My name is Brian Mertz, I've been producing bands for about 4 years now, and in my short time, I have worked with up and coming artists such as Andrew De Leon from America's Got Talent, and Fire From The Gods, a band recently signed to Rise Records. I run my studio for a living, and would love to work on your next song!
As of right now, I am offering remote mixing and mastering services for anyone, or full production in studio to clients either located in Houston, or willing to travel.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Bravery Sound
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Producing and Co-writing "Dark Tales" for Andrew De Leon from America's Got Talent. He is an amazing artist, and its rare that I find someone with that much drive to do music, along with the talent to back it up.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on developing a metal band from Houston, Texas called Foreign Grounds.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends, I prefer digital, but that doesn't mean you can't get amazing sounds analog. I feel like they are like speaking a language, it doesn't matter if you speak french, english, or spanish, you're message is the same, how you deliver it is just different. Both analog and digital intend to do the same thing, they just get there differently.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will give you my absolute best effort. Anything an artist releases reflects just as much on me and my business as it does on the client. I feel that by embracing that, I guarantee that at the end of the day, neither the client, or myself will have any regrets concerning the final product.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The fact that I work with music every day. This isn't a hobby for me anymore, this is my career, and how many people can say that they are doing something they love?
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I really don't get a common question it seems, at least nothing I can think of off the top of my head. I am always available to answer any questions or concerns any client or potential client has though.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That programmed drums are the devil. You would be amazed at the fact that literally every genre out there replaces or blends live recorded drums with samples, and nobody can tell. Thats my job to get it to that point, where they enhance the mix, not ruin it because the sound robotic.,
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: "Do you have a means of recording Pre Pro at your house?" would be the biggest question I ask. I find this helps speed things up tremendously.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have a game plan for what you want, if you're recording it at home, then great, be sure to have the stems organized, and named. If you want any specific effects on certain part, then tell me, and if possible, have a reference mix, it doesnt have to be perfect (Thats my job) but just enough to give me a general ball park idea for what you are going for.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Not including computer/daw with plugins? I would take an AT4040, apollo interface, Avalon Vt-737 preamp, Axe Fx, and a coffee machine.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started in my bedroom recording my own demos when I was 20, since then I've gone on to engineer at a few pro studios, and have produced multiple artist on my own, including signed artists as well.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I try to be a one stop shop for artists, so I am a very hands on producer. I can't stand it when I hear stories of bands that go to a studio, and the guy is litterally just there to hit record. No. I want to be involved with artists, and really understand them personally, so that I can help materialize their great ideas, and really ensure we come up with the best product.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Dayseeker. They have such an amazing vibe that fully captures the emotion in their music, be it heavy, or soft, they always seem to hit it just right. It would be amazing to get to work on a track with them.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Normalize your vocals. So many people over look this, and what ends up happening is you send one clip of audio to your compressors, and it sounds great, but later down the line, a quieter piece comes in, and doesn't take full advantage of the compressor, and stands out in a very negative way.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Usually I work on heavier genres of music, but recently I have had clients from indie pop, to drill rap as well, ultimately, I've found that the end goal of any project is the same, its simply a matter of how you get there that varies.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Mixing/Mastering I say both, because during my mixing process, I am mastering as well to ensure that everything translates as well as possible.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh ear. Many times clients come in thinking they've struck gold, only to realize, that they overlooked maybe one or two things, I excel at finding those issues, correcting them, and ultimately transforming the clients idea into a tangible song that everyone can be proud of, and most importantly, enjoy.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I typically start from the beginning, when a band brings me pre production, all the way to the finally mastering chain, this includes all engineering for a project, mixing, mastering, and any post production a band might want.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I am running an Apollo interface with Pro Tools, I am in a sound treated room in my own home, and have well over 10,000 invested in plugins alone.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Joey Sturgis would be my number one influence, along with David Bendeth, Kristofer Crummet, Joel Wanasek, and many more.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Co-writing, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering