What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I always promise clients that I'll work on their project until they're happy. I always strive to leave clients with that "I love it!" feeling.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I worked on a project for Earl Bryant,SR who manages Smoky Robinson. It was a mix project for an emerging artist to shop around. It was great because a couple of the tracks had Smoky singing on them. It was incredible to hear his vocal track soloed! What an amazing voice and artist! I felt really honored to just have had that experience. I mixed and mastered an eight song demo for Mr. Bryant's emerging artist.
What are you working on at the moment?
Most recently, working on integrating the "new to us" console into our digital setup. Musically, two projects: a harder rock band from the south bay named Fuzz Huzzi and an electro pop project by a band called The Palm Springs.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
I'm new to this community, but it looks like almost everyone that is here, is here because they deliver quality.
Analog or digital and why?
Both. I love the warmth and body of a transformer and the tactile use of a fader and eq. Digital because I love the flexibility of recall, writing automation, and the editing capability.
What do you like most about your job?
Taking a client's vision beyond their imagination. Getting the " I feel so comfortable working with you" comment from clients.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
What is your favorite type/genre of music to produce? My favorite music to produce is not dependent on the genre. It is when we capture an honest emotion. It could be any genre as long as we're doing something that will move people.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception I get is that I can take a bad performance and make it sound like a million dollar recording. A great song, played by great musicians is the formula for having a great sounding recording. It all starts at the source.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What music inspires you? What are your goals for this project?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
If you're deciding whether or not to hire a professional mixer, producer or engineer, ask yourself what is your ultimate goal. Is it to produce music for friends or is it to make a commercially viable product suitable for many different delivery mediums?
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A console, a laptop with Pro Tools and UAD Plugins (this counts as one right?), Apogee converter, Neve 1073 and U87 Mic
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started out as a classically trained musician, gaining a BFA in music performance. I played and toured for several years gaining studio experience over these years. In that time I was signed twice, first to a major label and later on to a smaller indie label. I built and started the Cabana Studio 8 years ago as a part-time private tracking studio, but demand has grown so that we've are now open publicly. Overall, I've had a little over 20 years in the music industry both as a musician and a music producer.
How would you describe your style?
I have a laid back style, but remained focused on the end goals. I will always try something new and I value honest communication with the client.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. I love the very real and honest feel they achieve with their recordings. Plus have you seen all of the interesting gear they have?
Can you share one music production tip?
Just because you can fix and make everything perfect, doesn't mean you should. It really depends on the music. Of course if you're doing an EDM track making everthing perfect can be great. But performance is everything getting the best performance doesn't always mean it's technically perfect.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Usually rock, singer/songwriter, and indie music.
What's your strongest skill?
In the studio it's making artists feel comfortable with the recording process. In mixing for clients over the web it is my attention to listen and interpret what clients want.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring an attention to detail without pulling the soul and humanity out of the performance. Delivering sonically sound and creative production to enhance the client's creative vision while capturing real moments.
What's your typical work process?
I like to first meet and or speak with the client and go over goals and expectations. I want to make sure that the client's needs are a good fit for the Cabana Studio and my services. Once we begin the process, my priority is to make sure the client is 100% happy with their project. I enjoy the process of helping our clients reach their full vision and potential.
Tell us about your studio setup.
The Cabana is a hybrid of vintage analog and state of the art digital gear. We run Pro Tools 12 as our DAW and have a collection of Waves, UAD, and other software plugins. We use Apogee Symphony converters as well as a number of outboard gear. The outboard gear includes BAE, Universal Audio, Focusrite ISA and other gear that you find in most professional studios. Our newest and perhaps most exciting addition is our custom Neotek Series 1/1E console. This console was modified by John Musgrave (Capital Records, Conway Studios, Robby Kreiger, Rob Schnapf) and includes his proprietary "crush bus". The Cabana and Rob Schnapf are the only studios in the US with this modification.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Personally I'm inspired by a wide range, but the first two artists that I always go to are Wilco and Radiohead. I would have to say on production it's Jim Scott. I came to love his production and mixing before even knowing he was the master behind it. Warren Huart is another professional I admire because of his open and honest sharing of mixing techniques. I am always learning, so Warren's approach is quite inspiring for the field as a whole.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
My most common work is in recording, mixing and producing musicians. This work includes editing, mixing, and sometime sound restoration. From time to time this also includes writing string arrangements and live drum session work.