Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I recently finished an album for a band on Pure Noise Records called Like Pacific. It was very special to me because it was the first record in a while that I got to really dig deep into. I co-wrote, produced, and engineered the record. It recently broke the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and I've been very fortunate to have been a part of such an amazing pool of talent.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on many mix projects, as well wrapping up production on a full length for a great band called Heavy Hearts. Solid dudes and great players.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Currently, no. But I am looking forward to meeting some likeminded people on here!
Analog or digital and why?
Both! in this day and age, one cannot exist without the other. And there's nothing wrong with that.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise that I will match what you put into your record. Your motivation toward your craft is my motivation to do better everyday. If you are completely involved in your project, I promise you that you will be happy with it at the end of it all.
What do you like most about your job?
Literally everything. I get to make records with fantastic people day in and day out. Except editing. Boo, editing.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
"What's the password for the WIFI?" to which I answer, "Play your part and put your phone down."
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That I am a magician. You can't polish a turd. At least, you shouldn't.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Please be upfront about exactly what you'd like to achieve with me. Don't hesitate to ask me any questions!
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
I may be the best for the job, or I may not be right at all for it. Let your ears make the final call.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Distressor, Avedis MA5 preamp, SM7B, U87, and a decent acoustic guitar!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started playing drums at 13. Obviously, many bands came and went from then up until now. But I was fortunate enough to pick up some entry recording gear at 15 after one of my bands decided to call it quits. We had a small studio, and I saved to buy up the remaining gear to continue it on. Since then, I've been totally in love and sucked into making records.
How would you describe your style?
Very hands on. I like to make sure a song can be the best it can be, and that can sometimes upset certain band members. But what many of them forget is, the song is a big picture. It's bigger than them, and if they're lucky, it will live on long past all of us. So why not make sure it's perfect in the moment.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work Jimmy Eat World. They have so many quality records and songs under their belt, and I feel like I would learn more from them than most other artists.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't overthink. The best songs are usually the simplest.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I usually work on pop punk, pop rock, and hardcore. That being said, I cut my teeth in many indie sounds, and constantly like to work with new genres.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill is fairly evenly split between production and mixing. Anything that lets me be creative with a song.
What do you bring to a song?
I like to bring a fresh, objective ear to a song. I often find myself knowing if I like a new song and its parts before its over. A strong song can generally be heard past the unnecessary repetitions and weak parts, and from there we can take the time to craft something everyone is proud of.
What's your typical work process?
The typical work process for a song starts with pre production. I have the band set up and play their music. If they are doing a single, I have them play all of their songs, and help them choose which song to work on. From there, we do a demo of the song, usually live off the floor. We come back to the control room to discuss what changes to make and how to make the song the best it can be.
We generally start with drums after, but there have been times where we leave drums for last. This is dependent on the nature of the song, and if the drums are playing a more integral role than just being the backbone. We multitrack rhythm guitar and bass. I then move on to vocals. I save any lead guitars to last to make sure that none of them clash with the vocal decisions we make.
When everything is tracked and edited, I move on to mixing, usually on my own time. The breakdown of time is generally 2-3 days for a full song, including mixing.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Located in the east end of Toronto, Room 21 is a 750sqft private studio facility. The studio pairs an active, big city feel with a perfect recording environment; featuring the best in both hardware and software. The studio runs Pro Tools 12, with a well chosen selection of vintage and modern microphones, preamps, and compressors, as well as the latest in software from Waves, SoundToys, Slate Digital, Celemony Melodyne, and much more.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
John Feldmann, Neal Avron, David Bendeth, Chris Lord-Alge, Greg Wells, and many others inspire me to achieve sounds in the realm of theirs.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I generally take on the Producer/Mixer/Engineer role in most of my projects. This includes everything from pre-production and co-writing, up to the final mix.