Who doesn't love mixing??
I'm here to help you get your single out of the endless rough-mix revision cycle, and online for people to enjoy. It's probably sounding great already, but chances are you're several revisions into the rough mix, you've probably called one or two files 'Final' before going in to change a few more things, and at this rate it seems like you might never get that project out the way you want.
I grew up listening to singles from all the eras, I love popular music, I love competitive mixes, and I love working with people remotely on their songs. I have a production and music background, do great programming, like to use my outboard when appropriate, and mix with faders and knobs instead of using a mouse. You get more energy treating the mix like an instrument, and it's more fun!
I've built my own super-fun monitors, a big-fancy Seas/Hypex/DSP rig for the audio geeks out there, and some awesome lo-fi single-driver speakers for consumer reference. I've got a bunch of the latest tools, and a bunch of the vintage tools I like to use to prep tracks with (getting tracks to 'sit' right).
Genre-wise, I don't shy away from listening to much that's out there. After some work on making sure the song is ready to go, we're off to making your mix for as many people to hear as possible.
Send me your rough mix, and we'll chat!
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
5 ReviewsEndorse Jordan Jackiew
Jordan is my go to person for mixing and mastering. Jordan is professional, talented, timely, reliable, humble and really great to work with. Jordan goes above and beyond to make sure that my dream and imagination for my track is realized That takes patience and generocity. As a newer artist I have appreciated each one of these aspects of working with him and I have complete confidence in entrusting my songs with him.
I’ve been very privileged to work with Jordan for many years as a mixer, masterer, producer and musician. His mixes have a depth and musicality that I haven’t found elsewhere. I know some really technical mixers and some really musical mixers but Jordan really hears the whole picture and goes the extra mile to have the tools he needs for a world class mix and master. I’m really grateful for the mixes that blew my mind immediately and also the mixes where he patiently took the time to find my vision for the tracks.
Jordan has mixed many of my songs and they've made it to Canadian Christian Radios top charts. He has many years of experience and can adapt to different music genres to bring the best out the song. The ambiance at the studio is welcoming and relaxed, working with him surely was a great experience. We will definitely keep working together for future musical projects.
I have worked with JJ a few times over the years. He has always been incredible to work with. Both as a mix and master engineer. I trust his instincts so much. He knows how to help shape the perfect vibe for the song and the genre. And not only
does he do great work... but he shares his knowledge on mixing to help producers make better tracks. Definitely one of the best around. Also... have you seen his outboard gear?!? My god!!!!
Jordan has mixed many songs for me over the years of varying complexity and always knows how to bring the right vibe to the song. Even when I’ve gone overboard on tracks he knows how to create the space the song needs, gets the highs sparkling and the lows warm and full. He’s basically been a magician for some of the demos I have sent to him!
Interview with Jordan Jackiew
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Every once in a while I'm sent some tracks from bigger-name clients, and it's neat to work on a project by someone who's work you're already familiar with. One such project was for Bethel Music - The Loft Sessions it was called. Mostly a studio recording, we mixed remotely over a period of a month through mostly outboard equipment, and we were all very happy with the result. Working primarily for independent artists, it's not always easy to get an album to the millions-of-listens mark, but with established clients every once in a while, it's a treat.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm finishing up a mix for a client in Western Canada, and currently have multiple projects on hold as we wait for our various lockdowns to end. Strange times!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm very new to Soundbetter, so I'm not familiar with very many people that are on here.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My heroes are mostly the big studio legends of various eras: for production work it's Kevin Killen, Chris and Tom Lord-Alge, Jack Joseph Puig, Michael Brauer, Manny Marroquin, Serban Ghenea. For Mastering it's Bob Ludwig and Ted Jensen. For producers it's Daniel Lanois, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, and lately the edm crossovers Zedd/Skrillex. For artists, it's all over the map. Otis Redding, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Deadmau5, John Mayer, Macy Gray, Tom Waits, Deep Forest, Mike Oldfield, Knife Party, Loreena McKennitt, Wilco, Youssou N'Dour, Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens, Beyonce, Robyn, Afro Celt Sound System... it's a big playlist!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Oh man. I packed in the outboard for a few years, and was pretty sad and surprised when I did some more comparisons recently. Running a track through an analog compressor is just a different experience than the plugin emulation, and you end up with different settings trying to achieve the same thing, and still different results. I find less is more with digital compressors, unless there's a very specific process going on. Digital effects, however, are just stellar, even if they still don't replicate exactly things they're trying to emulate. It's the non-linear processes and timings that just don't seem achievable with sample-based processing right now, even with incredibly high sample-rates. I'm always looking to make things better, faster, and ultimately cheaper for the client though!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I don't charge you to be disappointed. I can't guarantee a great mix until I get the tracks in hand, I can only control what I have control over. But I won't start a mix until we both agree it's ready. I've been in your shoes as a producer before, and I know what it feels like to put yourself out there and ask someone for help on something that's precious to you, and pay money for it. But I can promise you that we'll listen together to the tracks, and make sure everything will be awesome, inspired, and killer in the end, and worth the price of the mix.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the music, and hearing the first playback of their tracks at the start of a song. It's so inspiring to hear new music that someone's worked on. Then, that last listen as the mix is done!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Actually most of the questions have been asked/answered right here!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think there's some grey area around how mixers improve tones, which is why I focus so much on track prep. People cook mediocre effects into their tracks, print and send them off, and assume that everything will be improved upon somehow in the mix. If you've already eq'd, compressed, distorted, and added delay and reverb to all your tracks, how do you expect the sound to change later? We can change levels in the mix, but the tonal options are really reduced. The flip side of that is removing all the effects and sending tracks that are radically different than what you've been working with the whole time. Just like a nice sounding track can be enhanced with some eq and effects, a mix or rough mix can be enhanced when there's some room to work with, but some existing quality. Also, the eq and effects amounts can change a ton when you listen to everything at once, compared to solo. That's where I find most of the misconceptions of mixing lie.