Transplanted from Los Angeles where I worked as an audio and audio-post engineer, taught at a big recording school, worked tech for Magix and M-Audio, played bass in a lot of live bands, made about a dozen records, got Pro Tools certified, mixed a song for Robbie Krieger (the Doors) for his 2nd solo album (nominated for a Grammy in 2011) and more.
I'm an objective ear with very good hearing and lots of experience with sound, not just music.
I have done and still do sound design; I have done the Producer thing and worn all the hats.
I know the biz and I know songwriting and I know production, and most importantly I know what you will need to improve your sonic presentation.
I can help if you're a solo artist, songwriter, engineer, or producer, from rehearsal and writing to all the stages toward a finished professional product.
Doesn't matter what style of music you play; the steps to sounding your best never change.
I'm also a "kick-ass" bassist (not my description!) who plays multiple different low frequency instruments, has gazillions of sounds, great tone, tons of experience in many styles of music.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with George Radai
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I worked with a hip-hop artist out of New Orleans called Creo, who my mentor Brandino had brought to his studio to work. During hurricane Katrina, the studio Creo used had gotten flooded, and all his material ( erstwhile album called "Seafood City") was on three different hard-drives that they'd recovered. The previous engineers had saved multiple badly-named versions of each song and by the time I got the drives even Creo himself had forgotten what was where. It took me three solid weeks of work with him and the drives just to piece back together the most current mixes to continue working on. We had to listen to every piece of everything, compare them, take notes, and cull.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm playing with a DeepMind12 that I borrowed, to do tracks with my MIDI guitar for some experiments I am doing with backing tracks for some songs in progress.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Either, doesn't matter. They are tools. I will use either to get the job done. I am equally comfortable and skilled in either realm. Most systems are somewhat hybridized these days anyway.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: If I cannot do the job I will always tell you upfront. I don't waste my time or yours, or your money. If I can refer you to someone who can do that work, I will. If you refer me to a new client who gives me paid work I will give you a 1/2 off rate for your next project with me.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I dig the technical and creative together. Getting in the "zone" where you're just getting everything to sound GOOD. If it makes my ears happy, I love that. If it makes the client happy then it's just that much better.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: If I can handle various formats and standards. Again this depends. There are over 50 different digital audio file types, many proprietary. There's more than 75 kinds of video files, also many proprietary. In many cases converters and such c-an be found to make things compatible. I get asked to "remove an instrument" from a mix--rarely possible. I get asked to remove excess reverb, also not easily possible. There are workarounds for everything though, if you are willing to entertain that.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it can be done very quickly. Good work requires patience, energy, and careful listening throughout. Rush jobs always sound like rush jobs.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: 1. What do you need done - describe the project? 2. What's your budget and timeline? 3. What's the end use of the material (influences my approach) 4. Reference recordings? Who do you want to sound like? 5. Background for the project if it's necessary to understand the work.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: In my experience clients save money when they have a very good and clear idea of what they want done and how. The less you focus, the more you have to open your wallet. I am happy to "do it all" for a client, but they might not actually need that much and I consider saving my client's money is something desirable. Also, expect no bullshit: I don't need your money that badly.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: a bass, a cord, an amp, solar-powered generator, a music player with thousands of great songs to practice to.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I am 60; I started playing bass when I was 15. I went to a recording engineering trade school (Los Angeles Recording Workshop) in 1990 after 5yrs of College, passed 2nd in my class. Ever since then I've worked in and around the music industry in every possible capacity. My life's path has always been a happy marriage of the creative and the technical.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I am a creative myself. If budgets allow, the studio is a creative instrument in it's own right. I am a "let's try that and see if it works" person, and always willing to indulge my clients' flights of fancy as far as tailoring their music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Brian Eno. I am a fan of all experimental music and he has always impressed me as a supreme creative. Wouldn't mind Alan Parsons or Bob Clearmountain either! King Crimson would be a dream band to engineer.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you "clean up" your mix, your work is half-done. For instance, if you record a flute, roll-off the unneeded low frequencies and you'll have a 'cleaner' sounding track. You should know the frequency ranges of the instruments you work with and tailor EQ accordingly. You may not need the whole range to make that instrument stand out in a mix and sound good.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Mostly rock music, but I've been exposed to so many styles and their quirks that it's hard to stump me.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Communication. Often the untrained cannot express what they want done technically to their mix. I've learned over years how to communicate with beginners and experts effectively to get your vision realized.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: 40 years of work in the Music industry. Knowledge of all aspects of sound production. Skills honed over many years. Musician's sensibility towards engineering; sensitivity to artistic visions. Uncompromising honesty--you might not like my opinion if you ask for it, but I back up all I think with facts and experience. After years of "polishing turds" I can tell you exactly what your music needs to be great.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First consult - clarity on project needs and requirements, deliverables and scheduling. Receive data, digitize/transfer/convert, etc as required. Lots of critical listening and note taking, time-code/bar-beat linked, create work plan. Then...do the job! Once delivered to client, I expect feedback and the possibility of needing revisions, and then we do that. I want my clients to be satisfied with my work.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Currently I run a very modest home studio that is somewhat limited--it's for my own composing. I use the Tascam DP-32SD, multiple MIDI interfaces, 2-3 computers, lots of pedal FX, and a few mics. No current Pro Tools system...yet! Hoping to finance with work from here... There is a lot I can do here, but if I can't handle it here I can work in any rental studio that exists. I will travel and work in your studio one-on-one with you if that's what you prefer.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Typically all of them. I have done team projects and ones where I did literally everything from playing all the instruments to the final mastering. I like the techy musician types who can speak the language, but I specialize in interpreting what my clients want, and not putting my own thumbprint on things (unless I am paid to do that!) ;-)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Clean-up of mixes, typically, removing noises, filtering, dynamics control, etc. I've done lots of dialog editing, using razor blades old-school with tape, or using Pro Tools or other DAWs. I've consulted a great deal on outfitting home studios, best practices for music production, and helping procure gear.