A seasoned multi-instrumentalist & recording/mixing engineer, working across a wide range of styles. Passionate first and foremost about the ART OF THE SONG! Whether you need instrumental/vocal tracks, mixing, or songwriting help, I commit to providing a professional, high-quality and positive-vibe set of services to help you realize your vision!
I'm multi-instrumentalist/recording & mixing engineer Larry Miller. I'm excited to offer my services for your consideration! I am available for instrumental tracking, songwriting and composition, mixing/remixing, vocals/harmonies arranging and tracking, and more!
My focus is first and foremost to make every song and project the best it can be. As the one-person creative force behind my own project Embers, I also create and promote my own music, which means I truly understand the care and passion that goes into the creative process. I commit to providing that level of focus, attention to detail and positive energy to your music!
In my formative years, I honed my musical abilities in New York City as a guitarist and have been involved in music across a wide spectrum over the years. I have a Jazz Performance degree and have recorded/played in numerous bands and projects in New York and the Midwest, including Spirit Gum, 417, Worlds Apart, Mulva and many others. I am also one half of the sync music production company Cabin 15 Music with my partner Tobias Gebb, creating instrumental music for TV and film licensing.
I have a full-service home studio for recording tracks and mixing/editing, with a robust suite of plugins, virtual instruments, guitars and more. I look forward to having the opportunity to help you realize your vision for your songs!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
7 ReviewsEndorse Embers (Larry Miller)
Larry brings passion and talent to the table, quickly adding great guitar work, vocals and so much more. He instinctively makes great choices to improve a mix. We have worked on a few tracks together and I can’t wait until our paths align again.
I hired Larry to play guitar on a track off my band's last CD released in 2020. He is not only a great player but also an intuitive one. Larry absorbs the song before laying down a track and is quite open to suggestions on approach, effects, etc.... I will be using his skills again for sure. Message me and I will gladly send you the track he performed on. Kind regards, John
Embers is the expert you need for your music. He always finds the right mix when producing. I had the pleasure to work with him on a track, and he perfectly turned my idea in an entire song in a short time.
He's also friendly and helpful (something you can't find everywhere).
It's the experience you want. Working with a 1st class musician that not only plays great but knows how to listen. So many times in the past I have worked with numerous guitarists who only wanted to listen to what they were thinking. Not thinking outside of the box. Just going through the motions just to collect a pay day. Larry is a musician who creates parts you haven't thought of. A listener who meticulously examines before diving in and when he does leaves you with so many options. It's one thing to find a great player, It's another thing to have a great personality to go with it.
I have worked with Larry off and on over the past several years and it is always a true joy to do so. He is an exceptional musician -- one of the best guitar players I've heard at any level, amateur to pro to rock star. He can take one of my ideas and quickly make it better in a way I didn't think of (and certainly wouldn't be able to play). He understands many different genres of music, is a great collaborator and has incredible attention to detail when recording/mixing. In short - he'll make you sound amazing and you'll have fun in the process.
Larry is a pro in all that he does. Whether it's great guitar playing, recording and/or mixing, he puts his all into the project to make sure it's quality outcome. As a guitarist he can emulate many different sounds, styles and eras or come up with new sounds. As a recording engineer he has great equipment and skills to get great sounds. As a mixer/producer he has a good ear to make everything sound balanced and clear and a can-do attitude that will overcome challenges. I'd work with him again anytime!
Larry helped bring my music to life and capture the sound I was searching for.
I was very fortunate to find someone with the patience and expertise that he displayed. Whether you’re in need of a session guitarist, producer or engineer, I highly recommend Larry.
Interview with Embers (Larry Miller)
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Recording and mixing some of my own original music, writing/recording/mixing sync music for TV and film placement opportunities as co-owner of Cabin 15 Music, recording guitar tracks for a friend's project in NYC, and working on getting opportunities from SoundBetter! :-)
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because it is by far the way most people work and share content. I love aspects of the analog side of things, and it is how I came up, but the more technology continues to evolve, the more amazing things we can get done together using the digital set of tools.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will put all my skills, tools and creative energy into doing the best possible work for your project. My goal is for you to be happy and come away with a great result!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the satisfaction of starting with songs in a beginning state and then being able to have it turn out evolved and sounding slamming! That's true for songwriting, laying down instrument or vocal track, mixing, whatever. It's that end result!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Can you make it sound like SongXYZ or ArtistXYZ?". My answer usually depends on what the source material is that we are working with, and what they want me to do or not do with it. The answer is usually "yes", with some agreed-upon qualifiers about what that means.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: It's similar to the advice question: that a session musician and/or mix engineer can make a song something it is not. If the song isn't what you want it to be agnostic of my tracking/parts/engineering, it is likely I won't be able to do that just by what I provide. Sure, a great beat or bass line can be the push a song needs to make it pop, but if the song itself doesn't make you happy before we even get started, the road is a lot tougher.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What style or vibe they envision, what their influences are/reference songs if they have things in mind. I also ask how much feedback and creative suggestions they are open to; this can help me find the sweet spot in terms of how I approach their project. I also try to get really crisp up front about what they expect in terms of turnaround, revisions, etc., but that is secondary.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Like I've been saying, focus on the SONG FIRST! Make sure you like your song even as a rough demo, when you sing it a capella, or with just a piano or guitar accompanying it. If you need help with that, maybe look for folks (perhaps even me?) who have songwriting experience. That applies as well to your performances. Auto tune and mix tricks can only do so much, using vocals as an example. Expect a lot from folks like me, but remember to bring your best to the equation for the best result!