Looking to make your music come to life through speakers? Now you can.
I am an audio engineer and music producer based out of a town called Port Orchard near Seattle, WA. I specialize in alternative genres such as pop-punk, metalcore, hardcore, and emo, but am versatile enough to work with genres from country, hip hop, pop, indie rock, and anywhere in between.
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Interview with Aaron Williams
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My band is currently undergoing a 12-song record and I'm super proud of the songs we've written as a unit. My roles are Bassist, Producer, and Engineer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog's tone is great, Digital's flexibility is unparalleled. If it sounds good, it IS good.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Competitive Quality at Competitive Pricing.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love that I get to work with the creation of music and interact with like-minded individuals.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What services do you offer? I offer Producing/songwriting, Tracking, Editing, Reamping, Drum Programming, Vocal Tuning, and Mixing.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I am not a miracle worker. If there is a bad take, I can't make it sound like a great take. We can always re-record it though. Also, nobody can re-mix your two-track master.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your top-five favorite albums and what do you like about them? What experience do you have in studio environments? Do you know your parts like second-nature?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Look at the end product. A big name is great to have, but sometimes a not-so-big name has a competitive quality to bigger-name mixers.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Is there still work on this island? If there's work: my computer, Yamaha HS8 monitors, UA Apollo Twin X Quad, Neumann U87, and most Martin or Taylor acoustic guitars. If there's no work: Fender Nashville Tele, Fender Twin, a Meris Enzo, Electro Harmonics POG, and a Strymon Big Sky.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was in retail for a while, but there hasn't been a time in my life where I wasn't involved with music. I've been writing music for over 10 years now, engineering for about 8.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I am pretty easy going, polite, and motivated to get more music out into the world.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with Charlie Puth because not only is he a great musician, he also has perfect pitch, a great attitude, and is very detail oriented.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: The most important knobs on a compressor are the threshold knob and attack knob, in that order.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work with heavier alternative genres such as emo, pop-punk, hardcore, metalcore, and deathcore.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I am a real people person, and can bring not only a great vibe to the creative process but also coffee and donuts.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can bring impact, grit, clarity, and sparkle to a song. Not only can I do that through producing and instrumentation, but through my mixing skills as well.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: We establish what the song is going to sound like through pre-production (arrangement, Instrumentation, rhythmic accents, etc.), then take a day to set up all of our instruments at the studio and set gains so that we can track things immediately throughout the process. Once the studio is set up, we will have a scratch take where everyone plays through the song at the same time. After that, we start with the overdub process, starting with drums and percussion, then mid-range, polyphonic instruments such as guitars and piano, then monophonic instruments such as bass and horns, and then finish it up with vocals, strings, and auxiliary percussion. After the tracking process in the studio, I take everything we recorded and bring it to my house in a dedicated mixing room where I edit and mix the music.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently track in a studio in Tacoma, WA and then take the editing and mixing home to my dedicated mixing suite. I am mixing using an Avid Artist Mix, UA Apollo Twin with Yamaha HS8 monitors and Yamaha HS8s subwoofer, all running on a 2019 iMac with an intel Kaby Lake i9 5.0GHz Octo-core processor and 64GB RAM.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jaquire King is one of my favorite audio engineers along with Sylvia Massey and Tom Lord-Alge.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Tracking, Editing, and Mixing are my go-to services for my clients, but I also provide re-amping, drum programming and vocals tuning if needed.