Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
" The Drab" by Pretty Odd.
They're a small band from Ontario but this almost is very mature and complex. Very deep questions and emotional distress is in this album. A very very strong debut album.
I am so proud of being part of the recording.
Me and two other engineers worked on it together. We all lived in a house faraway from the city and just recorded everyday for a month and a half, just like the good old days.
I recorded, edited, and mastered the album.
What are you working on at the moment?
Finishing an instrumental for a singer (client outside of Soundbetter)
Analog or digital and why?
I could write an essay, but if you want to communicate personally I can explain further why.
What do you like most about your job?
Making clients be happy with how they sound. See their eyes light up (one of them cried once).
Make the audience feel moved by the music.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
In music in general that this isn't a job.
Within the industry some of the misconception is that I only know how to operate equipment.
I was a musician for years before getting into audio production, so I'm a musician first.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What they intend to do/go with the project.
Their influences, how they want to sound.
What the song is about, some of their personal history and where they come from.
I find all of these things have a big impact on how the project turns out.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Neve Portico Pres
Manley Variable MU
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been recording myself and friends bands since I was 19.
Went to University for Music Production and Music Composition (Bachelors Degree).
After that have done some internships and have been working freelance and in cooperation with studios.
How would you describe your style?
Balanced (frequency balance), creative and unique
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie (unfortunately he passed), Brian Eno, U2.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't mix too loud or too softly. During mixing check how everything is perceived at all volumes, from dim to super loud.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Rock, pop, r&b, hip hop and electronic.
What's your strongest skill?
What do you bring to a song?
Great frequency balance and dynamics.
Interesting and unique sounds that you can't find on sound banks.
What's your typical work process?
1) Ask artist what sound he's going for; references, influences.
2) Organize session (Pro Tools or Logic): Rename, colour code, Buses, Master tracks, etc
3) Listen to each instrument and treat frequency and dynamics of each of them separately. Then do the same in context with other instruments.
4) Add spacing effects, reverb, delays, and other effects.
5) Add bus compressors when needed.
6) Make bounces with different approaches (louder bass, more drums, more vocals, etc)
7) Ask artist for opinion and revise as needed.
Pretty much the same steps, except the listening is more critical and the equipment used is a bit different.
Recording and Sound Design:
Depends on the project and what it needs.
In this cases though, more conversation is needed with the artist than the previous two.
Tell us about your studio setup.
One recording setup, and a separate mixing and mastering setup.
List of gear: Speakers: Focal Solo6, AD/DA Apollo8 and Rosetta bigben. Compressors: Manley Variable MU, DBX 160, LA2A. EQs: Harrison 32EQ, Kush Clariphonic EQ, SSL 611.
Plugins: Plenty, too many to list, but essentially from UAD, Brainworx, Fabfilter, SoundToys, Softube and a few from Waves. My faves: UAD Neve 33609 Compressor, SSL 5000 Console, Precision Collection, AVT Tape simulators love theeem... Fabfilter Q2 and MB, Brainworx Digital V2 V3 (EQ), Brainworx Lv2 (Limiter), SoundToys EchoBoy, Alterboy.
Ok, if you got to this point just let's geek out about gear, ok? hahaha
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
My favourite producer is Brian Eno.
My favourite mixing engineer is Mick Guzauski.
My favourite mastering engineer is Bob Ludwig.
My favourite album (in terms of production) of the last 10 years is Random Access Memories
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Editing vocals (tuning and aligning several layers)
Editing Guitars (timing and aligning several layers)
Mixing music from several genre (specially rock, hip hop and r&b)
Mastering all genres
Sound design (synthesizer patch design, sound FX designer)