Mixing and mastering engineer with lots of top pop and indie credits
Recently relocated to central Vermont, Rob operates a boutique mixing and mastering studio where he works with clients big and small.
A brief bio:
As the former house engineer at Downtown Music Studios in NYC, Rob engineered for artists including Britney Spears, Mark Ronson, Mike Posner, Wiz Khalifa, Gavin Degraw and many more. He transitioned into independent mastering where his clients included David Gray, Sia, Miike Snow, Major Lazer, and ODESZA. Wanting to escape the big city, he moved to Austin where he operated Poolside Sound for 6 years offering affordable mixing and mastering to independent and label artists. At the end of 2019 Rob and his family moved to his home state of Vermont and built Wilderfox Studio, his primary base of operations. A classically trained musician with a master’s degree in sound recording, Rob started his career recording live classical and jazz concerts, and has also worked restoring and remastering archives for the Metropolitan Opera and US Air Force.
*the linked allmusic page is one of several containing credits and even when combined are missing many. If you'd like to know more just ask. More references available on request as well.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- Gavin DeGraw
- Britney Spears
- Wiz Khalifa
- Lizz Wright
- Mark Ronson
- Mark Ronson and the Business Intl
- Bronze Radio Return
- Bronze Radio Return
- Running Red Lights
- Joe Miller
- Pee Wee Crayton
- 2000 Lbs. of Blues
- 2000 Lbs. of Blues
- George "Harmonica" Smith
- Smokey Wilson
- Jimmy Rogers
- Johnny Dyer
- Rod Piazza
- Neon Hitch
- Lee Musiker
- Mike Renzi
- Leon Fleisher
- Axel Tosca Laugart
- Nathaniel Bellows
- Air Apparent
- Sam Ray
- Sofia Karlberg
- Air Apparent
1190 Reviews - 240 Repeat ClientsEndorse Rob Murray
Multiple project repeat client, and I will be coming back again... Rob has an amazing set ears, with an an awesome sense of imagery for a song. Add on a genuinely great personality...I love this guy.
As always: I am very pleased with the result !
Rob always does a great job, both his mixes and mastering are top of the line.
Rob is a really good engineer, plus a really nice guy! What could be better? Plus, he has been super helpful in terms of explaining what I need to do in order to up the quality of my recording. I will be doing lots more music with him! Thank you, Rob.
Another awesome experience with Rob! A true master of the craft and a great communicator.
great work as usual and super quick turnaround!!
Love working with Rob! Great as always :)
Robs mix and master were insane. I read all the great reviews and listened to his sample files before I settled on him to mix and master my track but thought there was no way it was going to sound quite as good as his demo tracks as my stuff was recorded in my home studio with fairly inexpensive equipment. All I can say is I've never heard anything I've made sound this amazing. My vocals are so crisp and clean, he created depth in my track in a way that I simply wouldn't have been able to do.
Rob was great to work with! I’m new at this and he was so patient throughout the process. He is excellent at what he does and I’m so thankful for this platform because otherwise I may never have had the chance to work with him. Overall, super pleased with the whole thing and my song sounds great!
very professional and always putting in that extra work to ensure you are happy with the end product.
Interview with Rob Murray
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: As far as close industry friends, two-time Grammy award winning classical engineer Brian Losch. That's who I call when I need a friend to critique or offer advice, and he's the one who told me about SoundBetter. I'm sure there's more if I dug through the lists, and I definitely know a fair amount either personally or by reputation. There's some phenomenal producers on here too, but a lot of them tend to only be client side, and not doing the provider side... yet!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Recall-ability and control. I like the romance and art of having analog gear and controls in front of me, but end of the day I get better results in the digital domain. That said, I more often than not still use some analog on my 2-buss. Sometimes the downsides of the D/A/D loop outweigh the benefits though. If I were tracking everyday like my younger years then analog would of course be more important as there's no substitute for a good analog frontend during recording. Everything starts in tracking, whether it sounds amazing and it's the producer/mixer's job not to mess it up, or whether there's some shortcoming's that need to be helped.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: On the mastering side people tend to think a bad mix can be fixed in mastering... It can't. On the mixing side, there tend to be people who think that mixing will change the song. In an ideal world, mixing is enhancing/bringing out the heart of the song, but not heavily changing production or basic presentation.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Mostly what aesthetic they're going for, who their influences are, what's their audience. The same song could be released with a Pop, Country, Indie, or "Coffeehouse", vibe. I can get clues from the production but ultimately it matters most what the song means to you, and who you're looking to reach with it.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure your songs/production are good. No amount of mixing can make a bad song a good one. To quote a friend "I can't polish a turd, but I can at least remove the smell".
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Pro Tools, API 2500, my speakers, converters and my hammock.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have a masters in sound recording where I cut my teeth largely doing classical and jazz, and many internships at an analog studio, classical festivals, and a mic company to name a few. I assisted at world class studios like Galaxy in Belgium and Downtown in NYC and worked restoration and remastering for the metropolitan opera and US Air Force before freelancing as a recording and mastering engineer in NYC and moving to Austin, TX where I opened my own space. All told, 10-15 years depending on whether you count starting to record/intern or working full time.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ryan Adams, Wilco, or Spoon. Great songs, great production, great players every song is great.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Here's 3: 1 - "over"-brightening followed by a high frequency limiter can really help add air to a track without making it harsh. 2 - Avoid using phase based stereo processors, while there's a time and place for everything, you'll get a wider/cleaner stereo image through discrete panning. 3 - Fight the urge to make everything brighter and punchier, give everything it's own space (both spectrally and stereoscopic) and make the supporting elements do just that.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As cheesy as it sounds I think I bring the song to the song. I try to find the core of the music and make sure it's presented in the best light. Often it's the vocal, sometimes it's the beat, but I think my strongest asset is my ability to do what the song needs. Whether it's a bright polished pop mix, a lo-fi indie mix, or a clean acoustic song. Clients most often tend to compliment my vocal sound, and I do tend to build a mix around a vocal.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Mixing: After I receive files I import everything into Pro Tools, and get a pretty decent rough mix happening. Then I confirm with the client that we're either good to go, or there's something missing or that needs to be fixed. I then put the mix on my schedule and either send it the day I mix it, or sometimes give it a night to finish with fresh ears. I then shoot this first pass to clients, and then if they have notes I recall and address as needed. Turn around depends on my calendar, and the scope of project but is usually around 2 weeks start to finish. Mastering: I generally listen to the song outside of the DAW, making sure it sounds like a decent mix, and that there's no technical issues. Once I've confirmed everything is good to go, I schedule it in and hit it usually within a few days.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Honestly a bit of everything. My clients tend to largely come for my pop, electronic and indie credits, but I love mixing more acoustic music, and I have a history getting my start in classical and jazz.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a dedicated mix/master suite in Austin, TX with select hardware from companies like API, Antelope and GKL and extensive software and plugins, all centered around Dunlavy SC-IV monitors with Perreaux amplification.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The Music!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: All-Fi. I can do hi-fi but I'm not opposed to heavy compression, distortion or other lo-fi elements when appropriate.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'd like to think my ears, and attention to detail.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm primarily a mixing and mastering engineer. I have clients spanning classical to hip hop, but most of my credits are pop, rock, or elctronic.