Merlin Smith

Acoustic Guitarist

3 Reviews
Merlin Smith on SoundBetter

My speciality is fingerstyle acoustic guitar. If you really want me to make your track stand out then allow me to put my signature style within it and I can promise you piece will stand the test of time and shine amongst other generic content. I am also able to produce my own music after studying production for 3 years at University

I started off the first few years playing mostly electric guitar, so I am well versed in many electric playing techniques as well as with creating interesting sounds using slides, volume swells and dive bombs. As I began to show more of an interest in acoustic playing I have now managed to develop a style that can completely transform a piece of music by using intricate chord phrasings and complex arpeggios. I can guarantee that with my style of playing on your track it will most certainly stand out against other generic guitarists. I do not currently have many credits to validate my claims, however this is due to me spending all my time creating my own material and writing my own albums.
I also spent approximately 4 years studying music production and music technology where I learnt to produce my own music and also started experimenting with recording techniques and even invented my own binaural recording methods.
I am currently offering my services for a lower price simply to start collaborating with others, however if you have any reservations then please take the time to listen to my music or watch any of my videos of which I have over a hundred on my YouTube channel. I'm happy to take on any job from basic guitar tracks to challenging and complex composition input. I also have access to high quality recording gear so am able to create remotely and send anything over.

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

3 Reviews

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  1. Review by Kevin
    by Kevin

    I listened to him for a couple of hours yesterday and was impressed. When I spoke to him, he was really nice, and that was before I bought his CDs! Good luck - we don't visit Bath much, but will be looking for him next time.

  2. Review by sandra ann humphries
    by sandra ann humphries

    I hear Merlin play in Bath last Saturday and bought two of his albums. Rep Rise and Popular Demand B sides. Excellent. I can't stop playing them. I do hope the world wakes up to this performer. He deserves to do really well!

  3. Review by Keith Abbott
    by Keith Abbott

    I recently spent an hour on a sunny afternoon in Bath watching and listening to this young man play.
    Very relaxing and enjoyable. Keep up the good work and good luck Merlin.

Interview with Merlin Smith

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

  2. A: 'Celeste'. This was an animation I made and composed the music for. Proud of it because I didn't know the first thing about animating but I want to make soundtracks for movies, tv and games so gotta start somewhere.

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

  4. A: 'Electric Lullaby'. A fingerstyle guitar album with a story told through a series of stop motion animations.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: I prefer analog but can only afford digital.

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

  8. A: That everything will be played to the highest of standards.

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

  10. A: Not having to have a proper job.

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

  12. A: That I'll do it for free or 'exposure'. I play on the streets for a living to the thousands of people walking past, exposure ain't an issue.

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

  14. A: How much are you going to pay me?

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

  16. A: Tell me what you want what you really really want.

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

  18. A: Tune after every take. I need to follow my own advice really.

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

  20. A: I try my absolute best to come up with chords and picking patterns that are not commonly used. On the face of it this sounds like a very difficult task, however I have spent a long time building up the hand strength and learning my own patterns to phrase chords that to be honest I don't even know the name of.

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

  22. A: It starts with rehearsing. I'll practice until it is as good as I can possibly get it as no amount of post-production can edit out bad playing. Once I feel I'm ready to record and all set up I'll sit down and get as many takes as necessary until I feel I've captured the best recording I can get. Sometimes this happens within one or two takes, however other times it can take into the double digits, and even then my perfectionism takes over and I'll spend the next few hours listening back to all the takes and isolating what I perceive to be flaws (a string buzz, a slight flat note) and decide if it's good enough to go through production. If I feel the track is as good as I can get it, I then go on to EQ and compress, then add on any effects. I try to limit the amount I do in post as I feel if you get the recording right from the source then it sounds much better than having a poor recording that has clearly had a lot of work done to it. The mastering process for acoustic fingerstyle then just basically involves bringing levels up a bit and making it smooth with some gentle compression.

  23. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  24. A: My main DAW I work with is Logic, however I sometimes dabble in Pro Tools, and I then run out into a Mackie interface. When it comes to Mic's I'm always using my C414, which is normally perfect for just a guitar, however if I want a really padded out mix I may run a DI from my Maton guitar into an AER compact 60 amp, then may use my ribbon mic and do a stereo recording technique which is normally the mid-side technique. My studio isn't static as I like to make use of ambient recording spaces. If possible I like to capture natural reverb from a hallway or bathroom. I almost always run through a J37 tape saturator plugin and maybe a CLA-76 compressor or SSL Bus Compressor.

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

  26. A: Add acoustic and occasionally electric guitar. I am usually required to come up with different chord phrasings and picking patterns to keep things interesting.

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

  28. A: I'd say mostly fingerstyle acoustic guitar, however I also spend a lot of time creating instrumental covers for YouTube, however this is more just for fun and a bit of a challenge than as a true artistic expression of my own work.

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: Finding anywhere but the usual place to play chords, then layering this up with harmonised arpeggios. In my YouTube guitar covers you will see a lot of this done.

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

  32. A: Tommy Emmanuel for his technical playing ability. It's hard for me to think of a playing technique I use that I didn't derive from him. Then I'd say Chet Atkins from an arrangement perspective. Whenever I'm running out of ideas on how to do an interesting arrangement of a song I just listen to his version of 'Heart Of Glass', I think that is a masterclass in how to completely transform something into an instrumental cover but also keep it interesting.

Merlin Smith // The Ballad Of Old Clicky Fingers

I was the Songwriter, Guitarist and Producer in this production

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Gear Highlights
  • AKGC414
  • Maton EBG808 Artist Acoustic
  • Mackie CR3's
  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Maton SRS70C Acoustic
  • Se Electronics V1 Ribbon Mic
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