Niall Thomas - Freelance Remote Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Engineer.
I have wide ranging experience within some of the UK's top recording studios including Rockfield, Mayfair, Parr Street, and State of the Ark; as well as freelance mixing for artists globally. These artists have varied from Electronic Pop, Folk, Soul, Modern R&B, Heavy Metal, and Punk. Productions I have worked on have been featured on international TV and Radio (Scuzz & BBC Radio 6) as well as being positively reviewed in national press (Kerrang!).
I use Pro Tools exclusively, with a carefully chosen selection of plugins from the likes of UAD, Waves, Softube, Soundtoys and Slate, to mix. I also provide a digital mastering service. I am currently experimenting with building my own analogue outboard to add unique colour to recordings and mixes.
Alongside my freelance work I have recently completed a PhD in Music, studying the effect of developing technology on music producers, allowing me to gain valuable insight from some of the UK's greatest producers. This work has permeated my approach to mixing, never letting technology get in the way whilst making sure the latest technology is embraced to fulfil each client's vision for a production.
Aside from engineering I am a keen multi-instrumentalist of 15 years. Get in touch - let's make a record together!
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Interview with Niall Thomas - Audio Engineer
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The most common work I do is remote mixing and mastering for clients. Today's music industry is increasingly angled toward remote working and I pride myself in making this process as straightforward and effective for clients.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have always admired simple and decisive productions. The most creative producers are often those who don't let themselves get bogged down by technology or not taking risks. Ross Robinson, Tom Allom and Trent Reznor inspire work on the heavier end of the spectrum, whilst I admire the work of Eno, Quincy Jones, Peter Gabriel and more contemporary Pop producers such as FKA Twigs, Mike Elizondo and Mike Spencer.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My mixing space is centered around Apple Mac systems running Pro Tools (v.11) with UAD AD/DA and software. Yamaha monitoring and Native Instruments controllers and virtual instruments.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My process changes dependant on the artist and the song. It is hard to define how to approach any particular project as they are all different!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Hopefully a creative approach to production. I never use production to simply make everything sound 'right', I like to be creative with sound and create something new for each client.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Decision making. I am not afraid to remove something from a track or commit to a take.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I love working with artists that incorporate different styles, Grand Abyss (a Swedish Electronic Pop act) was a great example. The balance of electronics and live elements allows for a really interesting mix process and has changed the way I approach virtual and live instruments and how they benefit each other.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Careful and well prepared recording makes for a great mix.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to know what excites a client about a mix and what they feel excited by about their song/album. If they feel enthused about a certain aspect of their music I want to understand why and to try and convey that in the mix process.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. I've learnt from some great producers and engineers that limiting yourself to either/or is the biggest mistake you can make. Great records are not made by technology, they are made by people.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Hugh Richardson is a fantastic session bass player and arranger; I have known/worked with him for many years now. We used to play in bands together regularly in our teenage years and he is one of the best musicians I have played with!