I make strings more vivid, give words more clarity and make drums punch you in the chest
Originally from Philadelphia, PA, I started working in 2001 at the height of the Neo-Soul movement. During my early years I was fortunate to work for and alongside Grammy, ASCAP and Billboard award winning artists and producers. Because of them, I learned quickly that the smallest fader move or frequency shift can change the entire feeling of a song. My client list includes The Roots, Justin Timberlake, Musiq Soulchild, Linkin Park, Joe, Leela James and others.
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8 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Ray Wilson
Ray has become more than an engineer. He has become a reliable resource that has experience in the industry. Ray pays attention to detail and will make sure that you sound the absolute best! HIGHLY recommend!
Working with Ray was a great experience! He works quickly and has excellent communication with clients.
We've now worked a bunch of times together. Ray is getting used to my needs and now know exactly what i need. I didn't write what 'I WANT' on purpose, he really gives me what i need.
Last submitted mix was an RNB song. First mix received for approval was the right one. Not a single revision needed.
2nd song mixed by Ray. This time we've explored a different genre than soul/rnb. It's offiicial Ray know how to mix everything and to bring the best out of any material
I’ve now been working with Ray on several Mix. For everything related to Rnb ,new soul, jazzy he is my sound engineer now . He don’t just mix the stems together and follow the elementary rules , he go deeper into my songs and make an artistic proposal . For one song for exemple he suggested to pause the mix project in order to provide him with a real bassline rather than the sub filtred based sampled bass that I initially sent him . And he was right it Was what the song needed .
Ray is an amazing engineer with a breadth of knowledge and experience. We needed a very specific mix that required a lot of soul. And boy he really delivered. I can't wait to work with Ray again! Thanks for everything!
Working with Ray Wilson is always a pleasure and he never disappoints. Great communication and the quality of work is outstanding.
Ray's professionalism, honesty and commitment to excellence is second to none. A great talent and great Human Being.
Interview with Ray Wilson
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love helping artists realize their goals. Hearing the excitement they have when a mix is complete is the best feeling in the world.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Know what you want your song to sound like, and be able to express it. The hardest thing for a mix engineer to do is target against "I don't know". Provide a few references, or explain how you want the listener to feel, then let them run with it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I graduated from Full Sail in 2001 before moving back home to Philadelphia later that year. I performed my internship at Ruff Nation, working on Leela James' debut. In 2002, I moved to The Studio where I worked alongside the producers of A Touch of Jazz, before being asked to Chief Engineer at Homecookin', the home of Carvin Haggins, Ivan Barias and Musiq Soulchild. A few years later, I worked as "Commissioner" Gordon Williams' personal engineer and assistant. I have worked independently since 2009.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Stevie Wonder's music has been a part of my life since for as long as I can remember. In 2002, I was fortunate to record a cover of "Visions" for a tribute album he was Executive Producing at Motown. While it's not quite the same as working with him, being part of that project was just as much a meaningful experience, if not more.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Tune your 808s to the key of the song
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I communicate. I believe that communicating, especially when not working in the same room, is important to establishing trust. Trust is what builds a relationship that helps make the song what it wants to be.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a balance between the creative and the scientific side of mixing, but I also bring transparency. I don't believe a mix should represent the mixer as much as it should the artist. Every move I make, I want to be sure that it's something that fits the song, not what I think would be cool
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen. A lot. Before I do anything else. I'll listen while setting up my Pro Tools session, then I'll reach out to my client for a discussion to find out what they're really looking for. Then I listen more. Finally, once the song has told me what it needs, I build a mix foundation and provide that as a reference before scheduling a remote session to perform final effects, automation and printing.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I grew up listening to jazz masters, Motown/Stax and early hip-hop. While most of my influences are my friends, colleagues or clients, there are a few that I still admire from afar. Prince has always had impeccable sound, as have The Roots and Pharrell. Serban Ghenea, Jimmy Douglass and Leslie Brathwaite have always turned songs into soundscapes. Carvin Haggins, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder have always been masters of the pen.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most of my clients hire me for hip-hop and R&B/soul, but I enjoy working on other genres as well.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My current mix setup is completely ITB, running Pro Tools. I also have Logic installed, but only to convert sessions from clients. I do not mix in Logic.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The most common thing I do is be part of the creative process. Although mixing is considered to be a task, I look at it as the final creative step. I take the opportunity to understand what my client has created and finish it, adding a bit of my own creativity to it in the process through volume, effects and other tools.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: One of the coolest projects was Justin Timberlake's 'Justified' album. I got to spend a week with him during the recording process and can remember vividly being in the room one night while he played the entire project for us before it was even complete, and picking out which songs were going to be singles. Definitely a highlight of my career.