Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Abe Stewart and Lennon Leppert!
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
One Direction, if they're even still a band. They're sort of the reason I got into production in the first place #noshame
Tell us about your studio setup.
I run Pro Tools 10 on my Mac Pro. I use a Manley Reference Cardioid through a Vintech 573 preamp.
Taylor 110ce Acoustic Guitar
Fender Telecaster American Deluxe Electric Guitar
Fender Precision Mark Hoppus Signature Bass Guitar
Roland Juno 106 Polyphonic Synthesizer
Cordoba 22T Ukelele
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Writing and producing a song for Nashville band, 9 Mile Hill, was extremely refreshing because rock is in my roots but I hadn't been getting many rock gigs because it's sort of a dying genre (in the mainstream). So reminding myself that I can still pull off a rock vocal and lyric was a satisfying feeling. Not to say I don't enjoy working on pop music. I absolutely LOVE pop music. It's definitely my strength and where my passion lies. I just strive to be diverse.
What are you working on at the moment?
Writing and producing for various up and coming artists.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital because that is how I learned and that is what I have, gear wise.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I'll work the project until they're totally happy with the outcome.
What do you like most about your job?
Make my own hours, meet tons of random and amazing people through all kinds of media, and most people in the creative industry are generally laid back. It's just chill vibez.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
When's the soonest I can have it done by. It depends on the type of gig and how much I currently have going on. For a quick mix of a track or recording guitars or vocals, I can usually have that done within two or three days. For a full production or multiple productions, that can sometimes take about a week or so. Mainly because I like to sit with full tracks for a couple days to keep an objective ear on the project. When I am confident with the result, I release it.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception about this job is that people assume you're struggling and have no work because it's a dying industry. Well.. they're right. No but for real, there is TONS of work around and money to be made; you just gotta put yourself out there and try to constantly better yourself and hone in on your craft to stay ahead of the game and keep clients coming in.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What's the deadline?
Is this to be released as is or is it a demo to pitch to other artists?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure you're absolutely convinced the provider can deliver exactly or extremely close to what you're looking for. There's nothing worse than paying someone for a job that you're not happy with. Read their bios, know their gear, and listen to samples.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Assuming there is an endless supply of electricity which is a terrible assumption to make in this situation, a MacBook Pro, my Manley, my Vintech pre, my Taylor acoustic, and lube (to prolong the life of the guitar strings of course :D)
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
My career path was to be a songwriter, but as I got more involved, I realized how important production value was when pitching tracks. So, by default, I started producing my own songs and eventually attracted enough ears to hire me to write, produce, and mix for them.
How would you describe your style?
My style is centered around whatever is currently popular. If a chopped up side chained buzz synth is in right now, I use that. I'm pretty set on keeping things tight to the grid and tuned and timed perfectly, so if you're looking for a raw live sounding rock track, I'm probably not your guy.
Can you share one music production tip?
A technique that I've found helpful to prevent producer's block would be to track the entire length/structure of the song with a scratch guitar or piano or anything, rather than get caught up trying to make that intro or first verse sound unbelievable. Sometimes working backwards is more beneficial. This way you can throw ideas into the chorus or the bridge or anywhere as you hear them, and slowly the track comes together before you even realize it.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Boy Band, Top 40, Alternative Rock
What's your strongest skill?
What do you bring to a song?
I'd say I bring coherency and melodic hooks comparable to the current pop/rock market.
What's your typical work process?
- Write a song
- Track scratch guitar and vocal
- Build the track
- Record final vocals
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Savan Kotecha, Rob Cavallo, Chris Lord-Alge
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I do production, mixing, guitar playing, and vocals for clients. My style ranges anywhere from artists like Nickelback to One Direction.