What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Big misconception is the busier the better. Quiet serves a purpose.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are you trying to convey with this song? What is your message? What songs sound similar to this one? What songs could be references to this one in instrument usage and/or loudness? When do you want it completed? How much freedom to I have with the chord progression and format of the song?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Ask tons of questions, ask for other works, ask for references. I have all of those.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My Laptop, Apollo Interface, pair of Focal monitors, Novation controller, and a bunch of wood to do a build out.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been playing instruments since I've been 6. Starting with the piano and of course playing in church. I started music production in college (2001) with CakeWalk then Fruit Loops. I went to Atlanta Institute of Music for sound Engineering and really expanding my Music Production capabilities. Learning how to use Pro Tools and use it quickly as well as sound design and mix & mastering techniques. I've been living off music only for 4 years now.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Tori Kelly is just so musical that it would be fun to just hear her ideas. Zedd, I would just be in class and not helping at all though. Plumb has a great sound and I would love to design music for her as well. Lastly, Ellie Goulding, her recent project is on repeat for me. I'm learning from her production everyday.
Can you share one music production tip?
Use the minimum number of instruments/sounds to convey a message.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on a fair number of Pop tunes and CCM songs that have a Pop feel.
What's your strongest skill?
My strongest skill is listening. I listen to tons of reference music suggested by the artist or songs I think are in the vain of the song. I want song to be unique so I have to stretch on every song and not just do what's comfortable for me.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring dynamics and transitions. I spend a good amount of time determining when instruments should be in and out, and a good amount of time determining how best to transition from verse to hook and everywhere else.
What's your typical work process?
My typical work process is to listen to the song. Read the notes or listen to the artist talk about the song and then learn the song. Learn the chords and decide whether there are better chords or better voicing of the chords. After that decide where the kick sound or snare sound should go in the song. From there I build and find the sounds in my head. Format and rough mix for artist.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I work from my MacBook Pro with Pro Tools 12 as my main DAW. I use Logic Pro X and Ableton as well. Ableton is used a slave a lot for its awesome racks. Logic Pro X has a few sounds I love to tweak. My interface is the M-Audio ProFire 2626 to a pair of Yamaha HS8s.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I like a few music production most popular to me right now is Zedd. Next are a few others like Katy Perry's production team, Justin Bieber's team, Lauren Daigle, Mark Ronson and Pharrell.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I design music based around a work tape that they send to me. The song I have as a demo is a song that was originally sent with Hank singing and playing the piano kinda.