Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I am proud of everything I do. To pick a few, one is the album I mastered for Ratcliff called Apostles Yard. The other was an album I mastered for The Meteoriots, which is a punk/rockabilly group. I recently mixed a song for a Gospel family group called The Livingstons, which received some radio air time and is appearing on an album soon to be released.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just finished mastering an album for a great band called Ratcliff. They are a rock group that has a style of Pink Floyd crossed with Jeff Beck crossed with Cold Play. The album is called Apostles Yard and you can get it on iTunes.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
I don't think I know anybody but I haven't really look either.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. Not owning and running analog gear saves me money, which then reduces the price I charge clients.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That you will work on your song until you are 100% happy or ask for a refund.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything. If I wasn't working as a mixing and mastering engineer I would be doing it as a hobby anyway. Surprisingly I also love learning how to run a business. Probably the biggest thing is hearing the great music my clients are creating and the joy in their voice or their emails when they hear the song at the end. I get the most satisfaction out of their joy more then my own.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Most artists ask me the price and maybe when I can finish it. That is generally it. Sometimes I get asked what gear I have but mostly it is price.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it doesn't take long and you can't get good results without expensive gear.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Usually I ask basic questions like genre, style, ambition for the song, budget, timeframe etc. I also ask for popular references that they are similar to or aspire to be like. This gives me a good idea of what the work will be.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't just look for the gear a provider has. Having expensive gear only proves they have money. Having gear and money doesn't mean you know what you are doing. Many top engineers are moving away from external gear and mixing and mastering in the box. Judge the provider on their talent and their communication skills not their gear.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop, Focal Studio Monitors, UAD Apollo, Audio Hard Drive, Electric Guitar
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
My career path is to run a very successfully mixing and mastering business. I have been doing mixing and mastering for over 10 years now but have only been running a business for a couple of years.
How would you describe your style?
I guess I am still yet to understand what my style is. I feel I adjust my style to suit the genre and the artist. I like powerful mixes that really get the hair on the back of your neck standing up. But then other times I like a mellow emotional atmosphere. It really depends on the song.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
That is hard question. As a guitarist I would love to work with John Petrucci as his sound is killer and his skill is unbeatable. From a vocal point of view I would love to work with Pink or Adele. Both are great vocalists and they both write songs with emotion and a message.
Can you share one music production tip?
Record as many vocal takes as is needed for you to be happy with the results. Don't record one take and then ask the mix engineer to tune and time align them and make them sound great. While I can probably do it, the emotion is lost. Songs without emotion and feeling are boring. I would rather an emotional performance with a few pith issues then a boring flat performance perfectly tuned.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on anything really. I have worked on a lot of Hip Hop, country, rock, metal, gospel, edm, instrumentals. I originally thought I would specialize in a genre or two but I have accept every client that contacts me and as such I have now expanded my scope to almost any genre.
What's your strongest skill?
I listen to the client and do whatever is needed to give them a song they want not what I want. I will not stop until wither the client asks for a refund or is 100% happy. I always ask for feedback and suggestions, so that I can continue to move my service and my business forward. I am constantly studying my craft and am also looking to improve.
What do you bring to a song?
I provide a professional quality sounding song without charging the earth. I can do this by not spending all my money on expensive vintage gear that costs a lot to run and keep running. I work on a song until the client either asks for a refund or is 100% happy.
What's your typical work process?
I start the process by contacting the client to gather more information about the song and what they are trying to get out of it. The tracks are transferred from the client to myself and then I import them into my DAW and mix or master the song/s. Once I am 100% happy with what I have done then I send a review copy to the client for their review and input. Based on that I will then do revisions as required until the client is 100% happy with the end product. Then I output the final version in high quality and send it back to the client. I then follow up with the client to provide some feedback to allow me to improve the service I am providing.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a simple setup running totally in the box. I have Focal Studio Monitors with a well treated and tuned room. I use a touch screen with a special application called DTouch, which speeds up my workflow. I recently moved from Pro Tools to Cubase for Mixing and use Wavelab for Mastering. I also have a UAD Apollo and Octo PCIe to run all my UAD-2 plugins.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Right now I am just amazed with the Dream Theater album The Astonishing. They are amazing artists and the direction they took this album is very different and interesting.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
The majority of my work is mixing and mastering. I have clients of various levels from really amateur to very developed.