Over 30 years of experience recording and performing. MA degree in Guitar. I built and run the Recording Program at Butte College in Northern Ca. I can help you create a professional recording with vibe, clarity, and emotion.
It all started in 1990 when I took a guitar performance class, and an analog recording class at DVC Community College. I was already playing shows in San Francisco and Oakland at 17 years old, but studying theory, performance techniques, and recording inspired me to make a career out of music. Since then I have toured all over the west coast, Produced and played on a lot of records, taught hundreds if not thousands of guitar students, built a recording studio at the school, and developed an AA degree in Recording Arts. As an independent producer and session guitarist I really enjoy helping artists realize their vision.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
Interview with Elkeslodge
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am really proud of the latest Sunday Iris album "Anywhere" We co-wrote all the songs, I recorded most of it at home, and was able to bring in my favorite drummer, and a wonderful piano player. The album has a vibe to it, lots of emotion, and Lisa sang her heart out, and I captured it with a sweet Telefunken Tube mic, so it is just a real pleasure to listen to. I played all the instruments, recorded it all, mixed it, and mastered it.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Two mixes for an artists new album. One track is Reggae influenced, and one is Soul-Jazz influenced. Also a cover recording of a Gladys Knight song with Lisa Langley for a benefit. Also, running a college recording program online!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: not currently
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Whatever tool gets the right sound, vibe and energy.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to try my best to help you realize your vision.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The creative process. I love when a mix comes together and I can put it on the speakers loud and dance or vibe out and it feels deep, emotional, or even makes me want to move. If it feels great, then I'm on to something.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long will it take to make my album? If the artist is committed time wise, and we have a solid block of time, I can usually produce an album within 3 months, sometimes even faster.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I just get a project and push a few buttons and a mix comes out, or a guitar part is created. These things take time, inspiration and patience.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Short and long term goals. Favorite artists. Most lasting musical memory.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Look for the thing that connects you with the provider. It could be a connection un-related to music, a similar musical influence, an age and maturity match, or even the fact that you like the sound and style of the demo tracks.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Gibson J50, Tuttle tele, Fender 68 Vibrochamp, Royer 121, my Sebatron preamps..
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began playing clubs in San Francisco and Oakland CA in 1990. I started working in a studio at that time also. I have been a guitarist in bands, formed and led my own bands, and had a long career as a jazz guitarist, all while teaching guitar, making albums for artists, and teaching at the Community College. Now I am a Tenured Professor in Music and Recording Arts.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Varied. I play jazz, funk, rock, blues, Americana, singer-songwriter styles.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Allen Stone. He has such an amazing range vocally, and a really great energy. I think we could make a great album together. Also, Martin Sexton. His voice is amazing and his songwriting is exceptional. I would like to make a folky album with each of these artists, showcasing their intimate side.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Bring in interesting little parts throughout the song, making the arrangement have interesting moments throughout the whole song to keep the listener engaged and connected.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Any genre, but I tend to work with singer/songwriters, funk bands, and indy rock bands.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Composing and recording original guitar parts. Second would be mixing, and third would be producing. I actually feel production is my strongest skill, from being in bands for over 25 years, but it's hard to use that skill remotely.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Musicality. I have a MA in Music, and am trained in classical and jazz theory. I also came up recording analog, so I bring the vintage vibe to those who desire it, and am highly competent in digital production if artists prefer to go electronic, adding software instruments and compositional elements.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depends if I am producing a single, album, or doing guitar tracks. I start with the artist, having a conversation about their vision. Then I jump in and mix the song to where I feel it is "done" and send it to the artist for notes, and then make revisions. For guitar parts, I load up the song, and lay down a few ideas for the artist to choose from, utilizing different guitars, amps, pedals and parts. Each project is unique, but I keep the focus on the artists vision.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Currently I am using my home studio due to covid. I have a 2020 16" macbook pro maxed out, UA Apollo Quad, outboard preamps and comps, Guitar amps for days, Michael Tuttle custom guitars, Gibson J50 and a varied selection of tube, ribbon and dynamic microphones.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Daniel Lanois, Bill Frisell, Rick Ruben, John Mayer, Michael Brauer, Andrew Scheps, Cornell Dupree and so many more.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Produce albums/EP's and Singles. Record, Edit, Mix, Master, and perform on releases. I also record acoustic and electric guitar for clients, as well as co-writing and co-producing.