Professional mixing engineer with musical and academic background in Musicology and Media Studies.
I'm a professional mixing engineer, and I hold a Bachelor degree in Musicology, Media Studies and American Studies. This relevant in regard to my role as a mixing engineer in as far as it has informed me how to approach music not only on a technical but also on an intellectual level.
I put a strong emphasis on communication and transparency during the working process with my client.
As I mainly approach this as a service industry, each client gets one-on-one attention.
That also means I'm 100% committed to the project, I'm always available - during the project and after the project is completed, virtually no turnaround time, and if you have an important deadline, we'll make room for it.
I work in either 48Khz, 24bit or 96Khz, 24bit, depending on the style and genre of music.
Pop, HipHop, etc; music that does not necessarily benefit from more transient detail I will mix in 48KHz, 24bit.
Small sessions, more acoustic style music, songs with a lot of openness and space I will mix in 96Khz, 24bit.
I am bouncing out final mix passes at 44 KHz, 24bit. Original High Res master can be attained upon request at any time.
Stems: Up to 3 stems are part of my standard mixing service delivery. Delivery has to be specifically requested, though. Any extra stems are subject to an additional fee of $20 each.
Revisions: Unlimited revisions. We work until you're 100% happy.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
4 ReviewsEndorse Lino Thomae
It was a pleasure to work with Lino. The communication was instant, accurate and on all levels pleasant. He has a very clear vision of the final product and it was satisfying to reach that vision together. His overall work ethics are professional and on point and let you know you work with a professional who loves what he does. Again and again, I'm on board for the next project!
I gave Lino a very basic rough mix and he completely turned the song around with his mixing skills! Talk about 10% improvement….well, that was a couple more percent. He only useless top notch gear and has the ear! Also, quite diverse skill set and understands what it takes to deliver as a provider, and has strong artistic vision himself. Ver musical as well. Just a very professional working ethic. And his finished mixes are practially mastered as well - takes your song to a finished product! You won’t be dissapointed!
Was Lino aus einem kleinen Song gemacht hat, den ich damals selbst bei mir zu Hause aufgenommen habe ist erstaunlich! Sehr professionelle Arbeit. Ich wusste da überhaupt noch nicht, dass man aus meiner Musik noch so viel rausholen kann! Ausserdem ist er mir dem Preis sehr entgegen gekommen, wofür ich ihm sehr dankbar bin! Absolut top!
Lino was a pleasure to work with! He mixed two songs for my solo project a year ago. Very accommodating and patient in the whole process. He camly listened to my ideas and always replied in a very constructive manner in our back and forth via email. He brought another perspective and ultimately another level of sound and feel to the project/songs. Absolutely do recommend his services!
Interview with Lino Thomae
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I always commit 100% to the project, regardless of "who" my clients are. During my hiring I'm entirely available and responsive. I pride myself in being completely transparent in the work towards my clients. Also, I am very much aware that I'm working in a service industry. It's customer orientated. I can bring my own ideas to the project, but I leave my ego at the door. This is not about me. This is about YOUR song, and YOUR artistic vision.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: An open ear and an open mind. Musical know-now, as much as technical know-how. A strong intuition what a song needs and how to get there. If need be to even contribute on a musical level.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I have an academic background in musicology and media studies which really prepared me to intellectually contextualize all the technical and musical challenges mixing is presenting you with on a professional level. Having a trained ear, taking aural theory classes at university. Having the ability to put trends and styles into an music-historical and media-historical perspective. Having the sensitivity for the particular intent of emotion that sits at the core of each individual song and highlighting it, showcasing that core in the most appropriate way. Knowing what elements within the production or within song will make the song 'work' and translate to the audience.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: What I like most of this job is to be surrounded by music everyday and to actively step in the music making process. I think being a mixing engineer is a great balance to contribute on both technical and creative terms. Seeing the vision of a production come to life and helping the client to reach the full potential of their artistic vision is really fulfilling.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes, Austin Asvanonda does some exteptional work.