Tell us about your studio setup.
I use Pro Tools 12.5 and Cubase 8.5. I work entirely in the box and use a plethora of plugins including Waves, McDSP, Native Instruments, Slate, Toontrack, UA, and many other 'boutique' items. In terms of sample libraries my collection is vast: Vienna, EastWest, Cinesamples, 8DIO, Native Instruments, Spitfire, Toontrack, Slate, Spectrasonics, and many many others.
Analog or digital and why?
Analog when it comes to live acoustic instruments. Acoustic instruments exist in the analog realm so when they're captured into digital mediums a lot of the vibe is lost as well as some of the more extreme frequencies on either end of the spectrum.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You will be completely 100% satisfied and you will LOVE and be INSPIRED by the tracks I provide.
What do you like most about your job?
Making music and working with others. I love to collaborate!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Cost! In this industry you truly do get what you pay for. I'm sure a lot of people charge less than I do (and my costs are very reasonable) but if you've read all the previous questions you'll see that I bring a lot to the table. If you want your project to sound amazing you can't skimp out on production costs. Otherwise you will be disappointed with the end result, I guarantee it.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I ask a lot of genre-specific questions and I also ask for reference tracks. This is somewhat difficult to answer as every project requires different information so questions vary....
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Have a clear vision about your project. Be able to describe in great detail how you want it to sound. Have as many reference tracks as possible. Be prepared!!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I couldn't get by with just 5 pieces of gear!!! It would have to be a small drumkit as that would easily add up to 5 pieces quickly, but if I could also have a 1/2" tape machine, a Martech MSS-10 preamp and a vintage Neumann m50, I think I'd be happy.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started playing drums when I was 5 and started playing in bar bands as a teenager. I went to music college and then started working professionally live and in the studio. I also started working as engineer/producer shortly after college. I've since toured around the world, played and produced in the best recording studios, and worked with some amazing artists and bands. I've been playing professionally for 23 years and I've been working in production for 15 years.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I recently traveled to Abbey Road studios in London and recorded drum tracks for a friend's album. It was an amazing experience to perform in the same studio as so many legends. The sonics were out of this world as well...easily the best drum sounds I've ever gotten.
How would you describe your style?
Rhythmic, full sound that's energetic, solid and creative. I tend to write parts that add spice to the song without getting in the way of the melody and maintain a rhythmic foundation.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Trent Reznor. His sound design and his melodies/harmonies are brilliant. His music is also very rhythmic, and as a drummer I gravitate to this approach.
Can you share one music production tip?
When trying to get programmed drums to sound 'real' don't EVER quantize and pay close attention to MIDI velocities.
What type of music do you usually work on?
It's across the board...rock, funk, metal, pop, jazz, gospel, latin, orchestral...it's all music so I feel at home in any genre.
What's your strongest skill?
Writing parts for drumset/percussion that are appropriate, support the music, and provide a rhythmic foundation.
What do you bring to a song?
First, experience. I've been working with songwriters/composers for 23 years. I know what questions to ask and how to interpret answers that aren't necessarily precise. Second, passion. When I'm working on a client's project, that's the most important piece of music in the world in that moment. It is my mission to make the music as good as it can be. Third, professionalism. This is my life's work as well as my livelihood so I don't mess around. I am efficient, easy to communicate with, positive, and I leave my ego at the door.
What's your typical work process?
After someone contacts me regarding a project I try to collect as much information as possible before I start working. This avoids a lot of back and forth and helps me complete things in a much more efficient manner. Once I have a good idea of what is needed I jump right in. I will complete a 'first draft' and send a rough mix to the client. Often times I nail it the first time around and we're done but sometimes there are changes needed. Once the client is satisfied with the track(s) I will print stems in high resolution format and deliver everything using Dropbox or Hightail.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Way too many to list here! Some of my favorite drummers include John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, JR Robinson. In terms of production I am constantly inspired by the work of Trent Reznor. I also like Chris Lord Alge, Dave Pensado, Dan Blessinger, I can go on and on!!!
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Since my main instrument is drums I tend to receive requests for drum tracks, both live and programmed. However, I also play bass, guitar and piano so I'm often asked to provide tracks on these instruments as well. Moreover, as a producer I have a very refined ear when it comes to audio so I can ensure that the tracks I deliver are sonically superior and maintain a high level of fidelity. I am also a composer for film and television so I am often asked to provide music (in varying genres) for new or existing productions in that industry.