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My iMac with ProTools and all my plugins (that counts as one, right??), one acoustic and one electric guitar, my soon-to-be-shipped NeuralDSP Quad Cortex and a bag of cables! Or maybe scratch all that: just a ukulele, a fishing pole, a water purifier and a life raft. :-)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a musician for over 30 years, cutting my teeth growing up as a guitarist in NYC. In the last 15 years, I've focused more on building my experience in all things related to recording and mixing, creating my studio (Kill Room Studios) in the last 5 years. As my intro Bio describes, I've played and recorded across a wide range of styles, both in NYC and now in Iowa City, Iowa. I'm still an avid guitarist and instrumentalist as well as a singer and songwriter, which is one of the things I feel differentiates me since I am so tuned into the artist's side of the process.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'd say that I am very personable and positive, with a leaning toward finding the humor in things. I love sharing in the excitement of the feelings and energy music can bring. With all that said, I would also say I believe honesty is key. In either direction, if something isn't right it needs to be discussed. That should ideally always be done constructively, for sure. Lastly, I'd definitely say I am organized and focus on efficiency. To that end, I try to set clear expectations and provide good communication, documentation and structure to the process.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Another really tough question! If it didn't matter living or not, I would probably choose Jeff Buckley. His voice and songwriting have left an indelible imprint on me, and the album Grace inspired me as both a musician and a studio engineer. Runner up might be Radiohead because of their endless reinvention and incredible soundscapes.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Whew- it is hard to choose just one! I guess beyond all the technical and performance-related stuff, the number one tip I would share is to focus on writing and arranging good songs. The craft of the song in my view is what feeds everything else. All the other aspects are of course important, but they are the tools that support the song. To me it is like building a house. Without a solid plan and foundation, the rest doesn't have as much value.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: It varies, but in general I would have to say the overall umbrella of pop rock might be the most common denominator. This covers a wide waterfront underneath it, ranging from electronic pop-rock, heavier rock, alt-rock, singer-songwriter and more.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think my versatility. I can cut across a lot of genres, and can work through the lens of the artist/musician/songwriter as easily as I can the recording/mixing engineer side. If I can be bold enough to add one other skill, I think my personality is such that I can listen well, communicate effectively and bring a lot of empathy and positivity to any project.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Experience, passion, big ears, an open mind and a strong technical set of skills both in terms of engineering and my musical background (playing/chops, tone, arranging, songwriting, etc.).
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Whether mixing or writing/adding individual tracks for someone else's song or project, the first thing I do is immerse myself in the song itself, regardless of the state it is in. For me, everything revolves around what the artist is trying to say and what feelings they want to express with their music. I also check pulse with the artist in great detail about what other reference tracks they associate their music with, and for individual tracks what types of playing styles and tones they like. This helps me get as clear a picture as possible about what they hope to hear when I do my thing. I tend to make a lot of notes and write down questions as I listen on my own. That leads to a follow-up discussion with the client to share those notes and questions, helping ensure I understand what they expect. In the early stages, it is also important up front to stay organized with clients, giving clear instructions about things like formats and resolution of stems for them to provide, timelines, etc. Setting clear expectations for these details at the start helps things get rolling much more smoothly in my experience. From there, it becomes an on-going dialogue with the client. For full mixes, I'll see what I can use from their demos and go from there. I think sharing some rough mixes in the first stages helps make sure I am on the right track, even if there are caveats the client needs to understand since it will not be fully polished at that point. The same applies to individual tracks; sending a few early ideas to gauge reaction can save a lot of cycles in the process. It's all about getting creative alignment and good communication! Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I try to get to know the artist a bit better. Music is so personal; I think the human element is important. While I am offering a paid service, it is from the heart and I care about what I do. Getting to know the people I work with helps me better invest in the song, and we usually have more fun that way!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I record and mix in the box, using ProTools as my primary DAW on a loaded iMac, with some FL Studio in the mix at times. I have a wide breadth of plugins and virtual instruments to cover practically all styles and situations, too many to mention here. I have a modest but effective mic locker including mics from Mojave, AudioTechnica, MXL, Oktavia, Shure and others. I use a Focusrite Clarett 8PreX with excellent mic pres for a pristine sound going into the box and a great selection of guitars, basses, pedals and other hardware to get any sound needed. I use a wide array of amp simulation from Line6 and NeuralDSP to get any guitar or bass tone needed for the job. My room is well-treated, providing a balanced recording and mixing environment.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have such a wide range of tastes, but here are some in no particular order: Foo Fighters, Frank Ocean, Jacob Collier, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Muse, Mastodon, Periphery, Andrew Scheps, Joji, Snarky Puppy, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Steve Vai, P-Funk, Daniel Ceaser, Thundercat, Prince, Bjork, The Beatles, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, Rush, Neil Finn, Devin Townsend, and so many more!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Full master-ready mixes, instrumental tracking (this often includes writing parts for the song as well as tracking), lead or backing male vocals (often including arranging and writing the parts as well as tracking), songwriting and arranging (co-writing typically). For instrumental tracking, this can include rhythm, lead or textural guitars, bass, synths/synth basses, drum programming (both traditional kit and modern/electronic beats) and more.