Robert O'Neill

Recording Engineer, Mixer,

Robert O'Neill on SoundBetter

Recording engineer, mixer, producer, and musician with a creative approach to sound.

My musical life began when I got my first guitar at age 12 and I never looked back. As time went on I became more interested in the technical aspects of recording. I obtained a degree in audio technology and started working in studios (Phaser Control, Studio 770, Discrete Sounds, etc). I am fascinated by the way sound can tell a story and shape the meaning of a song. When I work with an artist I always try to use my skills to serve their art. I want what I do behind the scenes to enhance the emotion they are expressing and strengthen the overall vision. Any project I work on gets 100% of my dedication and focus.

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

Interview with Robert O'Neill

  1. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  2. A: Patrick Ryan Heaney taught me just about everything I know.

  3. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  4. A: ProTools is probably the most efficient way to get make sounding records. I love the digital medium because it allows many of us to express ourselves in ways previously unavailable. There are make tools and tricks to avoid a digital recording that sounds too, well, digital. these tricks are what i base my production style around.

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

  6. A: I get to spend my time working on music!

  7. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  8. A: Sometimes I talk with people who think life in the studio is basically a non-stop drug party. But, as anyone who has done this for a considerable length of time can tell you, this line of work requires an eye for detail and consistent dedication that many folks wouldn't expect.

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

  10. A: My silvertone amp, heil pr30 mic, spitfire labs plugins, neve preamp/ eq, my grandma's old krakauer piano

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

  12. A: Music has been an obsession since i started out on guitar at 12. Over the years I found that the production side of things was just as compelling to me as the musicianship/songwriting side. I got my start working out of Phaser Control studio in San Diego and have not looked back since.

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

  14. A: I like each song to have at least one element that is unique to it. I find that one of the best ways to accomplish this is by using the sound of the room you're recording in. Capturing just one unique sonic detail, the breath of a singer, a scrape of a guitar string, a cable being stepped on, and incorporating it into the song really helps your music stand out from things that are overly digital and edited to death.

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

  16. A: Rock n roll music with experimental tendencies is probably my favorite. But I am a fan of many styles and love branching out into new areas.

  17. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  18. A: I like to approach the sonics of a song the way a lyricist approaches hooks. In other words, I try to give parts a tonality or a texture that immediately grabs the listener. Doing this in a way that reinforces the meaning or emotional affect of the music is endlessly interesting to me.

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

  20. A: Some of my production heroes include Lee "Scratch" Perry, Tchad Blake, John Congleton, Annie Clark, EL-P, Andrew Weatherall, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Josh Homme, Jimmy Page, George Clinton, Outkast, The Bomb Squad, Jimmy Lavalle and Jack White to name a few.

Knockout Betty by the Varas

I was the recording engineer and mixer in this production

Gear Highlights
  • Vintage guitar equipment
  • universal audio interface
  • pro tools
  • wide selection of microphones (shure
  • akg
  • lauten
  • se) plugins (spitfire
  • slate digital
  • plugin alliance
  • melodyne
  • ua
  • soundtoys)
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