Ari Raskin

Recording/Mix Engineer/ReAmper

Ari Raskin on SoundBetter

Recording/mix/mastering engineer, producer and guitarist with credits over a wide range of genres, from recording straight ahead jazz bands to hip hop mixing to pop vocal tuning to singer-songwriter production. Engineer on several Grammy-nominated and winning albums. Large vintage classic gear selection as well -- great for reamping and processing.

Based in NYC, I've been working professionally in the music industry since 2000, contributing to a variety of projects ranging from chart-topping pop and hip hop albums to indy rock and jam band to major label jazz records. I've engineered on several Grammy-winning and nominated albums including John Legend's "Once Again," Black Eyed Peas' "The End," Kanye West's "Late Registration," Ledisi's "Turn Me Loose," and Justin Timberlake's "Futuresex/Lovesounds." Formerly the chief engineer at Chung King Studios until its closure in 2010, I currently work out of numerous top NYC recording studios as well as out of my private facility in midtown Manhattan.

I make it a point to be versatile and musical in my work and in my understanding of an artist's vision; for this reason I work with a range of clientele over a variety of genres. Live instrumental jazz and rock are just as much my strengths as hip hop mixing or pop vocal tuning are. Lifting a mediocre song into a great song, or a great song into a mesmerizing experience, is my goal in mixing (or in editing).

Audiobook/voiceover editing and mixing projects are also welcome.

I have a background in analog and digital mastering techniques as well. My priority is making the mastered sound BETTER than the original while maintaining resolution -- not just brighter or louder. I take all music seriously.

Questions? Say hello!

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Ari Raskin
  • Yella Beezy
  • DRAM
  • Yo Gotti
  • Travis Scott
  • Jay Stolar
  • Jay Stolar
  • YG
  • R. Kelly
  • Keane
  • K'NAAN
  • Olly Murs
  • Jessica Reedy
  • Erin Barra
  • Erin Barra
  • Erin Barra
  • Erin Barra
  • Pharoahe Monch
  • Guy Sebastian
  • Day26
  • Day26
  • Day26
  • Kid Cudi
  • Robin Thicke
  • Robin Thicke
  • Wyclef Jean
  • Wyclef Jean
  • Ledisi
  • UGK
  • Hurricane Chris
  • R. Kelly
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Ron Blake
  • Ron Blake
  • Illa J
  • Hurricane Chris
  • Consequence
  • OneRepublic
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • Erin Barra
  • Peaches
  • Y.G.O.
  • Keane
  • Kudu
  • Kudu
  • Kudu
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • The Brand New Heavies
  • Jagged Edge
  • Keely B
  • Jagged Edge
  • Soulive
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • Meli'sa Morgan
  • Lettuce
  • Talib Kweli
  • Ron Blake
  • Ron Blake
  • Ron Blake
  • Twista
  • Mobb Deep
  • Danny Aiello
  • Bill Cosby
  • Quincy Jones
  • Everlast
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Ann Nesby
  • Soulive
  • Soulive
  • Soulive
  • Soulive
  • Lettuce
  • Lettuce
  • Lettuce
  • Ifa
  • Tatiana
  • Tatiana
  • Tatiana
  • Tatiana
  • Everlast

Interview with Ari Raskin

  1. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  2. A: "Can you make this sound good?" -Yes, although the quality of the source and the performance are the biggest factors, and any recording that sounds great already had a great source and a great arrangement...so make sure your production sounds as solid and complete as possible BEFORE mixing. Don't expect to fix everything in the mix. (In fact, make rough mixes and listen and try to fix everything that needs fixing first...THEN go into the mix phase.)

  3. Q: How would you describe your style?

  4. A: Clean and clear yet dirty and aggressive. Trippy. Vibey. Creative. Musical.

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

  6. A: Musicality. Hi-Fi vibes. (Or Lo-Fi vibes, when called for....or Lo-Fi combined with Hi-Fi...) Adding cool delays, reverbs, distortions and effects to add life to a song, giving the listener a more mesmerizing experience. I also do a lot of polishing, which generally means using a skilled musical ear to make tedious editing decisions resulting in a top-notch professional-grade final product.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: First I'm generally a big analog freak. However, this is 2020...In the year 2000, "Analog or digital" was a legitimate question -- back when there was a choice. As of the late 2000s, analog console mixing to 1/2" 2-track tape died, and everything is essentially digital now. Even if analog gear is used in some phase(s) of the process, pretty much no one but the Foo Fighters are actually doing records truly analog. (However, if I could go back to the days of 2" tape, analog consoles and no plugins or screens to stare at, I would, and I often try to model my rock/folk/jazz productions after this recording method.) Budgets, lack of patience and lack of capable studios simply don't allow for analog to truly be done properly anymore. I love listening to well-recorded, entirely analog records either way (and wish they'd remaster more 80s and 90s analog albums for AAA vinyl).

