I love complex live projects with a lot of tracks and usually draw a lot of automation instead of using compressors or other automatic processors to keep sound natural and alive. I am the guy to dig in details and make most complicated arrangements shine.
I am a full time mixing/mastering engineer from Saint Petersburg Russia, I work in my own mix room "oilcake tv studio". I can edit arrangements, tune vocals, mix, master and record some additional bass upright bass parts and synths as well. Genre is absolutely not important if I like the song, but my favourite work is live bands, especially tracked live.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
Interview with Egor 'Oilcake' Riazantcev
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Silvercut - iDeal. That was a huge amount of work - almost each song contains handcrafted/patched synths and sampled sounds, like percussion track from doorclosed sound and synth made from gull's voices, made by me. That was mixed with full band (drums/bass/keys/vocals) and sometimes string quartet and live piano tracked, edited and mixed by me. All of the work starting from the arrangement stage (which I'd been involved with as well) took 3 years. Imho, the result sounds epic.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will be doing my best until my clients feel happy with a result.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: It is always breathtaking to explore how a good song is made. Mixing usually requires a bit of deconstruction to figure what parts makes the song most exciting - that allows to discover how magic works and I love it, it's always a mistery.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: To not only check portfolios and prices but to try to talk with your potential mixer and make sure he(she) can understand your music and treat it with love and attention. I think that mixing engineer should be an organic part of the band, rather then just a "hired pro". He(she) should be able to share at least some of your tastes and your vision.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital - mainly because it allows clients to get involved. People need time to listen and think, so it's cool to have an option to recall a session anytime your artist sends feedback. That's a lot of fun to mix in analog domain, but it also makes mixes more expensive - while Pro Tools with good plugins can sound awesome in expirienced hands.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My laptop, my iphone(awesome little thing, has so nice omni mic), multi pattern mic like akg 414, speakers, double bass. And a kettle!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've started something like 20 years ago doing advertising on the radio. My expirience is pretty versatile - I've been foh engineer, worked as a local technical manager with some of the most famous Russian bands, did some foley recordings, tv jingles, film postproduction and worked in a few music recording studios. During all that time I've also been playing guitar, synths, bass and double bass in a different bands. Now I produce and mix as a freelancer in my own little studio here in Saint P.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A lot of my clients love me for my ability to understand experimental pieces. For me it's always an interesting challenge to nail something that stands outside known genres and thus doesn't have anything "typical" to work with. I really love all the styles and have mixed in a lot of them - techno, jazz, experimental electronic, sludge/stoner, alternative rock, pop, you name it, and that's why I can work when genres are mixed and transformed.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I love natural sound, so sometime my work can sound a bit "vintage" reminding of era when studios just did not have a compressor for all and every channel :). but of course making heavy drums breath with agressive compression is a lot of fun and I love it too - I just always try to leave at least something unprocessed to keep the feel of bigness and intimacy. Also I found that less compression leads to more dramatic result so I never use compressor for levelling tasks - for me it's more an effect than a mixing tool.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That mixing can fix poorly recorded and produced arrangement. "Shit in - shit out" - that's the sad truth. Mixing is about highlighting awesome things - not hiding boring and dirty. When you produce in a right way your rough mix should already sound inspiring and be a good representation of the ready record.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: An old one but always actual - do everything you can during tracking/production stage. Never hope that mix engineer will fix anything that sounds bad for you. Focus on the perfomance more than on sound - because there are ways to improve sound, but not groove and musicality. Choose engineers, not studios - careful and talented producer will sound good in any studio, and vice versa - rough and inattentive one can murder your sound even with most expensive and famous gear.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Emotional clarity. Main goal is to find everything that maximizes feelings
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start with carefully listening to the rough as many times as I need to catch most of important details. Then usually I do a lot of automation - to make vocals shine in any syllable, to tame sybilants(I hate deessers), and to check what elements of the track should take attention. At some point I may send a mix to a client to discuss if I see things right - and from that point any ideas are appreciated. I see my work as helping hand for musicians and want the song to sound like they want it to.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mix in the box using Pro Tools and a lot of plugins like Soundtoys, Eventide, Boz digital Lab
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Michael Brauer, Dave Pensado, Peter Gabriel, Al Schmitt
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: mixing and mastering