Producer and session bassist from Brooklyn NY. I have a studio in Park Slope where I produce, teach and record for different artists and companies around the world. I've toured internationally playing and singing, but my favorite place is in a pair of headphones, helping artists bring their ideas to life.
Many years of writing and arranging experience. Specialize in building entire tracks from small ideas. Multi-instrumentalist with endorsements from Warwick, DR Strings and Dave Smith Instruments. Writing horn and string parts for singer-songwriters, making the right chord progressions for a song, creating melodies or exploring harmony, and coming up with creative solutions to writing blocks for artists are some of the things I have much experience with. I also have the resources to put together a talented team of live musicians for a record, and the vocabulary to distill abstract ideas into concrete musical and engineering choices. I love working on the performance side of things, but I also spend a lot of time behind the console mixing and editing audio, and doing sound design.
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4 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Alex Hayes
It was a pleasure working with Alex! He is very professional and efficient, really focusing on bringing your ideas to life. You could tell he's well educated and knows what he's doing! I definitely recommend Alex and would love to work with him in the future!
Working with Alex was amazing. He is super professional and exactly what I was looking for. He turned my lyrics into a full fledged masterpiece! I would absolutely work with him again, and will probably keep working with him for all my future projects (if I can!!)
Alex was so awesome to work with!! He really put in so much time and effort to making my song sound just the way I wanted it. He’s super knowledgeable in the realm of pop production and I really enjoyed working with him. Can’t say enough good things about the experience!!
I highly recommend Alex! We worked together on co-writing and producing/mixing a song, and he made the process very comfortable and fun. I had an initial idea for my piece, and he brought a lot of great ideas to the table to make it come to life. During the production process, he was very detail-oriented, attentive to my needs, and dedicated to achieving the product I wanted. I'm amazed at how many skills he has production and instrumentation wise! Can't wait to work together again.
Interview with Alex Hayes
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I'm most often asked, "so, what's the process?" My answer depends on whether you are coming in with a developed song idea (lyrics/melody sketched out), or are looking to collaborate from the ground up. The ideal springboard to working together is having a vocal idea that you would like me to expand on.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1- microphone stand fashioned into a fishing spear 2- solar-powered turntable and 5 records 3- soundproof blanket (to curb the chill on those windy nights) 4- a waterproof LA-2A 5- a vibraphone (for good...vibes)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My professional life in music started out as a session bassist, and as a vocalist in theatre. I graduated from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in 2006,
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Musicality and nuance.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Passion, dynamics, high-fidelity instrumentation, attention to storytelling and song arc.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I'll request a voice memo/scratch of your lyric/melodic ideas. I will ask you what kind of influences are inspiring you at the moment and what your reference tracks are. Then I prepare some preliminary arrangement ideas based on what I'm given, and if the singer is local, we'll set up a session at my studio to feel it out and lay down a scratch vocal. Then I'll quickly build the instrumentation and arrangement, and as the track fills out, I send an instrumental for the vocalist to practice with before we track the final vocal.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: This current project with Mike Wartella has been really inspiring, and I'm very proud of the work that the band and myself put into this record. The music is sweeping and beautiful, Mike's voice soars. We started pre production pretty casually - I would write the music, and Mike would run with those ideas and build great melodies and lyrics. We also revisited some older material that Mike had written a few years ago. When we got our funding secured, timing was such that we had a VERY small window to get all the tracking done before Mike went back on the road with Wicked. For a technical overview of what I did as a Producer - I arranged the songs, booked and coordinated the studio time, rehearsed the band, made song roadmaps, played bass on the record, overdubbed strings and horns, programmed synths, and mixed all of the tracks up until the mastering.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: production and mixing for Broadway singer Mike Wartella's debut EP, various singles with different singers, production for a full length album with a 9-piece funk band in NYC. Scoring a new Musical called Breaking Silence, a dark comedy about addiction, trauma and recovery.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: If you need a singer, go hire Rachel Gavaletz. She's a creative force and can sing anything
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, of course! Digital for ease of use and powerful flexibility. Analog for transistor warmth and real waveforms.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Production and Mixing are paths of constant problem solving. I love being presented with a series of problems that need to be solved creatively. It's mentally engaging, and working with great music is spiritually fulfilling.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The amount of time that can go in to making incremental but important track progress.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Instead of always filling spaces, try to use space and silence in a musical way.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Everything except pop Country.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Synth programming: Prophet 08 Polyphonic Analog synth, Moog Sub37, Oberheim Matrix-1000. My go-to virtual synths: Serum, Sylenth, Output, Arturia Vintage Modular. Drum Programming: EZDrummer, Maschine MK3, Heavyocity Damage, Battery 4, Sample Collections. Guitars & Bass: Breedlove Passport Acoustic/Electric. Vintage Benchmark D'addario Electric Guitar. Warwick FNA Jazz Corvette Bass. MTD Andrew Gouche 5-string Bass. Kala Fretless Ukulele Bass. Microphones: Slate VMS High End Mic Modeler, Shure SM7B, Groove Tube, MXL/Samson. Hardware: Focusrite Clarett 8pre w/ ISA preamps, Avantone mixcubes, Tyler Acoustic D3M reference monitors, Presonus Faderport8 Production Controller, Presonus Monitor Station V2, VMS One Ultra Linear Mic Preamp. Software: Presonus Studio One (primary), Ableton, Logic, Pro Tools
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm a bass player and always approach a song from the groove/low end perspective. Rhythms to make you move.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm a fan of a wide range of genres, so inspiration comes from all over the place. I like artists and producers who really make their own sound and get outside of the box, especially if they can still keep it accessible. Like Mark Ronson, RJD2, Adam Blackstone, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Banks-Jamie Woon, Cornelius
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Songwriting, Producing/Arranging, Recording, Mixing, Track Editing