What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Do you want an upfront in your face close sound, or do you like it to have reverb and more spaced out and epic? I think all mixes can be divided into those two camps. Sometimes the client wants more reverb than i think it should have. But I won't ask every time because sometimes the answer is obvious.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I started recording and mixing and mastering my own music over ten years ago with a digital 8 track recorder. I would make alternative heavy rock, or punk rock with beats. I didn't really know what I was doing as far as mixing, I had the instructions to lean on. Each song I did, the quality got better. I can't really give an exact time I've been doing this but I can say that I've been mixing properly on a DAW for between 6-7 years. And learning from Engineers I look up to.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would like to mix Amaranthe, The Naked and Famous, Smashing Pumpkins if I was around in their peak, Linkin Park and any symphonic metal. Those bands have the ability to take me away to another place and forget about the world.
What's your strongest skill?
Automating the tracks to punctuate the important parts and enhancing MIDI sounds that aren't so great sounding. I'd prefer to get them to send me MIDI data so I can totally reinvent the sound if needed.
What do you bring to a song?
excitement, add in something the artists won't expect that highlights the part that needs it.
What's your typical work process?
I listen to the tracks and do some comping & time alignment and noise removal. Then the tracks are ready to mix so away I go, I usually get the sound I want quickly. The more I fiddle around the worse it gets. I then send a rough mix to the artist to see if I'm headed in the right direction.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I mix ITB, with analogue emulation plugins and basic monitoring. I love gear like everyone, but can't afford expensive outboard equipment yet. But not as important to have as it is if you're tracking. Technique more important.
Analog or digital and why?
I like a blend of both worlds. Analogue warmth ease of digital.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will work to make it exactly how you want it to be.
What do you like most about your job?
Having a happy customer, exceeding expectations. Nailing the vision they had for the song.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Being able to turn tracks that aren't well recorded into something gold. The song needs to be recorded well, and arranged well before any more magic can happen.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Be clear about what you want for your project. Keep lines of communication open.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't go over and over obsessing about the little technical things. Your first decision is usually right.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on rock/hardrock, electronic and singer-songwriter/acoustic.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
The 3 engineers that have shaped who I am today as a mixer are, Bob Katz, Mike Stavrou and Graham Cochrane.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I mainly mix, and I produce the rhythm section if the tracks aren't up to scratch. This includes bass and beats.