With over 10 years of experience, I specialise in providing my clients with a sense of comfort and confidence in their work, enabling them to make the best music possible. Whether it be drums, guitar, bass, production, mixing or mastering - I've got that covered.
A creative and technically skilled musician, songwriter and producer with a diverse skillset, which lends itself to different aspects of the music industry. I have a wealth of experience in live performance across various genres. My musical skillset has allowed me to start up and run my own record label, where my time and team-management skills have helped maintain a successful structure within my business.
My versatility is a key strength particularly when producing and mixing tracks for other artists; I thrive on the collaborative process and working with a wide array of artists from diverse genres. I pride myself on my tenacity, my cooperative approach and my reliability – all essential traits for a successful musician and producer.
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Interview with Max Chinnock
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: One project I was especially proud to be a part of was Liberty Butterworth's first single, 'Golden Days'. I co-wrote, produced, played on, mixed and mastered that song during the summer of 2020. The main reason why I was so proud of it was probably due to it being the first proper song I worked on as a producer, so I was extremely pleased to see and hear the applause the song received when it came out.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: At the moment, I am working with a wide array of different artists, spanning the genres of Pop, Soul, Folk, Rock, Singer-songwriter and disco. I have just finished working on Liberty Butterworth's and Alison May's latest singles which should be coming out soon on all streaming platforms.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: George Marsh is someone who you should definitely check out on SoundBetter. He's a great engineer and mixer who has a really unique style and work approach.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: As I have mentioned previously, I believe in the idea of using old school methods whilst utilising modern technologies. This is largely due to the idea that it is important to push the boundaries when it comes to working with new technologies, whilst keeping in mind the history of that has proceeded it.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: The main thing I promise to all of my clients is that I will help them look at their music from different perspectives that they previously hadn't considered. In turn, I can guarantee that this will make their music better as it enables them to focus on the finer details that they had previously overlooked.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The best thing about my job is that it's my passion. It never feels like a job because it's what I love to do so I'm very lucky that I have the opportunity to get to do this full time. I also love the fact that it isn't a standard 9-to-5 office job and I never know what's coming next so it keeps the job exciting.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: A lot of the time, customers ask me about what music I'm into, how long I've been doing music for and what my general process for music making is. In response to that, I'm completely transparent with the answers that I give: I'll be honest about what I like and dislike, explain how long I've been working and what I've done in that time and that my general approach is based on the idea of elevating the artist using my skillset as a producer
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: One of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to music production is that a producer is only there to work on the music, whereas in actual fact, that only counts for about half of the work a producer actually does. As well as working on the music, a producer is almost like a therapist in many situations: they help to break the artist down, take them to places that they previously couldn't go to emotionally, and then build them back up in order to put all that raw emotion back into the music. This is something that can show the difference between a good artist and a great artist - how far is that artist willing to go in order to write the best songs they possibly can?
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Some of the questions I ask prospective clients are as follows: - Who are you as an artist/musician? - Why should anyone care about your music and what you have to say? - What is your niche? - Who are your songs for? These are just some of the questions I use to get to the core of who the artist is, and they can answer these questions, I am able to use my skillset to bring the best out of them and to push them in a direction that best suits them.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: For a customer who is looking to hire someone like me, I would suggest they open minded to different ideas, different genres of music and different approaches to music making. Making music is a shared process after all, so if someone wants to work with someone like me, they have to be open to the idea of experimentation. Furthermore, having a clear understanding of what you want helps a provider such as myself in a big way - it enables me to discern what the customer looking for, which in turn, allows for me to do my job to higher standard.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: If I were on a desert island, I would take an acoustic guitar, a Shure SM57 microphone, an 4 track analog desk, a reel-to-reel and a collection of my favourite guitar based albums. I would probably spend most of my time experimenting and writing and using the environment as inspiration to create something truly of the moment.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career path has always involved making music. From a young age, you could argue I caught the music bug which led me to throw myself into the music world by any means necessary. I have spent many years playing in many different bands, perfecting my music skills and developing my own approach to songwriting, recording and production. I'd say that my professional career started when I was 16, as I was paid for a small gig I played with a band I was in at the time.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style can be described as an old school approach using modern technologies. I thrive in an environment where people can share ideas and experiment, but I also enjoy pushing the boundaries on what technology can do in the world of music making.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: There are definitely a handful of artists who I have seen in the last few years who would be great to work with, as they all have that unique quality that I love to look for in every artist I work with. Blues singers such as Christone Ingram and Eric Gales would be amazing to work with, as well as unique bands such as Gabriels and Field Music. Each of these artists have their own unique way of making music, and it would be a real experience to be a part of their different processes.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Keep things simple. If you're producing and recording an artist, use a simple microphone and studio setup that you know how to use and that you know will get the results that you want. If you're mixing, try using one plugin instead of one hundred - see what results you get by using the bare minimum. I've always been passionate about the idea of less being more, so I always approach my productions and mixes in a way where I try and limit myself on purpose to see what direction that takes me in.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: So far, the main type of music I have worked on has been guitar based. This includes everything from Soul to Country to Rock to Folk as well as a wide array of other guitar based genres. However, I am eager to explore different genres and work with people who make music that I haven't had the opportunity to work with yet.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say that my strongest skill is that I can understand and empathise with the perspective of the artist I'm working with quite easily. I like to do this at the start of the project, as this helps me to understand the direction of the artist, who they are as an artist and why I should care about what they are doing. Overall, I'd say that this helps me to bring out the best in them, which in turn enables me to do my job more sufficiently
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: With every song that I work on, I like to think that I bring a sense of individuality to each artist I work with. I also like to think that I exceed in bringing out the best in the other people I work with. Whether they be a singer or a songwriter, I help to elevate the artist so that they can be the best version of themselves in any professional situation.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: A typical work process for me begins with me meeting the client in question and discussing what they want to do and how they approach making music. This helps me to better understand my role in the bigger picture of the client, which in turn helps me to plan what I need to do in order to achieve what the client has asked of me. After this, I spend time constructing several different ideas that fit the brief in order the client options for which direction they want to go in. For example, this can be different versions of one song or different mixes of one track. Once the client and I have a mutual understanding of where to go with the material, I work on the material until completion, making sure that I follow the guidelines that the client and I have discussed previously.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small studio setup that consists of a Zoom R24 audio interface and a pair of KRK Rokit 5 studio monitors. I have used this setup for a few years, and I feel that it's simplistic nature has helped me to construct my own approach to music making.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am frequently inspired by the work of professionals such as John Leckie, Trevor Horn, Quincy Jones, Norman Whitfield, Nile Rodgers and George Martin - Just to name a few. I'd also say that a large part of my work approach comes from an appreciation of the DIY mentality, so modern producers such as Finneas and Andrew Watt continue to inspire and influence my approach to music making on a daily basis
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of the time, I focus on producing my clients, but I also help to write their material with them. I believe that this helps to build a collaborative relationship between the artist and the producer, which is something that is key if you want to bring the best out of the artist.