Work with me to refine your ideas into a great recording. I Use professional equipment to realise your sonic vision. We will make the recording sound the best it possibly can. I will help you to successfully release your masterpiece, providing help and support on your Journey
You’re Ready To Take Your Music Career Up A Notch:
Maybe you have an album or EP but not the one you love, or more importantly not the one that’s getting you seen and heard by a bigger audience. You know that a skilfully produced, inspiring recording is the important investment you need to make to take your music to the next level.
This is where I come in. As your producer, we’ll sit down together and map out your vision. I’ll listen to your music and give you feedback. We’ll have fun as I record, mix, and produce a professional album that you’ll be proud to sell and share with the world.
The important thing is that you, the artist, feel comfortable, in your element, and have a good engineer to help you deliver your best productions.
Who am I? My name is Ralph Stokes and I love Music. I have 10 years of experience playing, producing, creating and crafting music as well as a degree in music production. I can help you achieve professional results and realise your musical ideas using a combination of musical and technical experience. As a musician I can anticipate and understand your needs. As an artist I can offer helpful, creative suggestions. And as an engineer, I can help you to craft the sounds and sonic quality your music needs.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
Interview with Ralph Stokes - Blueleaf Studio
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started playing guitar when I was 15, that's when I first developed an interest in music. Back then it was all hard rock and metal. After being put-off art at college, I decided I wanted to improve the sound of my music and studied music production. However, I didn't learn that much, I played in lots of bands and developed keen interest in electronic music. I became very interested in performing electronic music with live instruments adding improvisation and creative FX. After playing in lots of bands for many years and producing my own music, I realised I had acquired a lot of different skills. For the last six years I\ve honed my ears and mixing skills and discovered that I really love the mixing part of the production process, taking all the elements of a song and fitting them together to sound great, but retaining some creativity and artistic vision. For me music will always represent a pure form of expression, and I try to retain that attitude all the time.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually spend a while getting everything set up for a mix session. Colour coding, gain staging and checking all the multitrack is really important. If there's anything that could be improved with the multitrack or any mistakes I'll find them and contact the artist. Once everything is properly organised and staged I'll usually try out a few analog channel strip plugins across the stems to decide on the best kind of sound and approach. I like to mimic an analog workflow, as though I'm mixing through an expensive desk - Neve, SSL and API are my favs but sometimes I'll use something more adventurous. Then I'll get a good balance going and decide where I'm going to pan things. EQ and compression come next followed by other processing and finally automation, stem and mix buss processing if required. Every project is different though, and things don't always work the same way. Part of what makes a capable engineer is the ability to deal with unexpected things that pop up during the course of a production.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is in my house. If I'm mixing and the client isn't in I don't even need to wear pants. I've tweaked my acoustics and listening position almost to perfection (for me) but it's important that it feels homely and relaxing at the same time. My favourite piece of gear I have is my Axe FX. Not only is it great for guitar tones but make a pretty cool FX box for just about anything. I did an album once where I processed everything using the Axe FX.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I live in Newcastle where there isn't really a genre niche. As a result I'm constantly working on a huge mix of genres as well as being introduced to new ones.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I don't really know about strongest but Mixing is my favourite part! To get a good record all the parts of the process have to be strong.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like smooth sounds and tracks that flow well from one section to the next. My clients tell me I bring musical knowledge (being a musician myself) as well as technical knowledge to the process which makes it easier for them to communicate and I can offer musical as well as sonic suggestions during a project.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I used to be really into the Psychedelic music. I love Simon Posford for Shpongle, Hallucinogen and Younger Brother. My all time favourite music-maker is OTT. Lovely creamy synth-layered dub with a good bit of world music thrown in.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mostly I do tracking and Mixing work for clients, as well as some mastering. However, hardly a project goes by where I don't offer some help with arrangement, guitar playing, synths, programming, editing or composition
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Use your tools to the best of their ability. Both analog and digital have merit.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: An Axe FX II XL+ and the most expensive shur guitar money can buy. And a macbook pro. Thats it, who needs 5 pieces of gear? Oh, Id' better take a jack cable and a USB cable along.