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: It all boils down to "what do you want?". I'm trying to hear that answer from the get-go. I hear the rough mix and immediately know what I want, but I listen to rough-mixes for a living, and have worked on way more albums than an artist will their whole career. I want to save you time, stress, money, and make you feel inspired, confident, and competitive in your career. But I don't know how to do that for you unless you tell me.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure your music is ready for prime-time, then find your mixer and chat! Don't be shy, we're here to provide a service and make things easy, and also provide helpful advice that might avoid criticism later from your listeners. Also, you might find that you're closer to finished than you think and some songs you're able to mix yourself, for considerable savings. Outsource the tough stuff!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My speakers, my faders, a dbx compressor, my Retro compressor, and... I guess that's it? Thankfully I wouldn't have to record, since that would be a much larger list haha!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been doing this for about 20 years now, since I first learned how to use a mixing console. I've been a musician my whole life, and I still play around town in some pop and jazz groups. I started out early working on pop and r&b, and won a canadian Juno award for my production work in the gospel category. I then switched to mixing, and started studying mastering on the side as I was having trouble finding (affordable!) excellent mastering engineers in Canada. It taught me a ton about mixing, and I enjoy mastering projects on the side for people since I've built my processing and monitoring path to mastering-level specifications. I've crossed a lot of genres in my mix work and contacts with people over the years. These days are great times to do high end work remotely for people, it really does away with the limits of living in a smaller city, and the cost-benefit is transferred to the client. It's also easy to video-chat and live stream mixes to make things personal.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like slightly bigger drums, punchy compression, and character eq-ing. I love the top major-label mixers, they have character and bring out all sorts of elements in the track, and that's what I try to do every mix. My mixes are never boring.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Hands down Peter Gabriel. Because he makes awesome and unique productions and wears his heart on his sleeve. Also, I'd like to work with an artist who is completely focused on making a hit single, because crafting music for the top-40 list is just a completely different (and difficult!) endeavour than making music normally.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Absolutely! Biggest thing while working? Avoid the temptation to slap effects on all your tracks as inserts. You'll end up with 30 reverb plugins set to the same setting, sandwiched in the channel strip and baked into the sound, but it's not perfect and not easy to remove later on. You're stuck with a song file that'll take a lot of creative energy to reproduce and be able to improve upon, and it's completely avoidable. Run a separate duplicated track with the reverb 100% wet, and you now have an effects track you can blend in as desired and have complete separate control over, plus you can send it to your mixer and they won't screw up the reverb sound in their mix by using a different plugin.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I focus and study popular music-of-the-day, but where I live has a heavy folk and rap scene, so I end up doing a lot work there too. It's honestly varied, and all over the map in a given month.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ears and my instincts. I play the mixing board like an instrument, moving faders and turning knobs the same way I play the piano.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a global perspective to the music, since my tastes are so varied, yet ultimately I'm drawn to popular culture. It helps zero in quickly on what an artist wants instead of placing my stamp right away on their music. I've studied loud mixes, quiet mixes, hard mixes, soft mixes, tons of effects and bone-dry mixes, the difference between a mix for a streaming playlist and a mix for an album cut, there's all sorts of subtleties in there, before you even take into consideration the musical background of where the song is coming from. I listen to a rough mix, and right away I'm like "Aha! They're influenced by so-and-so and this person here. Cool!" Other times I can't quite get a grip on where they're coming from, and then turns out they have an influence I'm familiar with but their tracks don't reflect that, and we end up doing more production work to make the song better, avoiding a frustrating and ultimately bad mix.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It's all in the track prep. You listen to a rough mix for months on end, it gives you a false sense of confidence that you have more potency than you might actually, and it can delay making production decisions that would get you a final product and let you say "It's ready for people to hear." I'll spend the majority of the time on the rough mix and raw tracks, getting them ready and making sure they're actually sounding like what the artist is hearing in their heads. After that, it's all the final tweaks to the mix to make sure we've pulled all the character and detail and uniqueness out of the song and vocals. The actual middle of the mix process goes quickly, we want to keep that part visceral and raw.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My production room is a large leased facility, and the mix room is at home. My main full-range monitors are custom-built with high-end components/dsp along the lines of ATC, Grimm, Kii as a mastering setup and to handle modern productions, with Yamaha NS-10's, Audeze LCD-3's, Sony Z boombox, and several custom-made single driver speakers as a consumer reference. Outboard includes an Airfield Mastering Limiter, Cranesong STC-8 mastering compressor, several channels of Forssell conversion as a mastering loop, custom-made Pultecs as tube eq's, a Retro 176 tube compressor, 1176 Rev A compressor, 2 LA3A's, 2 Distressors, 2 dbx 160x's, a Valley Dynamite, Sony PCM Reverb, and several other random and awesome pieces of outboard to use as inserts. The rest of the mix rig is a combination of harmonics and channel plugins to be able to change genres quickly, as some styles like a lot of analog components, and others do great ultra-clean. I mix with 24ch's of Avid Eucon faders for faster and more elaborate automation.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I work with them on their single (album), make sure the tracks and arrangements are able to get them what they're looking for. Then I'll do a mix, and we'll work together to make it awesome. Specifics can include: arrangement suggestions, track editing, tuning, pro musician referrals for remote sessions, effects help, access to my outboard and plugins/sounds for production ideas, and ultimately mixing.