Tim Sonnefeld is a Grammy™ award winning mixing engineer and producer. He was the mix engineer for Usher's album "Raymond V Raymond," which won the Grammy™ for Best contemporary R&B Album in 2010. He also produced and engineered The Dixie Hummingbirds Grammy™ nominated album "Last Man Standing" in 2007.

Sonnefeld has been producing and mixing records for almost two decades. In this time he has had the pleasure of working with such artists as Usher, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, The Roots, Mary J. Blige, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Gomez, and many more. He was a staff producer and engineer at Philadelphia's premiere recording facility, MilkBoy the Studio, for over 10 years, while also freelancing in New York. Tim currently resides in Los Angeles.
On the concept of working remotely with musicians, Tim's philosophy, "With Soundbetter™, I want to use this platform as an opportunity to give artists who don't have a major label behind them to make a record that can really compete with those that do. I can totally relate to independent artists. I started out performing and touring in bands myself, I know the grind and what it's like being an artist working with less-than-ideal means. So let's make a Filet Mignon record on a Burger King Budget."

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Tim Sonnefeld:

  • Usher
  • Univox
  • Univox
  • Mother Redcap
  • Mother Redcap
  • Mother Redcap
  • Mother Redcap
  • Mother Redcap
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • David Stein
  • Octane
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • The Dixie Hummingbirds
  • Townhall
  • Townhall
  • Christie Lenée
  • Christie Lenée
  • Christie Lenée
  • Christie Lenée
  • Christie Lenée
  • Christie Lenée
  • Chris Bruni
  • Chris Bruni
  • Chris Bruni
  • Chris Bruni
  • Chris Bruni
  • Chris Bruni
  • IVA
  • IVA
  • IVA
  • IVA
  • IVA
  • IVA
  • Christie Lenée
  • Wanderlust
  • Alex DiMattia
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers
  • The Bullbuckers

Gear highlights

  • Pro Tools 10HD • UAD plugins • Waves Plugins • Adams A7 monitors • (The following available for an additional fee) • SSL 4048E/G console • Neve 8036 console • ANY OUTBOARD GEAR EVER!

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

Please feel free to contact Tim to discuss your project's needs.

Reviews of Tim Sonnefeld

  • Listing_thumb_lily17 months agoby

    I've worked with some of the most highly regarded pros in the film, television and music industry...Tim has been, by far, my favorite to work with. Whether he is mixing my own songs or songs I am hired to sing on for other people, it ALWAYS sounds amazing. His instincts are spot on. Def will continue working with.

  • Listing_thumb_lily17 months agoby

    I've worked with some of the most highly regarded pros in the film, television and music industry...Tim has been, by far, my favorite to work with. Whether he is mixing my own songs or songs I am hired to sing on for other people, it ALWAYS sounds amazing. His instincts are spot on. Def will continue working with.

  • Listing_thumb_lily17 months agoby

    I've worked with some of the most highly regarded pros in the film, television and music industry...Tim has been, by far, my favorite to work with. Whether he is mixing my own songs or songs I am hired to sing on for other people, it ALWAYS sounds amazing. His instincts are spot on. Def will continue working with.

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Interview with Tim Sonnefeld

Tell us about your studio setup.
A Mac Pro running Pro Tools 10HD, with Waves, UAD, SoundToys, and MANY other plugin suites. Apogee Rosetta and Universal Audio Apollo interfaces, Adams A7 monitors, a Yamaha subwoofer, a pair of API 512 preamps, and a pair of Universal Audio 610 preamps. I also have great relationships with many recording studios where I can get my clients incredible deals to mix on a Neve, SSL, MCI, or API desk for an additional fee. I can also cut the final mix to 1/2" tape if that would be the vibe.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
The Usher "Raymond V. Raymond" album was great to work on. Flying around the U.S., late nights, high stakes. It felt almost surreal, and I can't believe that the amazing team that I was a part of pulled off what we did. But we had the time to do things right and be bold.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm writing and producing an album with a great L.A. artist named George Stanford. He and I have known each other for a long time, and his music is great.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Erika Schiff! She's a great singer, writer, performer. A pretty great engineer too!!! And easy on the eyes.
Analog or digital and why?
A combination of the two. It's 2016.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise to work very hard to make your record sound as good as it possibly can.
What do you like most about your job?
I have gotten to screw around with my talented friends for a living now for my whole adult life. What's not to love?
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How much is this going to cost? It all depends on how much work is going to go into the project. Are there 400 tracks? That's probably going to cost a little extra. Is the song longer than 3:30? That's probably going to cost a little extra.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think that a lot of artists think that a good mix can make a bad song or a bad arrangement or a bad performance sound good. A good producer, mixer, or editor can make a bad performance sound okay, an okay performance sound good, a good performance sound great, and a great performance sound unbelievable.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What do you need? I try to get an idea of what their vision is, and I go from there. Also, I ask if they have any specific references that they would like me to listen to.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Look for someone who's a good communicator. The biggest time-waster when you're making a record is the producer or the mixer going in the wrong direction. Try and be specific with the way that you want things to sound. Talk about specific sounds on albums that you love.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been making my living exclusively through music for almost 20 years now. I dropped out of college (where I was studying guitar and upright bass performance) during my second year to tour with a band that i was playing guitar in called Townhall. We toured HARD for 6 years, and made two studio records. I co-produced these records with Ian Cross (Janet Jackson, Urge Overkill, Gwen Stefani) and Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Queen, Lit). After that, I worked for Ruffhouse Records and MilkBoy the Studio in Philadelphia for years as a staff producer/engineer. I just worked my way up the chain until I had enough work that I could freelance. And great records just kept coming my way.
How would you describe your style?
I like my mixes to sound aggressive and punchy. Lots of low-end if that's appropriate, and a big, loud vocal.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with Miguel. I think he's one of the best vocalists I've heard in a long time, and a great writer too.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't fix it in the mix! All of the instruments and vocals should sound damn good before the track gets mixed. It's going to sound better once it's mixed, but a mix CAN'T make a weak arrangement or a lackluster vocal sound great.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I have worked on everything under the sun. Ever since Usher's Raymond V Raymond album, I've been doing a lot of Pop, Hip Hop and R&B. But I grew up as a guitar and bass player, so I love Americana, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Blues. I just love making music with talented people.
What's your strongest skill?
Knowing when an arrangement is right. Which means knowing what elements will really bring out the best in a song. Because it's all about the song in the end.
What do you bring to a song?
My experience. I'm a fan and a student of music. I've produced and mixed everything from traditional Hawaiian music to Electro-Punk to chart-topping R&B and Pop. I love and study ALL kinds of music, and I understand which elements make a mix pop in different genres.
What's your typical work process?
Before I even start to mix or produce a track, I need to have a conversation with the client. I need to know exactly what they want before I start. Then I usually open up a session and listen to all of the raw tracks to make sure everything sounds good on the way in, and the arrangement is there. Then I build a foundation, whether it be drums and bass, or a beat, or a piano or acoustic guitar. Then just keep building the house. Get a great backdrop for the vocal to sit on top of. And finally, spend A LOT OF TIME on the vocals. That's most likely what your audience really cares about.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I have a soft spot in my heart for the producers and mixers I grew up listening to. Like Rick Rubin, Brendan O'Brien, Jermaine Dupri, Brian Malouf, Questlove, many of whom I've had the pleasure to work alongside. I love the way that producers and engineers get to help an artist sculpt and refine their vision.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I get tracks sent to me from around the world, and I do everything from additional production, to vocal editing, to fixing the rhythm section, to adding a bass, to mixing the track. It's all about communicating with the client, and figuring out how to bring their vision to life.