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It all starts and ends with communication and being able to listen. I talk to my client via email or via live-chat trying to figure out what exactly the needs and demands are. What is the artistic purpose of the project/song, what is the motivation, what is the intention? Then I aim to discuss a concept with my client, to put the production into a clear-cut aesthetic and cultural concept in which the song is embedded in. Should the mix have sonic references to a specific historic genre, or should the sound be more radio contemporary? How does the client, or the recipient, the target audience, listen to music and where? Do they experience music at low volume with lots of dynamic range or does he or she want their music to have instant 'banging-in-your-face experience'. I generally take notes during this process and also write down how to technically and musically achieve the visions of my client. After that, I ask them to upload the consolidated tracks (or the whole Pro Tools sessions, if there is one). Please in 24 bit, wav files preferred. Then I import the tracks into Pro Tools, upsample them to either 48Khz or 96Khz depending on the amount of individual tracks or the style/genre of music. Then I listen to the rough mix or the tracks while taking notes and in some cases might even call back the client back to expel some potential misunderstandings. After that I finish all the pre-mixing routines like editing, cleaning the tracks, looking for unwanted artifacts, cleaning out noise, rumble, setting up markers, color-coding and naming all tracks, grouping tracks and gain staging. Once that working step is done I save the file under "prepped mix" and make another "save-as" file as mix no 1. Then I start to mix. I make a quick and intuitive balance only with volume and panning with nothing on the mix buss. I also sub group and buss different instrument sections in that process. During that process the question is always in the back of my mind what individual mix buss chain might be the most fitting for the song/production. Once I have the song where I want it to be with the balance I take a break. Half an hour to one hour to rest my ears. I come back with fresh ears and usually with the decision of what the mix buss chain for the particular song is going to be. Make a couple of tweaks, vary the inserts, set the threshold of the compressors etc. Then I start with the Vocals since they generally are the most import element of the mix, or I start with the drums and the bass...depending how I feel. I try to begin with first general volume rides early in the mix and try to go into more detail with automation as the mix progresses. From there on it's go-time with no looking back, until another break is (over) due. When I come back I ideally try to to finish an 6-8 hour working day (just mixing ) and finish the song...for now. The next day I come back to it. That usually will give you a fresh perspective on what you did. Depending on how satisfied I'm with the result at that point, I will send the fist version mix_v1 to the client and wait for feedback. 1-2 revisions are common during that process and I aim to send out the final version on the third, fourth day latest.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Let's say I'm mixing 90 to 95% ITB. Doing so you obviously need strong cpu power from your computer to carry all the processing. So my setup is based around a Mac Pro running Pro Tools Ultimate. The one analog hardware I use is the Smart Research C1 Master Buss Compressor as an H/W insert. The D/A A/D roundtrip goes through a Lynx Aurora converter clocked by the Apogee Big Ben. Using the Big Ben as an external Master Clock really makes a difference and makes the whole analog to digital roundtrip worthwhile. Somwhow it's sonically just pleasing and it even adds some width and space to the sum of things. That is basically my outboard hardware processing. I use only high end Mogami digital and analog cables for the whole signal-flow. My whole setup is minimal, but it's thought through in a way that it basically excludes the idea of the 'weakest-link in the chain'. Then I monitor everything through the Crane Song Avocet as a studio controller which lets me switch listening back through two different D/A converters; the Aurora and the built-in one from Avocet.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Serban Ghenea, Mike Dean, Alan Moulder, Don Was... Bob Dylan.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: First and foremost I'm mixing their music. But in post-production mixing really is an ever-evolving task and the demand and expectations what a finished mix should be keeps changing. And rightfully so. Because of that I'm implementing more and more mastering techniques in my mixing process. Basically my goal is to deliver a finished product and not leave much room for changes to the mastering engineer. So, my clients basically get a finished song with my mixing services. Mastering at this point becomes more of a craft of supervision. Not to take anything away from mastering for last step in the process, but I don't want them to reinvent the wheel at this point.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I work in the entertainment business.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your motive with your music? When you hear your song in your head what places does it take you, where is that place, what environment? In what sample rate and what bit depth was the production done? On what platforms, or media, do you intend to release your music? Is there a rough mix? Do you have any reference mixes? Is there a hard dead-line?
