Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I entered a remix contest that was launched by Telefunken a while ago for US band 'The Brew'. The song is called 'What I Want', and they gave access to all the tracks in order to showcase and promote their different microphones that were used during the session.
I'm really proud of my mix (hear it here: http://julesdegasperis.com/music/the-brew-what-i-want/), so I sent it to Chris Plante from The Brew, who replied to me and said it was the best remix that he ever heard of this track.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I'm finishing the mixes for the 1st EP of French artist 'Dani Terreur'.
The first single has just been released, it's called 'A Bout De Souffle'. (translating into 'Breathless')
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Nope, I just discovered the site!
Analog or digital and why?
Analog AND digital. Both worlds have their strengths, and I think people who strongly advocate for one side only tend to be a little sour and provocative. I want to stay open, so if a great digital plugin comes out tomorrow and beats the best analog gear I'd be happy to get it, but also I love the "hands-on" aspect and sonic quality of classic analog gear.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
It's gonna sound good!
What do you like most about your job?
Looking at a screen for 8 hours nonstop and not seeing the daylight ..
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Questions about price: how much does it cost.
Questions about time: how much will it take.
My approach is to have an average cost per day of work (and not per song), because I think it's better to have a deadline for everyone (it always takes more time than expected!).
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception about mixing is thinking that you can NOT decide ahead when you are producing, and leave that for the last part of the process.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
It really depends, I generally want to talk to them over the phone or in real, because once again I'm trying to feel a real connection and share a musical background, an artistic vision with them. I am not doing this because I want to have a collection of twelve Porsches, I am doing this job because making music is a passion, so if we're about to sit for hours and hours in a small recording studio together, I really want to connect with them. I generally get along very well with my clients.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
I would say: please make sure that you hire someone you feel really connected with. Listen to what they do, listen to their taste, to the mixes they made thoroughly. Don't be fooled by selling arguments. It's all about sound and a human connection. I am confident that my work will appeal to those who share a musical ground with me.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
- A good microphone (price doesn't matter, could be a Shure SM57)
- A small audio interface
- A computer or recording device
- My guitar
- My ears
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started earning a living in the music being a professional touring musician in Europe, at the same time attending business school (from my late teens), and later on I started being more and more interested in the sound and the recording/mixing process itself. Being kind of a geek, I learned pretty quickly and soon enough I was able to conduct full recording and mixing sessions. I learned the ropes directly working with bands and artists, rather than attending a "sound engineer school". For 4 years or so, I took over my dad's recording studio back in Paris and managed it to gain a new clientele. Now I just relocated to Los Angeles to follow my wife, and I'm hoping to expand my activities here.
How would you describe your style?
My style could be described as follows: clear, powerful yet moody. I admire the masters of classic rock mixes such as Andy Wallace, and claim to be from their school in terms of knowledge about what you do (rock-solid phase, understanding of the basics such as EQ an compression) - but I'm a dreamer and I want to always instil a touch of other-worldly producing to the tracks I work on.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would like to learn from one of my favorite mixing engineer: Rich Costey.
Because so many albums that were mixed by him touched me a lot and I feel his mixes are among the most musical and powerful that I ever heard.
Can you share one music production tip?
To enhance the presence of a lead vocal track in a classic rock song where 2 guitars are panned hard left & right, I I often play with Waves Center plugin to do a touch of M/S processing on the guitar sub-track: I usually remove 1 or 2 dbs of "center" information on that track, and that's enough to help the vocal track cut through much better.
What type of music do you usually work on?
The genres I usually work on include: indie rock / indie pop / classic rock / electronic music / pop / & French variety music.
What's your strongest skill?
I would say that my strongest skill is understanding the music in all different aspects. Being a multi-instrumentist and composer myself (drums, guitars, keyboards...), I relate a lot with the artists I work with and try to have this "transversal" vision. Communication is generally a forte.
What do you bring to a song?
What I try to bring to a song is the following: better clarity and understandability to the sounds composing it, more emotion and intensity in the different parts of the song, and a touch of producing when needed because I'm personally not a fan of 100% dry mixes (it's all a matter of taste after all!)
What's your typical work process?
When tracking and arranging, I typically want to put the artist in the best possible conditions to get the best performance out of them. Great adaptability and sensitivity is required. For instance, some singers may need a lot of coaching and advising to give them confidence, or want you to be honest and direct, whereas some other singers must be left alone in their artistic space until they give their best - then comes the feedback.
When mixing, I usually want to start a mix session with NO MORE editing or arranging decisions to be done. My brain needs to switch from the producer/arranger viewpoint to the more analytical one of the mixer. The saying "we'll fix this during mixing" is generally a bad idea, therefore I enjoy mixing songs that already have a strong artistic statement inherent to them, even if further producer may still be introduced.
To me, a good mix helps the song and the music to communicate even more emotion than originally intended. It acts like its own instrument, playing with levels, instrument balance, placement and artistic moods to enhance the sonic character of the song and serve the project furthermore.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Microphones: I love so many microphones, it's hard to list them! (That said I'm a fan of John Peluso's mics)
Preamps: BAE 1073MP, API 3124, API A2D, Trident 65 series console pres
Mixing setup: hybrid setup including a Trident 65 series console for splitting, EQ and summing, other outboard gear including UREI, DBX, Orban, Eventide, Lexicon effects / and plugins such as Waves, SoundToys, Softube, Valhalla, URS (no UAD plugins yet).
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I am a huge fan of Rich Costey. Other big influences are: Nigel Godrich, Brian Eno, Andy Wallace, Kevin Parker, Andrew Scheps, and my teacher - Ronan Chris Murphy (based here in LA).
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most common types of work I do generally include: preparing a recording session for a band or songwriter, microphone placement, conducing full recording sessions, selecting, comping, editing takes, preparing a full mix session, mixing full tracks & albums in the box, mixing full tracks & albums on an analog console..........
But MOST importantly : communicating with the artist and understanding their needs!