Matt Rifino

Mixing Records/Live Broadcast

1 Review
Matt Rifino on SoundBetter

Hi I'm Matt. I love mixing music. 25+ Years experience, 5x Emmy Awards. Credits include Kelly Clarkson, Harry Styles, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, Fleetwood Mac, Lenny Kravitz, Brandi Carlile, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, John Mayer, Lionel Ritchie, Carrie Underwood, Shawn Mendes, Sara Bariellis, One Republic, Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, The Revivalists, Sting

I offer mixing services (attended or unattended) out of my personal mix room at the legendary Barbershop Studios on beautiful Lake Hopatcong, NJ. My studio is loaded with analog toys setup with a digital mindset for fast and easy recalls. In my opinion it's not about the gear it's about the music. My goal is to never have to think technically only feel things musically. The gear is just a tool to help pull out every last ounce of magic in the recording. Sometimes that means doing a lot to the tracks to bring it out and sometimes it's knowing to do doing very little or nothing because the recording/performance already feels great.

In my 25 years experience I have fortunate to work in so many different genres. I am always trying to keep the mix honest to the music while imparting a vibe, impact, and presence that delivers the artist's emotions to the listener's ears. I'd love to help make your next Album, Single, or EP.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

1 Reviews

Endorse Matt Rifino
  1. Review by Kevin Walters

    I recently hired Matt to mix two songs that I produced and performed on and he absolutely crushed it! His ears are incredible and his instincts are second to none. Above all, he delivered a finished product that not only impressed me (and made ME look good), but floored my client with a mix that was sonically powerful, balanced and somehow even more energetic than the roughs we had grown fond of. Can't wait to work with him again!

Interview with Matt Rifino

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: New Spafford album “Simple Mysteries”. I mixed the album. It was recorded by the band during lockdown. They engineered it themselves. It took a lot of work to get the tracks to gel. I worked hard on making it a cohesive album.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: Cannot say.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: No

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both. Why not?

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: That I will do my best to get the song sound it does in your head.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I get to work with amazing musicians!

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: That it doesn’t take a long time to go through a song and make everything right before the mix kind even starts. Mixing takes time!

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: How do you want your song to make the listener feel? Do you have any mix references? What do you like about the rough mix? What don’t you like about the rough mix?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: No question is too stupid. It’s your music so please ask anything you are not sure about or be clear exactly what you are looking to get out of the mix.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: 1. Pro Tools HDX Rig w/plug ins 2 Focal Trio 6 Monitors w/ Sub 3. Trinnov ST-2 Pro 4. Avid D-Command 5. Herman Miller Chair

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: I got a 4 track at 12. First job at a local studio at 14. 19 years old I got an internship at the legendary Power Station in NYC. Stayed on staff for 4 years then went freelance. At 23 started mixing monitors for NBC Today Show. At 27 became their full time broadcast music mixer. Mixing in 5.1 surround sound. 17 years later I am still on staff. Built a home mix room which turned into a full blown studio at a commercial facility. I mixed records for Spafford, Eggy, Connor Bracken and the Motherleeds Band, and many others.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Through the years I’ve worked on so many styles I feel like I’m a chameleon. I can fit into any sonic space the artists needs. Lately I’ve been focused on Organic Impact with a character that serves the artist and song.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: Such a tough question. I don’t think I can pick just one!

  27. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  28. A: Less is more. Without space there is no room for ideas to grow.

  29. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  30. A: Rock, Jam Band, Indie, indie Pop, Funk, Jazz, Emo, Punk, Country. Anything with musicians play instruments!

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Interpreting the artists thoughts and words into the sounds they have in their head. Having worked on thousands of songs with thousands of artists, along the way I have picked up a catalog of sounds and ideas that I can use to help tell the artists story.

  33. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  34. A: The right energy and tone. I find the little moments and make them shine. My goal isn’t to whack you across the head with level right at the start of a song(unless that’s what it calls for!). It’s to bring the listener on a journey that they don’t want to end. I’m always trying to focus on how to keep the song interesting and exciting to the listener from start to finish.

  35. Q: What's your typical work process?

  36. A: I download the files. While importing the files into my template I will be listening to the rough mix. Listening to what the song is saying and getting ideas for where I want to take the mix. On a separate day I will start the mix. I tend to work in 3-4 blocks over 2-3 days to finish a mix. I’ll start with all the faders up and build a rough mix. Then I’ll start working on the vocal sound and start to build around it. By the end of my first session I’ll have a good static mix. I’ll take a listen in my car on the way home and make some mental notes of any sonic changes. Session #2 I’ll make the sonic changes then start with automation. By the end of this session automation will be done. I will give this another check in the car and make any notes on rides or changes. The third session I will finalize the mix and do master to send to the artist.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: Studio C located at The Barbershop Studios in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Studio C is a control room with a small live room and lounge. The control room is a Frances Manzella Design based around my quickly recallable 96 I/o Hybrid Mix System. I mix through a large collection of vintage and new gear from Manley, SSL, Neve, Audioscape, and many others. I lean into lots of tubes and transformers to find the colors and shapes in each song. Monitoring is through Focal Trio 6a via a Trinnov ST-2 all controlled by a 24 Fader D-Command. The 20x15 open live room is enough to track a small band as well as songwriting sessions, and overdubs.

  39. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  40. A: Too many to even begin to list. A few that come to mind Bob Clearmountain, Jack Joeseph Puig, Michael Brauer.

  41. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  42. A: Album/Single Mixing. Live performance mixing for television/broadcast/streaming. Production and Tracking.

GenresSounds Like
  • Phish
  • The Killers
  • The Band
Gear Highlights
  • Who cares about gear it's about the music but if you must ask I mix Hybrid via 96 channels of Pro Tools HDX i/o into 5 rack of analog outboard gear including Neve
  • Manley
  • SSL
  • etc.
More Photos