Can you share one music production tip?
Think of musical arrangement in terms of Focus, Foreground, Midground, and Background. Don't be afraid to listen to other music in a similar genre while you're producing. Write notes of what you hear and how you believe they accomplished their sounds. Always remember "If you think you hear it, you probably do, and someone had to put there"
What type of music do you usually work on?
Most of my online clients tend to be mainstream pop, hip hop, and pop rock. My local clients in Nashville tend to be independent country and americana.
What's your strongest skill?
My use of automation. Fundamentally there are two phases of mixing. Creating sounds, and Automating. A common mistake of an inexperienced mix engineer is being unsure of when to use proper automation, and compensating by over-compressing. The common result is a mix that is loud and in your face, but lacks character or depth, and loses a listeners attention.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring the desire to understand the intent. There is no reason to make any mixing choices or decisions unless they reinforce the purpose of what the artist and producer are trying to convey.
What's your typical work process?
Every song has the Focus, the Foreground, the Midground, and the Background. So many engineer's lose site of the project with the common phrase "Lets start with the Kick Drum". While there's technically nothing wrong with this approach, the "kick drum" can be so many different things and is very rarely the focus of the song.
My approach is to start with the Focus and work my way to the Background. In my opinion understanding the listening progression separates my mixes from other engineers simply trying to make everything louder than everything else.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a dedicated digital mixing suite and mix entirely "In the Box".
Pro tools 12
Universal Audio Apollo 16
Universal Audio Apollo 8
Both fully loaded with UAD2 Quad Processing.
Mains - ATC SCM20PSL MK2 with Clair ML15 Subs
Alt - Yamaha NS10
Headphones - Beyerdynamic DT770
Monitor Control - Drawmer MC2.1
All UAD Plugins, Waves Bundles, Steven Slate Everything Bundle, Izotope.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I subscribe to Mix with the Masters, which is a site that some of the best engineers in the business show and discuss their approach to mixing. I'm constantly watching videos and reading blogs of engineer's such as Greg Wells, Tony Maserati, Andrew Scheps, Michael Brauer, Andy Wallace, Dave Pensado and Chris Lorde Alge.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Primarily our clients are producers who create their projects in Ableton Live. Average track count are between 30 - 65 tracks with a mixture of live and programed instrumentation. Depending on the producer the vocals we receive are a sometimes unedited, while others require some level of tuning or tidying. I employ two assistant engineers who handle my project editing, allowing me to strictly focus on the mix and approach your music with a fresh set of ears.