I'm a musician/composer, mixing and mastering engineer originally from Argentina, currently located in Berlin. I work mainly scoring and doing sound design for films, dance plays and videogames, and also doing artistic production, mixing and mastering for singles and albums. So far I've participated in over 250 releases with international artists.
I got my bachelor's degree in 'Composition With Electroacoustic Media' in 2013.
In 2015 my music for the movie 'Garden of Dreams' was nominated for best music in film at the 'Madrid International Film Festival'
In 2018 I was selected as a participant of the Red Bull Music Academy (Term 1) and also to take part of the 'Late Fall Musicians In Residency' program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Canada.
I've mixed and mastered music on various styles like indie-pop, techno, house, hip hop, jazz, rock, fusion, experimental, folk, bossanova, tango, orchestral and contemporary academic music.
My approach to mixing / mastering:
I like to talk with the musician(s)/producer to understand what their goals and aesthetics are, and work with that in mind, always respecting their view and artistic search. Therefore, if you want to achieve a super loud and bright mastering, that is possible, if you want to retain the dynamics in the track and avoid squashing, while preserving the natural EQ of the instruments, that is also possible. I like to focus on the stereo image and frequency balance to keep every element as true to the mix and as natural as possible. If I feel that the mix is lacking in a certain frequency range, I will make a suggestion to the musicians and show them an example with that 'fixed', but never impose my view.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
2 ReviewsEndorse Maqueta Studio
Ariel mixed and mastered my album and I am very happy with the result, the process was so easygoing and he really brought an entire new energy to the music while always being in tune with what I was going for. I would highly recommend!
Ariel did a fantastic job on my track and was a delight to work with. His communication skills were incredible and he was quick to reply with any queries (of which I had many). He was attentive and hard working and wasn’t happy until I was 100% satisfied with the track. I couldn’t recommend Maqueta Stufdio enough, your music is in safe hands here.
Interview with Maqueta Studio
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am specially proud of the mixing and mastering I did on Lullahush's album 'A City Made of Water and Small Love'. We did the final mixing on my studio, then analogue summing and additional mixing at Red Bull Studios Berlin and then the mastering in my studio. The result is a super fat and warm sound that I hadn't accomplished before. Unfortunately it hasn't been released yet, but I assure you it's some very strange and beautiful music that somehow manages to also be pop.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now (7/11/2020) I'm working on the mix and mastering of a single by Lena Geue, a great musician from Hamburg, I'm also producing, mixing and mastering two tracks by the band 'El Antiguo Astronauta' from Barcelona. I recently finished recording, mixing and doing the sound design for a 7 channel audio installation called 'deine stimme ist mein klang ist dein geräusch ist mein echo' by artist Annika Kahrs and musician Derya Yildrim which premiered at the Hamburg Bieberhaus on the 21st of October
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet! I'm new to this platform!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both have pros and cons. I think digital modeling plugins have come a long way, and although I feel the almost always fail to catch the sonic qualities of, for example, an 1176 compressor, they do sound pretty darn good and are very convenient to have inside a computer. My main approach is to always work and to the best I can with the gear I have available. Too many amazing-sounding albums have been mixed entirely inside the box and even though they might lack a bit of that 'analog warmth' they still sound freaking great. In conclusion I think 'Analog when available, and happy with digital when analog is not present'
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I feel an obligation to make a track sound as good as possible to the extent that the material and my own abilities allow me to. I am never lazy when working on a track, and I can spend hours just catching resonances so that nothing is annoying or disturbing of the music.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being exposed to different kinds of music and of musicians. Listening to their music and hearing their thoughts and approaches and ideas is so often completely mind blowing. I learn a lot constantly.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: 'Can you get this done by tomorrow?' The answer varies according to my situation, haha
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What type of sound are they looking for, if they have any references, what is the track about, what where they trying to accomplish.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Send me the files in the same format of the session that you worked on, don't upgrade or downgrade them. And if you worked with processes in the master bus, please send me one bounce with and one without. I will start working on the version with the processing but if I find a problem (like over-squashing of dynamics) I can use the un-processed one and use the original as a reference. Also I would say don't be concerned if the first version of the mix or master is not what expected. For me, the first version is a way to start a conversation to get on the same page sound-wise.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop, Speakers, Audio Interface, big midi controller with lots of keys, knobs & pads, and a classic guitar. I figure with the midi controller and the laptop I can get all sort of inside-the-box synths and samplers going, and the classical guitar is a good acoustic source that can produce tons of sounds to be sampled and then reworked inside the computer. Also you can chill with the guitar by the beach so that's an added plus.