Steven James

Record and Mix Engineer

Steven James on SoundBetter

Hello, my name is Steven James. I live in Los Angeles and I'm an audio professional. I do freelance and I also have a Mentor at Capitol Studios who provides me feedback to elevate my career.

I can contribute 10+ years of experience in the field of Audio Engineering within the pre/post-production industry and apply my skill set any organization, staff and client base. I have a high level approach and creativity to recording and production to thoughtfully capture air, sound pressure, reverb, phase, electricity, resonance, emotion and timbre.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

Interview with Steven James

  1. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  2. A: Analog in, Digital out. I just returned $6,000 of analog equipment for mixing. Did it sound good? Yes, but anytime I sum "out of the box'" it sounds different. The work and money put in to mixing with outboard equipment isn't worth it to me. It also makes me available to mix for people with a lower budget.

  3. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  4. A: I like the entire process of audio recording and mixing. To capture a recording in a room and then present it in stereo is really cool.

  5. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  6. A: Ask as many questions you can. It's free! It's a difficult situations when people are not on the same page.

  7. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  8. A: My Barefoot Monitors right now. They are so inspiring to listen to music through. I have messed around with a lot gear but these monitors have changed my choices and purchases the day I brought them home.

  9. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  10. A: I have either been playing guitar in band or recording music since I was 15. I built my first semiprofessional studio in my home garage when I was 18. Since then I've been hired consult and build other studios as as record and mix.

  11. Q: How would you describe your style?

  12. A: Organic and Transparent

  13. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  14. A: I would like to work with Allen Stone or Chris Stapleton. I really like the sound of their records and I think they are the type of artist you just throw microphones in the room and they will make music.

  15. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  16. A: BPM. I was in the room with Ron Fair (veteran A&R executive, record producer arranger, recording engineer and songwriter) and he was producing a string orchestration. His technique was quite opposite of mine but I saw how the BPM was the most important fundamental. There were so many pieces being recorded and keep track of but the tempo was solid. He did this because he was going to arrange the song with these string sections in his own sectional way. It was a great way to have a "real" feel orchestration mixed with a popular synth music.

  17. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  18. A: I usually work on americana, blues/jazz and Songwriters. I say this because, with those genres I believe the "live" recording technique works well. It works with other genres too but I feel most comfortable at this point in my career with the listed genres.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. A: A typical work process involves tracking first in any fashion. I prefer to track all the instruments live if possible. To me the artist can choose takes that best fit the emotion of the song. From there, I make a general mix on a song or to and apply this to the entire album making adjustments bases on each song.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. A: Because I freelance I use studios that either the client provides or we agree upon working in. Most of the time I am able to then take the recordings and mix from my home.

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. A: Currently my mentor Steve Genewick at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Steve Operates on a very high level ranging from small bands to full scale orchestrations. Being in the room with him, gives me insight and experience only the industry leaders and veterans have.

  25. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  26. A: Common task for clients include but are not limited to: consulting services, pro audio venders purchases hardware, software installations, and any peripherals needed to complete sound stage. Engineering services are provided by clients request and include but not limited to: over-dub tracking to full band live recordings. Mixing is provided based on clients budget.

Guitar Jack

I was the Record and Mix engineer in this production

Gear Highlights
  • Barefoot Micro 45 Monitors
  • Avid S3
  • Neve 8816 Summing Mixer
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