Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I'd love to work with Vangelis. His Zorg Poly-proto-synclavitronulator takes him into Dangerous low-end territory :)
Can you share one music production tip?
Start with the forest, then look for the trees.
Don't fall into the trap of putting each track under the magnifying glass too quickly, you may miss the forest for the trees.
In other words, don't solo your tracks until you're reasonably happy with the overall, then examine your groups, then subgroups, then the individual tracks you think need attention.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Indie tracks, live & electronic drums. Artists like Caribou, Wild Nothing, Beach House & James Blake are some good reference points.
What's your strongest skill?
I'm a intuitive thinker that makes musical decisions subconsciously. This results in attention grabbing tracks that speak to people's emotions.
What do you bring to a song?
Mostly I bring energy and emotion to the tracks I work on.
What's your typical work process?
1) I like the artist to send me whatever mixes they might already have for the song.
2) Once I decide to take on a mixing project, and the artist has sent me their project files, I will import those into my DAW and just listen through a few times with all the tracks playing.
3) I usually put the bass and drum tracks at the top of my project, then the rhythm tracks next, followed by pads, then lead instruments, and then the vocals at the bottom.
4) My next step is usually to start creating group channels. These are basically small submix busses that allow me to mix and process groups of tracks together.
5) I then clean up any obvious noises, or even just the dead space, from tracks. I prefer people to send me their tracks exactly the way that they want them in the final mix, with all noises cleaned out, and nice clean edits without any clicks or pops.
6) About this time that I’ll take a break to rest my ears and to get ready for the more creative side of the process. Sometimes I’ll leave it overnight and start fresh the next day.
7) I don’t try to do things in a set way, nor do I have any presets or templates that I use. I really try to take in the song as a whole and let the song itself tell me how it should be mix. In my mind, a mix should enhance the emotion and delivery of the song, but not draw attention to itself.
8) Now that I have a good idea of how I want the overall mix to sound, I try to lay down an appropriate foundation with the drums and bass. Often I’ll turn off all the other tracks to just focus on the drums and bass, but I will turn the other tracks on several times during the process just to make sure the decisions I’m making will work with everything else.
9) Once I have the drums and bass working well together, I start adding in other rhythm instruments to complete the rhythm section. Strings and pads will often come next. After that are any lead instruments. I usually then do the vocals last.
10) Somewhere in this process of trying to find my starting point in the mix for the overall sound and balance I will also start adding any digital effects I want to use, such as delays, reverbs, or other special effects.
11) After all of that, it’s just lots and lots of fine tuning until I think it sounds good. After that, I usually send a reference copy to the artist, who will then make notes for any revisions they want to the mix, and we go back and forth with revisions until they are totally satisfied.
Tell us about your studio setup.
EMPRICAL LABS EL8 DISTRESSORS X2 (-matched pair)
EMPIRICAL LABS FATSO JUNIOR (stereo tape sat and compression)
UREI 546 PARAMETRIC EQ
CHAMELEON LABS JLM Modded BUS COMPRESSOR
FOCUSRITE ISA 220 PREAMP/EQ/ COMPRESSOR/ PACK
DRAWMER 1969 MEMORIAL EDITION VACUUM TUBE MIC PRE AND COMPRESSOR
JLM AUDIO MPE STEREO MIC PRE AND PULTEC EQ
PHOENIX AUDIO DRSQ-4 DUAL CHANNEL MIC PRE AND EQ
UAD 6176 MIC PRE AND 1176 COMPRESSOR
UREI 7110 STEREO COMP/LIMITER
SPL 4 CHANNEL TRANSIENT DESIGNER
HHB STEREO TUBE PARAMETRIC EQ
TL AUDIO BLUE STEREO TUBE EQ
DBX 166 STEREO COMP/LIMITER
DBX 266 STEREO COMP/LIMITER
TOFT DC-2 STEREO COMPRESSOR
JOE MEEK VC3 MONO PREAMP
JOE MEEK MC2 STEREO COMPRESSOR
ART DUAL MP MIC PRE
ART TUBE CHANNEL MONO PRE AND EQ
FMR Audio RNC 1773 STEREO COMP/LIMITER
ALLEN+HEATH ZED-10 10 CHANNEL MIXER
FOCUSRITE TONE FACTORY
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I love guys like James Blake, Caribou and Tame impala for their skills at both song writing and production. As far as producers go; Brian Eno for his creativity, Tchad Blake for his mix skills & Dave Pensado purely for his embrace of Youtube to promote Mix engineering.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I provide mixing and editing services. I also spend a lot of time, playing and recording drums, both live and programmed for various styled of music.