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been seriously studying music since 2005 and making my own music since 2009. Around 2012 I started producing and mixing some bands from the local scene and writing for film, while also working on various studios in Buenos Aires. In 2015 I set up my own studio and since then it has been a non-stop train of working with different artists all the time, which I am very grateful for because it translates in an immensely growing experience!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I am a bit fascinated by all kinds of music: I can be blown away by a hard techno track and then chill in wonder by a Bill Evans album. All these changes in music listening directly impact my own musicality and my taste and approach to sound and production. So right now I can't accurately describe my style, although in my own music production and I am mixing more and more acoustic and electronic elements, or applying electronic approaches to acoustic sources by sampling, processing, chopping up and re-sampling guitars for example, to create a sequence of pad chord.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Tomas Dvorak of Floex. He made the music for several videogames by the company Amanita Design which are simply marvelous, his way of approaching rhythm, textures, melodies and harmonies is just so beautiful. Also probably Bradford Cox, who I kind of grew up listening to, and who I think has a very distinct artistic view of music and sound. And Panda Bear for sure, I feel a big affinity to his nostalgic melodies and his unique approach to production
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I sometimes get really dampened mixes for mastering, with a big lack in the top end. I think this happens when people are mixing without referencing against specific tracks. I would advice to start your session by listening to a few tracks of music similar to the one you are about to work on, and to go back to those tracks every few hours of work, in order to remind you of the frequency balance of the reference tracks. Using your ears is the most important thing, but you can even help yourself loading an instance of Tonal Balance Control 2 by iZotope into your Master Bus and loading a reference track into it: It will display the frequency spectrum of your track against an average of the reference track, which is super helpful so see where you may be lacking. This can be deceiving of course, because 90% of the time your track will have a lot of elements that are sonically quite different from the reference one, so don't try to copy the curve of the reference, but use it mainly as an overall guide. Again, ears before eyes for this !
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: In the past it was mainly indie-pop/rock because of the scene I was in, with some interventions of jazz, tango, folk, and electronic. Lately, because I've moved and my interest has also changed, I'm working much more with electronic-based pop, house, techno, EDM, Hip hop, etc. More focus on the sub.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm quite good catching and managing harshness, I take a bit of pride in my control of the upper mid, where a lot of energy tends to build up and that can create some unpleasantness in vocals, guitars, synths, and mainly anything that is miss-handled there.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Mainly a pair of fresh ears. This sounds like a clichè but I can't overstate how important it is to get somebody new to listen to your tracks, because when you are producing you eventually become biased towards the sound, and a new listener might be able to identify clear problems. This happens to me when I'm producing music, and I need another person to bring a new perspective regarding the mix by the time I reach that stage.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mastering, I first listen to the whole track without touching anything, in order to get an idea of what the music is trying to say and where the sound is standing. I then compare with a reference, if there is any, to notice where the track might be lacking or overdoing frequency-wise, dynamically and even in stereo depth. If there is no reference, I apply my fresh ears to control elements that might be getting out of hand and to enhance, if necessary, certain areas of the spectrum that could benefit the clarity, punch and/or warmth of the track, but I will usually make my decisions regarding this based on conversations with the musician(s) and/or producer(s) who worked on the track, to know what they are looking for.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: We've built a proper studio space with my colleague Matthias Anton, which we named Keine Zukunft Studios. We did acoustic measurements and treatment in order to get the flattest response possible. I'm working with Apogee AD16x and DA16x converters, Focal SM 9 Monitors and Sennheiser 600 headphones for referencing. We also have some nice Neve 542 tape emulation which works very nicely for reamps when some warmth is needed.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Mica Levi, Hainbach, Colleen, Caterina Barbieri, Kali Malone, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Animal Collective, Damon Albarn, Mike Dean, Overmono, Susumu Yokota, Beatrice Dillon, Jacob Collier, Adam Neely, Scott Walker, Nigel Godrich, Knxwledge and so many others, it's quite infinite I think...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My most common daily job is audio mastering which is a fairly quicker process than mixing. After that, mixing and artistic production, and a bit less frequent but still a constant in my daily life is sound design and scoring for video.