The PenHouse: a unit of innovative, millennial creators who specialize in the art of supreme sonics & quality that lasts a lifetime. It is comprised of 4 music specialists; Cardell McManus, Travis Bruce, Jeremy McCarter & Rafael Ishman. A working relationship with The PenHouse will provide you with quality music & an experience worthy of repeating
We provide every service needed in the creative process. Songwriting/Top Line, Full Song Production/Tracking, Vocal Production/Editing, Arranging, Drum Programming, Demo Singing, Engineering; Recording, Mixing/Mastering
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with The PenHouse
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Between the four of us, we provide every type of work needed in the creative process. We engineer (recording, mixing, master), edit, pitch correction, write, produce and vocal produce for signed artists as well as independent artists.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: We have been inspired by so many artists in the last 20 years in the R&B, HipHop and Pop genres. Just to name a few standouts: Whitney Houston, 2pac, Boyz II Men, Nas, Tank, Joe, New Edition, Babyface, Brandy, Usher, Chris Brown ...We could go on and on but these are the ones that come to mind first.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: We all have Macbook Pros, working out of different DAWs depending on what we are doing and/or working on. We use Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, FL and Studio One as DAWs. Equipment wise we used an Apollo Twin audio interface, a Neumann U87 Mic, and an Avalon 737 Mic Pre, Yamaha Hs80Ms. We also have a Blue Mic and other equipment we may switch out from time to time depending on what project we are doing
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Again, this depends on what we are doing. But our process is very intimate and caters to whoever we work with. In a nutshell, if we are writing and producing for an artist, usually we'll begin with a conversation about life, what the latest happenings are with the artists and usually a beat is made on the spot based off of the vibe of the room and the conversation. We go from there with writing, recording, post production etc
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I would say we bring a combination of feel-good familiarity with our work, and at the same time a fresh newness that takes the music beyond currents industry norms. We believe originality at its finest, and even if an artist wants to do a flip (or a sample from a previously existing work), we would do it in a way that makes it special and maybe even outdo's the original work
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Our strongest skill is personability with the artist. We are very big on communication and making sure every one is on the same page, as it is a collective, mutual endeavor. We use the saying 'Get Fed' when you come to The PenHouse because we like to leave whoever we work with, with an experience instead of just a song, or a beat. One that is memorable and this inevitably makes most of our clients returning ones
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: We make all types of music but usually work on R&B, HipHop and Pop records.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more, simplicity is the ultimate level of sophistication. I am willing to bet that if anyone reading this thinks about some of their favorite songs of all time, they are simple, powerful and fulfilling. Don't over produce, or overdo anything. Let the feel and vibe guide you
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: There are a lot of artists that are on the pipeline for this coming year, but we would love to work with Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber , just to name a few.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Our style is multi faceted. It's hard to describe in words, but ultimately you will be left with a lasting melody in your head after listening to our music
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: All of us have been doing music in various avenues all our lives. From performing as youth, singing groups, dancing etc. Professionally, we've been in the music industry for about 6 years now.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Not sure how I would charge these things lol but what the hell; Macbook, charger, U87, 737, external drive, and my studio monitors.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would say always be willing to invest in yourself, because if you don't, who else will?
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who are you, what is your voice in music and why is it special and to be remembered?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: No misconceptions come to mind.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What was it like working with Kehlani. It was amazing
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love opening up a fresh canvas session and watching an idea start from someone's head and translate to my speakers
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Our promise is to make sure our work aligns 100% with what our clients' needs and expectations are. A lot of people in the business try to tell people what they should do, sound like, etc. We will give that insight if asked, but other than that our job is to make our clients 100% satisfied and make whatever they hear in their head come to life
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Depends on what you're working on and what type of feel you need.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I would recommend Mickey Shiloh and Joey Diggs Jr.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: We are working on a lot of projects including Party Next Door, Eric Bellinger, Kid Ink, Paloma Ford, Dimitri McDowell , just to name a few
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: We were incredibly proud of the work we did for Eric Bellinger. He is one of the truly talented writers/artists in this business and he's incredibly humble. Our role was co-writing and producing for various projects for Eric. Working with him is always a pleasure.