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

  10. A: Making music come alive, helping great artists express themselves so that the masses find their music compelling.

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

  12. A: I'm "a hip hop engineer."

  13. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  14. A: -What format is your project in (ProTools, Logic, etc)? -Can you send me a rough mix of the final production? -Is the production as finished as possible, and are all the vocals tuned and various parts edited and tightened fully? (..as editing during the mix phase, while not always a bad thing nor rare, can lead to more uncertainty and higher costs) -How quickly do you need the project turned around? (This can affect the rate) -Do you have any musical stylistic references that you're after so that I can listen for comparison?

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

  16. A: Go with your ears. A song should sound good both loud and quiet. If you can't crank it up without it hurting, either your engineer isn't that good or your musical arrangement needs work. Also use your ears to judge an engineer's work rather than letting their discography influence your perception of their work -- there are some sub-par engineers with great social/political skills. If an engineer is easy to communicate with and delivers a good product in the appropriate time frame, that's all that matters. At the same time, beware of anyone working for exceedingly low rates. Great mixes tend to take serious time, concentration and skill.

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

  18. A: Forgetting instruments or DAWs and interfaces: U67, Coles 4038 (or maybe an RCA 44bx instead), Neve 1084, original (not the UA clones) LA2A and 1176.

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

  20. A: 25+ years; working on major label releases for about 18 years.

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

  22. A: When starting a production, rather than record that first piano or guitar part to a click, try programming a basic drum groove first, but a groove with the pocket and feel you're after. Aside from making it easier for musicians to play over, it also results in the various layers of tracks locking together with the same pocket, which makes replacing parts, overdubbing and editing far easier and tends to yield a more solid, more groovin' record.

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

  24. A: Pop, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz and all conglomerations of the above. I also love working on Folk and acoustic music, or any music comprised of live instrumentalists.

  25. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  26. A: Being musical and creative with engineering, resulting in a compelling and captivating production.

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

  28. A: I do a lot of work entirely "in-the-box," which can be helpful when traveling or when needing to meet deadlines or do quick recalls, although I'll often use outboard gear or guitar pedals. It really all depends on what the song calls for. When I mix, I'll usually ask for a sonic reference of something in a similar genre or something that inspired them (if they have something in mind). I'll do the mix on my own (could take a few hours, could take a few days, depending on several factors), I'll send the client an mp3 of my first draft, we'll hop on the phone, make revisions if needed, and possibly do revisions in person when helpful.

  29. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  30. A: I'm fortunate enough to have worked in the recording industry back when budgets were big and every major studio had all the great classic gear and tech guys who knew how to maintain it (and engineers who knew how to use it), so I'm a huge believer in quality vintage recording equipment -- IF maintained properly. After years of curating, I've managed to collect 2 great examples of nearly every standard, classic piece of outboard and microphone. I have a huge acoustic and electric guitar collection as well as a few great analog synths, Rhodes, Wurly, etc. I'm a big analog freak (although I also believe in quality digital), so I take pride in my all-analog monitoring setup as well as multiple format reel-to-reel decks, professional cassette, professional VHS HiFi and turntable listening experiences. I monitor with the standard NS-10s as well as the original (good) KRK's from the early 90s and Mackie HR824, as well as a variety of headphones and small speakers. When necessary, I sometimes take my work to studios with massive Augsperger or Genelec speakers for extended low end reference.

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

  32. A: Anybody who makes magic... The great producer/engineers of the 90s, like Brendan O'Brien, Andy Wallace, Bob Power. I've loved working with great rappers who nail it in one take, like Theophilus London, Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought, Travis Scott or Kid Cudi; singers with golden voices who always hit every note perfectly -- like John Legend, Ryan Tedder, Lauryn Hill, Claude Kelly....great jazz instrumentalists like Lettuce or Christian McBride; genius producer-musicians who manage to span multiple genres, like Will.I.Am, Jim Jonsin and Wyclef Jean....the lists go on...

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

  34. A: Mixing...but I get a lot of editing/production and mastering work as well.

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Elli Espi "Ready"

I was the producer, engineer, bassist, electric guitarist & arranger in this production

Terms Of Service

Approx $75/hour (rates vary depending on project size and turnaround time requirements). 2 revisions/mix, charging hourly if more revisions are needed. Tuning/Editing not included in mix rates.

GenresSounds Like
  • Travis Scott
  • Doja Cat
  • Billie Eilish
Gear Highlights
  • ALL VINTAGE: La2a (2)
  • La3
  • 1176 RevE (2)
  • TLA-100a
  • API 312/550a
  • Neve 1080
  • isa215
  • Chorus Echo RE501
  • Pendulum es-8
  • nearly every classic Neumann
  • RCA and AKG mic
  • huge vintage guitar pedal selection
  • etc
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