If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Cassette 4-track, one good mic, an MPC, a synth, and some headphones.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been recording ever since I learned how to plug the tabs on commercial cassette tapes and press record and play at the same time. I've been recording my own bands ever since I bought a Tascam 424mkII. So I've been at it... 30 years? But really I suppose I've been creating what I consider to be "release-worthy" music for something like 15 years.
How would you describe your style?
Adaptable. I enjoy dry 70's sounds, natural wide-open sounds, and creatively processed sounds. I like creating contrasts within productions.
Can you share one music production tip?
Just one? Trust your ears. Never lose sight of the whole picture, because in the end that's all that matters.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock in its various forms and permutations. Jazz. Hip-hop. Electronic music. I especially love working on music that blurs or combines genres.
What's your strongest skill?
When engineering I'd say it's an ability to help overcome various obstacles while maintaining the energy and vibe of a session.
When mixing I think it's adaptivity and creativity.
What do you bring to a song?
Objectivity and a fresh set of ears.
What's your typical work process?
My process varies from project-to-project. But there is a workflow I at least attempt to follow.
When mixing, I sort out and prepare tracks; do any comping that is still needed, check phase, etc. I may do some high-pass filtering at this stage. Next, I'll do a rough mix; balancing tracks with no effects, eq, or compression, while identifying important melodic or interesting content to feature. Then I'll try to give each element its own space and go about adding compression, eq, etc, trying to solve problems in the context of the whole mix, rather than in isolation. Finally I'll "sweeten" things up and perform any automation tasks that may still be necessary.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I am primarily laptop-based, running Logic on a Macbook Pro. I mix using Universal Audio, Soundtoys, and PSP processing. My front-end consists of a MOTU 896mk3 and a Universal Audio 4-710d. Mics include Peluso ribbons, modified Oktava MK012's, ElectroVoice RE20, Audio Technica AT4050, and more.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I particularly enjoy the productions of Jim O'Rourke, John McEntyre, John Agnello, Nigel Godrich, among many others.