Contributing a flexible and diverse mindset to your music to help you bring your imagination to life.
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My name is Aaron Garcia and I'm a multi-instrumentalist/producer. I've been an active gigging and recording musician since 2010 and am always open to offering my services as a session musician. Through my years as a professional musician, I've been a part of many projects that span across a variety musical genres including Rock, Indie, Experimental, Folk, Blues, Hip Hop, Pop, and Reggae.
When it comes to my role as a musician, I've been a songwriter/composer in a few bands, as well as being hired to play parts for other songwriters and composers both in studio and live. I've had work where I've been asked to create, sometimes I've had to follow written musical notation, and sometimes I've had to perform previously recorded material.
My main goal when it comes to recording for clients is to offer proficiently performed compositions that enhance their vision. I'm predominantly a Guitarist, but I've also branched out to providing Keyboard, Saxophone, Vocals, Percussion, and production for projects.
On top of providing music for other artists, I've been producing my own music and remixing music with my Electronica project titled Life-Fi Music, as well as producing and mixing for the Alternative/Electronica band Faux de Tail.
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Interview with Key of Aaron
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm especially proud of the recently released EP; 'To the Simpler Times' by Faux de Tail, which is available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and all the major music streaming sites. I was heavily involved in this project, being a composer, guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, saxophonist, backing vocalist, string arranger, and mixing engineer/producer for the project.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently focused on collaborating and mixing music for the band 'Faux de Tail' and for the YouTube project 'Life-fi Music'. I'm also currently composing music for other bands I'm a part of such as Spooky Couch, Kahepana, and Saving the Orphan.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Hopefully as I get more accustomed to the SoundBetter community, I would find other collaborators as well as mastering engineers to refer clients to as the next step after the part of the process I'm qualified to do. After my portion of recording and mixing, I do have recommendations on mastering engineers I've worked with that can make your mix really shine.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both have a place in music. As a music fan, I prefer analog. It has a warmer sound that's more suitable to my tastes, but when working, I'm more familiar with digital. However, I often aim to get more analog sounds from digital.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is to keep an open mind and ear to what you're looking for as an addition to your recording. Though I do give options based on my musical background, the most important thing about my job is to provide what the client asks for. At the end of the day, that's what I promise to provide.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like the spontaneity. Nothing is ever the same between one project and the next because of the different personalities we have to work with as artists/instrumentalists/producers/mixing engineers.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you make this instrument sound like (insert song here)? With the plugins that are available to me in my DAW, I can get instruments sounding very close to the sound you're referencing.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: One misconception between the client and the instrumentalists or mixing engineers is that sometimes, when a client hears the individual parts, they may think it sounds too thin or the opposite, having too many frequencies and sounding too big. When recording a part for a client, I like to set the tone of the instrument to having more frequency range than necessary, making it sound bigger than it should. The reason for this is to give the mixing engineer room to shape the sound and cut frequencies rather than add frequencies that are not there. If I'm tasked with being the mixing engineer for a client, I would be doing all the cutting of frequencies to allow for the other elements to cut through, possibly causing the individual parts to sound thin. It's all about finding which frequency space each element owns, once you hear it together, that's when the sound will be nice and full.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Would you like to share an overall meaning or your vision for the feel of the song? Are there any bands and/or artists has influenced this song? Are there specific dynamics/arrangements you would like in the song? (eg. guitar only in verse, synth subdued in the chorus, drums loud and bold in the bridge, etc.)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you have a sound in mind that you can relate to another artist, please feel free to send me those references and I can try to match that sound for any of the instruments you would like me to contribute to your project.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take FL Studio Producer Edition on my laptop, my PreSonus interface, my Fender Stratocaster, my Egnater Rebel-30, and my Korg Minilogue synthesizer.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Since 2010, I've been a gigging musician. Recording and producing came into play when I would have ideas that I'd like to share with other musicians. When I became music director for Pearl City Highlands Elementary, I tasked myself with creating tracks for the kids to sing and play along to. I also gained lots of skills recording ideas from my private lesson students and producing the tracks for them. Eventually I got more serious about recording and producing my own material as well as material for other bands.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'd say my style is spontaneous yet collected. I think spontaneity is very important when creating music, but creating spontaneity with a process is also important.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with any video game music composer. To be able to mix or add to such quirky and varied types of music would be a lot of fun.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Use references and try to be open to using the vibrations through your whole body, not just your ears. This helps to put yourself in the space of the music, being able to almost visually see the spatial placement of all the elements and frequencies, and being able to feel the amount of rumble from the bass or treble from the guitar or piano.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've mostly had work on Rock and Electronica projects.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is listening and fitting in parts to a song. Most of the compliments I've gotten as a musician/producer is that I know how to listen to the other musicians and to weave in and out of them with the instrument I'm contributing on.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to bring different perspectives to a song. I want to give the client a variety of options both conventional and unconventional to choose from.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When working with clients, I typically start by asking for influences and references for the desired style. I listen intently to the instrument they want me to contribute on and most importantly to how the instrument or element reacts and fits in with the other instruments. I then record a couple of ideas, send them out and discuss which ideas best fit the clients vision. After this, recording with more intent starts and I try to match the tone and spatial quality with any references to the style.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My main set up for recording sound is a PreSonus interface and FL Studio as my DAW. My sampling rate is set to 48000Hz which gives a nice headspace for the sound. When mixing, I use FL Studio with a couple of added plugins for cab simulation, tape emulation and spectrum analyzing. My monitor system is two Roland DM-20's set to a flat EQ in order to mix with the truest sound possible.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I've gone through many phases of music appreciation that have had profound impact on me as a musician/producer. As a kid, I was obsessed with reggae, hip hop and R&B. Music with space allowed me to pick up on any sound from a young age. My curiosity for these sounds have had a major effect on my mixing and producing. As a teen, I was exposed to many genre's including blues, indie, classic rock, funk, afrobeat, jazz, bossa nova, metal and more. Every genre had something that could be applied to my learning of multiple instruments.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm predominantly a Guitarist for projects I've contributed to, but I also have contributed keyboards, drums, saxophone, production, and mixing to a variety of genre's.