My ultimate goal when working in music is to bring out the emotional connection that is trying to be portrayed, yet producing unique blends of modern and classical sounds to accompany the feeling. Whether mixing a clients song, producing bands in my studio, or composing for film and video games, I'll make sure that connection is established.
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Interview with Corey Zack
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I co-produced Vine Leaf's EP and also helped play live during shows. I always like being a part of a project outside of the studio. It feels good to get out sometimes and share what you worked on in a live setting.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I constantly have clients come to me to record/produce/mix songs. I'm sure if I wrote something here today, I'd have to come back and change this weekly.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet. Just getting started on here.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Although I grew up in a digital world, I still have an appreciation for analog gear. Combining the two when tracking and mixing gives a warm, purposely processed tone.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll always go the extra mile to get you exactly what you want to hear.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The happiness it brings to my life. I could never get bored with what I do. The emotion it brings out in people.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you offer package deals for multiple songs? - Yes. Do you master? - Sometimes, but usually send it out. Do you know other musicians to help track? - Yes, tons.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The more technology advance, the more everyone thinks they are an engineer. You can't buy a good pair of ears!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: First, tell me a little about yourself. Who are you? What's your inspiration/influences? What are you trying to achieve? Then, what is your budget?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Find someone you click with on a personal level. It helps to better express what you are trying to achieve.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Solar panel to provide power, macbook pro loaded with software, drumpad, guitar, and a pair of nice headphones.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: It's been a long journey, as I'm sure anyone could relate to. I've been a musician for most of my life, but recently started being able to provide professional services within the past 5 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'm all over the place. Very moody I'd say. I like writing haunting, dark, thrilling soundtracks. I like producing catchy, powerful electronic hooks in a pop artists song. I can also get down with super techy experimental rock. I listen to a lot of different styles of music and incorporate them all in my daily activities.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Keep It Simple Stupid! It's hard to listen to your song over and over while producing or mixing. Don't over produce something because you're now bored of it. Don't lose sight of what you initial felt when starting the song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Typically indie rock, pop, electronic, folk, experimental. I like to put a twist to the soundtrack work I do as well by combining modern synth sounds with classical orchestration.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Hard to say...I've had people rave about how good I can make vocals sound right off the bat, how quick I am at mixing a song and programming projects, as well as how efficient I am at co-producing a song in a day.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A second pair of ears for sure. I'm not afraid to share my thoughts, pick up an instrument and suggest alternate ideas when asked. At the end of the day we aren't only writing for ourselves, but the audience out in the world.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When working with singer/songwriters, I'll typically have a client send a demo to get a grasp of the initial mood. I'll ask for their influences and start building a database of sounds that fit the style, this way when they arrive, we can dive right in. I can usual have them leave with somewhat of a fully polished songs to marinate on until their next session where we will touch up and alter any parts necessary. I'll mix the same in a way, only the client usually isn't there being most stuff is sent through the web or done post session. I'll usually have a film producer send some reels over to score to and send some demos back. Or if I have something in my database they like, I'll alter it to fit the scenes. I'm also always scoring to images for fun to keep my chops up.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: In the studio I have plenty of instruments, outboard gear, hardware and software. You can see my whole lineup on my website. www.coreyzack.com/studio
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Big Hans Zimmer fan. Dave Pensado is my hero.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Tracking, mixing, producing, scoring.....in-house, virtual, or live.