic music in high school and went on to study contemporary styles after school for 4 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Definitely a mixture of Alternative Rock, Funk and a dash of Country/Folk.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Probably Dave Grohl. He just seems very real and down to Earth. Would love to pick his brain and hang out.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Hmmm...I’d say pre-production is very important, good gain structure makes a big difference and make sure whoever you’re recording is in the correct mind space. The energy you put down will translate very directly.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: It’s mostly Rock, Funk and Country
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Natural rhythm, near perfect pitch and the one I’ve mentioned above.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Everything! No just kidding. I am very much in touch with the emotional side of music and understand which intervals, scales, harmonies, rhythms etc. will have a specific emotional effect on the listener.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Customer brief, pre-production, theme or hook creation, recording of guide tracks, (sometimes feedback needed from client at this stage), recording/programming of other instruments, basic mix, more feedback from client, alterations, final mix, master.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio set- up is small but effective. I run drums and percussion through an 8 channel focusrite pre-amp and most of the other instruments through a single channel UA pre amp. I work mostly on Logic Pro X as I’m familiar with the workflow. I use HS8 studio monitors. I have a bunch of different mics for different applications and situations.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I’m inspired by any musicians that stay true to their sound and always try to be as original as possible with their works. In terms of production there are so many good engineers and producers out there who keep pushing the envelope. It needs to be a perfect synergy of knowledge and creativity.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mostly I compose soundtracks for advertisements and short films. Having a strong influence from the rock genre means I often write more edgy stuff but I really enjoy working with funk, programming string and brass sections and laying down some groovy beats.