Mix engineer specialising in jazz and folk!
Hi! I'm James Steele and I'm the owner of Steele Studios, a Glasgow based recording studio where I offer my recording and mixing services. I can offer my online mixing services here on Sound Better. I specialise in jazz and folk, though I will happily consider other genres. I'm also a professional saxophonist and can add some saxophone to your track for that extra stand out feature if you wish! I have over ten years of experience working as a professional in the music industry, so please feel free to check out my demos and get in touch! James.
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2 ReviewsEndorse James Steele - Steele Studios
James did an amazing job playing tenor sax on my jazz ballad. The sound of his sax is beautiful. In addition to choosing all the right notes, James put a lot of passion into his performance, especially during his brilliant solo. He and I communicated well, and it was so enjoyable to work with him. He is very professional. I would definitely recommend him if you need a good sax player for your project.
James did an awesome recording on location round at my flat for my swing band Nouvelle Jukebox. He was really enthusiastic and did a cracking job. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough!
Interview with James Steele - Steele Studios
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: A few years ago I recorded and mixed an album by a Glasgow based folk guitarist Chris Amer. It features absolutely incredible compositions and I'm really happy with how I portrayed this sonically.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on my saxophone lesson plans trying to get them as good as possible!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Conor Smith - guitarist based in Glasgow, he's absolutely fantastic and plays pedal steel too.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I think they both have their place - using some analog outboard gear combined with the reliability and ease of the digital realm is the way forward in my opinion!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: We'll get your song sounding as good as possible!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Helping clients reach their full potential.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you record/mix my band? Yes!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I'm not just a one trick pony! I can provide recording, mixing and saxophone.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What exactly they need from me, whether they have any audio references, when's the due date. These are the initial things I prefer to know.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Feel free to get in touch with me for a chat and don't be afraid to ask around :)
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Shure SM7b, a laptop running Pro Tools (that only counts as one, right?), my saxophone, some decent headphones, an XLR and a mic stand. Okay I think that's six...
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out playing clarinet and saxophone in school. This led to six years studying jazz saxophone at university where I gained both a degree and a love for music production. Alongside my studies, I took lessons in music production at a local studio, built up my experience by recording student bands and built up my gear collection for my first studio space in 2016. I have been in the music industry for around ten years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to learn from Sylvia Massy as she's my hero!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Jazz, folk and pop. Plus some rock on the saxophone.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Minimalist recording/production, and saxophone! Okay that's more than one skill but if I had to choose... saxophone!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: In terms of production I provide clean balanced mixes to compliment the musicians. For saxophone I am able to adapt to many styles to suit what's best for the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When it comes to recording, I'm quite a minimalist - less is more! I thoroughly plan how each instrument is going to be recorded to get the best out of it with the minimal amount of microphones for the most accurate representation of the sound. When mixing, I follow a similar approach, grouping and bus-ing tracks accordingly and typically use EQ, compression and reverb as necessary (and perhaps some auto tune!).
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have had many many setups and locations over the years. My current setup is a mobile rig and a mixing space in my home incorporating Pro Tools 11 on a Mac and a Presonus desk. I'm saving up for another dedicated studio space in Glasgow.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My audio production hero is Sylvia Massy, for her vibrant, weird and wonderful approach to recording technology! In terms of saxophone, there's too many to choose from! But I really like Stan Getz, Hank Mobley and a modern player called Ralph Bowen.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The most common types of work that I do for my clients are recording and mixing, as well as playing saxophone for sessions.