Whatever your need is, I’m ready. I can produce, track, mix, or play on your record.
I have over a decade of experience in the music industry in studios, touring the country, and playing / producing music. I am currently an engineer at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood. I’ve seen the music industry from the very bottom up, and I carry these experiences with me to provide you with the best all-around experience.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with Johnny Winik
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: There is a band that will be releasing Earth Wind and Fire-inspired music in 2022--I was the assistant tracking engineer for them at Paramount. They're a modern band with a retro writing and recording style, so the process was extremely in-depth and intense.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A pop project that pulls elements from Alternative Rock and 80s New Wave.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I could make recommendations depending on the project needs.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Each domain has it's merits--why would you limit yourself to one or the other?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To create music that inspires you.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I do what I love.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: A lot of people have questions about timeline. My typical response is I can have a mix or production back to you within 5 days. With songwriting and production though, it's sometimes a multi-step process--so timelines can be tricky there. Not to worry though, we'll discuss everything prior to booking the project and make sure we both understand what is expected.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: As a mixer, a lot of people think we are the heaviest lifters in the process. While this can be true sometimes, that shouldn't be the case. A properly produced and written song should only need the mixer to lock things in--not reinvent the song.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: That depends on what the project requires. If we are building a song from scratch, I'll ask what production elements they want to incorporate (for example, what artists or genres they enjoy). For mixing, I usually have a decent idea of what they're going for based on the track they send me, but I like to confirm what their final vision is for it in terms of loudness and overall balance.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't feel awkward or embarrassed while explaining the artistic vision for your music. I'm here to join that vision, not judge it.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Acoustic Guitar, Laptop, Apollo Twin, Headphones, Manley Reference C mic
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been creating music for 15 years--but my professional career started in 2017 after graduating college with a BA in Music & Sound Recording. I was hired as a Tour Manager and Front of House Audio Engineer promptly after graduating. I toured the country and loved the experience--but my passion has always been studio / production work. I moved to LA in 2019 and started as most engineers do--as a runner. I rose up through the ranks quickly at Paramount and am now a full time engineer.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Retro Modern
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I think Ed Sheeran would be a very interesting person to work with. He's always incorporating new elements to his music, and I find that inspiring.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: There are no rules. You can learn tricks / processes from others, and they may work for you. But if they don't, it's not a bad thing.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Alternative, Pop
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Expertise in songwriting / production, recording, and mixing. You don't need to worry about the artistic vision being lost during the process of the track being passed off to multiple people (producer, tracking engineer, mixing engineer)--the track stays between us the whole time.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Outside of Paramount, I do a lot of creating-music-from-the-bottom-up. I'll co-write a track with an artist, record it, and mix it. I work with the artist every step of the way to ensure that the final product remains true to their artistic vision. At Paramount, I typically have to incorporate a hybrid process, meaning "mix as I track". These tracks will sometimes be sent off to a dedicated mix engineer that the artist typically works with, but I need to make sure that I create a cohesive sounding mix as we track. This helps keep the vibe of the room strong, and also provides reassurance in the case of the artist releasing the track without any further processing.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Paramount has large-format SSL consoles with all the mics and outboard gear you could possibly need to create a high-quality recording. My home setup includes a wide variety of software (Pro Tools, Logic, Waves, UAD, Fabfilter, Soundtoys, Melodyne / Auto Tune, Arturia, etc.), instruments (Fender, Gibson, Schecter, various percussion), and gear (UAD, Yamaha, Alesis, etc.).
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I grew up listening to a lot of the stuff Howard Benson produced, but lately I've been finding a lot of inspiration in the 80s (Toto, Tears for Fears, Hall 7 Oates etc.) and modern day interpretations of those styles.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Working at Paramount, I do a lot of tracking for everything from bands to rappers. Outside of Paramount, I'm able to focus more on each individual process--production / songwriting, tracking, and mixing.