Jackson Rau is a producer/engineer mentored by grammy award winning mixer Dave Pensado. Known for his work with artists like Beyonce and Christina Aguilera, Dave took Jackson under his wing from a young age. While with Dave, Jackson worked with artists like Big Freedia, Kid Bloom and Smrtdeath. Now Jackson specializes in Indie Pop and Alt Rap.
I grew up just outside of L.A. where I played as a drummer in several bands throughout my childhood. I went on to record many local projects and eventually my passion for producing and mixing lead me to work at Fab Factory Studios. There I ran sessions for clients most notably Steve Cannon. This caught the attention of Dave Pensado and his team who were tenants In the studio. They asked me to come aboard as Daves assistant where I worked with many different artists across several genres. I see a future where producers will have to do it all, and that's what I represent. I can effectively take your demo track, flesh it out, replay parts if needed, write new sections if needed, and than mix it so its ready for a professional release.
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2 ReviewsEndorse Jackson Rau
Jackson did a mix on my song "What to Do" with singer Reddish Blu. It's one of the best mixes I've ever received, and it certainly boosted the overall quality of the song dramatically. Jackson and I also collaborated on a joint-song, "I WANT YOU TO CALL," which he mixed as well, and it might be one of the best mixes on a song I've ever heard, period. I highly recommend Jackson's services.
Jackson mixed my track - Fast! with Sebii, Fraxiom and Rasha. The mix was incredible! It was definitely the first track where I had feel as if the quality/mix finally had achieved another echelon of quality, all of which couldn't be achieved without Jackson. However, to be honest, I didn't expect any less of one of Pensado's assistants. Highly recommend.
Interview with Jackson Rau
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Lots of stuff that I can't talk about :)
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am proud of "Going Nowhere" a single by Be Good Boy. I played drums and synth, and sand background vocals. I also produced and mixed the project. Its a amazing song and was an even more amazing experience.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Whatever gets the sound you want use it. Analog can sound old, that can be good or bad depending on the context of the track. Digital can sound aggressive and lifeless, the same rule applies to both.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to put in everything I have into your project, I will not compromise. When you are my client, you come before everything else.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I enjoy the feeling of finishing something I knowing its great. All the struggle becomes worth it.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: when your mixing my song what do you actually do? The answer to put it simply involves using tools like EQ, compression and FX to enhance the emotional impact of a song. Often times the songs end up quite louder as a result.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Mixing and producing can't make a bad song good, but they make a good song great.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who do you want to listen to this song?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Only hire someone that has a future mindset. This is someone that knows how you're music can fit into the market and can give you a product that exceeds your expectations.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take the Korg Minilogue, the shadow hills mastering compressor, the Maag Eq4m, a Neve 1073, and my Charvel electric guitar.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Ive been engineering professionally for about 3 years now, meaning making a living off of it. I spent several years interning at a Stuido Called Fab Factory and years before that producing and mixing live bands.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is new wave indie. I live on the cusp of what's popular, always trying to be years ahead of the curve.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with 100 Gets because theyre the most interesting thing I've ever listened too.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: As artists were fighting against the listeners attention span, which is about 7-15 seconds. This means your song has to maintain interest every 4 to 8 bars depending on your bpm. Figuring out the right thing to add or change is an act of subtlety, but its a skill you can develop like any other. Just remember that sometimes rules are meant to be broken.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: That is changing all the time because I am always interested in being apart of the next big sound before everyone else. Im most comfortable at the moment doing indie pop and hip hop. However im pretty well versed in EDM and some other more obscure genres like Hyper Pop and alt rap.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is to conceptualize a song and complete it. Its easy to start ideas but its very hard to finish them and see their vision through to the end.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring unrelenting passion and creativity to everything I work on. I have a myriad of skills to draw upon to get the job done and make amazing music. This may come in the form of sound design or just a professional ear to offer a fresh perspective with.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If im in the production role it really depends on the clients involvement with the process and how much work the song needs. I will start by listening to the rough and deciding with the client what we can improve/add. Mixing is somewhat similar only that I often work remotely from the client. They may give me a list of references they want me to use as a guide for theyre mix. From there the song will get its first mix and than the client is allowed to respond with any notes on the process. We go back and forth until we are happy.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I enjoy working almost 100 percent in the box, Except of course for my small collection of analogue synthesizers. I currently own a Moog Grandmother, Korg Minilogue, Roland JX3-P, Roland Juno 2, Behringer MS-1, Roland Boutique SE-02, Arturia MicroBrute. I Also occasionally use my DBX-160A compressor and I always use the very reliable Warm Audio WA273 Pre Amp. Along with a strong pool of mics I am fit to record pretty much anything.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My mentor Dave Pensado is by far the biggest influence for me. He teaches me everyday and I continue to grow as an artist. Other engineers and producers who's work I love include Jaycen Joshua, Manny marroquin, (who were also mentored by Dave) Andrew Scheps, Tchad Blake, Pharrell Williams, and Kenny Beats and Jon Brion.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I typically work for my clients as a mix engineer or a producer. Mixing involves taking the clients finished production and furthering they're vision to make the project as professional and in line with they're goals as possible. My production style cover a broad set of skills that I often employ to aid a clients production or create one if the project is under developed. This may include re tracking parts, adding sections/instruments, enhancing dynamics, etc.