I am a Composer, Guitarist and Record Producer. I have recorded guitars and produced many albums for several artists. And I have written music for videogames, TV ads and short films. I am often asked to record fiery guest solos on powerful productions.
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Interview with Leo Badinella
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am often asked to play guest solos with passion and fire.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Steve Vai, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Trevor Rabin, Ennio Morricone
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Old analog front end into digital. And I have access to any piece of equipment that will make the track better.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually receive a backing track along with any sheet music that is available/required/or necessary. I then record my parts and send them over for review. If there are changes requested then we take it from there, if there are none, then I am good to go.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Intensity and gusto.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My technical prowess, musical knowledge and deep understanding in recording practices.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on heavy rock productions stretching into soundtracks, electronica and new age
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I could share a million, today I'll share this one. Use a 57 and a 421 on the same cone of your guitar cabinet. Make sure they are perfectly aligned. Setup your amp head in the control room and dial your sound. Use the faders on both mics channels to sculpt the sound of your guitar to the backing track as you work through the production.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Richard Page, Hans Zimmer, Kenny Aronoff, Ennio Morricone
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe it as intense, passionate, honest and profound.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began doing sessions when I was 17 a long time ago. I was asked to do a hand posing session for a TV ad where there was guiar playing. The day after that I got a call from the studio saying they wanted to record the solo I was playing through the film shoot. This developed into a working relationship where I did several sessions for TV ads, and eventually set out to do the ads on my own. Then I opened a commercial recording studio / production company and began at the same time continued my composition gigs. And eventually we get to today where I am asked to play guest solos, mix albums and write music for videogames.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Difficult choice. I don't think any piece of gear is irreplaceable. I guess my guitar, a piano, pen and paper. A good wine.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Try to be as clear as you can regarding what it is you want the track or part to convey, there is not chance for you to ever say too much so say it all. There is no guess-work here.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How intense do you want the part to be? Is this the final backing track?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That you can afterwards tweak something into sounding like it should have been from the beginning.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What is you rate? And I reply: What do you want to do?
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: music touches people in their hearts, it makes you braver, it can make you sad and frown, or happy and positive.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You will get the best performance out of me that you could ever imagine.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog and digital because it's necessary. Truthfully I think this is more of a workflow thing, where you begin making decisions right from the start or postpone decisions into a big pile at the end. The first situation can be good for learning, the second situation is better for producing music with an identity.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Being better than I was yesterday.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Every project that I do is king while I am investing my time in it.