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I know this is a highly controversial topic among engineers. But, I do think high-pass and low-pass filtering goes a long way. Getting rid of unnecessary low end or even high end information on really most individual tracks permit your mix to be so much more focused and comprehensive, letting your individual elements and instruments sit in a mix, and also effecting how the transients are being tackled. Also note, high-pass filtering is not a kill-switch. You can gently roll-off by -6 db/oct or make a more drastic cut with -24 db/oct. Always ask yourself how musical you want to implement the filter. It plays a huge role in the decisions making process in regard to your low end in the mix. Say you decide to let the kick drum provide the ultra low end, you want to consider using a medium slope high-pass at 30Hz just to make sure that frequency spectrum and anything under does not get over exaggerated, because you might want to boost the 60Hz of the kick drum, as there is where the punch lies. Then you might high-pass the bass at 80Hz with more drastically with -24 db or -18 db, but you raise/boost the peak/Q of the filter and as a result the bass becomes more dominant and articulate, even though you are technically filtering away low end. It's really crazy, but the different filters from different plugin manufacturers do sound and behave differently. Each slope and each Q of a filter is programed and set in a slight different way. You can also use filtering when you intend to push an equalizer really hard.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock and Pop, anything in between and on the outskirts of it. Would love to expand more towards Hip-Hop and Trap since this has become the most experimental genre in my opnion, and it's where boundaries are being pushed these days.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be well prepared. Have your production in order, then take the step.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Smart Research C1, Fabfilter Bundle, Waves Bundle, Yamaha NS-10, UAD-2.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I tend to use filtering and compression a lot these days, not to make things louder per se, but to make the song weave and move. Making a coherent and musical mix, and avoiding the song to feel too modern or dated. Making it contemporary My intend is to serve the song, not to force a particular style on it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I always like to work with young artists who have an edge to them. Also, a coherent and clean production is always a mixers dream. This is always what you want to have as a good starting point. But apart from all of that, song is king. Any artist that brings a fundamentally great song can dictate the course of how the song is successfully mixed.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: One question that often seems to stand in the room, but it's not actually spoken out, is that from time to time a client might just assume that a mixing engineer will fix anything they've been given. And my answer would be: Yes, we basically can fix anything. But, a mixer's job is not to fix technical sloppiness of the production, or inaccuracies of the performance. Those things should stand in the competence of the producer. So, if a mixing engineer is supposed to tackle these issues, it should be disccussed and arranged in advance. Now, I'm not asking for production credits here, just for clarity, and the right disbursal.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I would even go back as for as the age of 5, when the first thing I would do on every morning was to run to the vinyl player and listen to Mozart and Pink Floyd's Ummagumma and be completely blown away by it. From there on my life has always evolved around music. Being it learning to play instruments, obsessively analyzing music production, playing in bands, writing songs, recording and producing my own music, studying musicology and media studies at university. I've been shifting my focus towards mixing with the goal as to setting myself up to provide a professional service in that sector since the year 2017.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Each has it's fundamental benefits. The research and development in digital these days is the forerunner, though.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Being the best engineer I can be. Finding authentic artists and exciting music.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I wouldn't neccessarily use the word 'proud', but it certainly is a strking experience when you hear your own production, that you wrote, performed, mixed and mastered, being played in a packed club at prime time. A DJ friend did that once when I was completely unaware... unprepared for it and I didn't even intend to 'relase' it. So, hearing your own track fuse out of a Depeche Mode song out of a big stereo system and people actually going absolutely crazy is quite an experience on a personal level. But it also showed me that I'm more of an introvertive person than I thought.